Factcheck: Sainsbury’s on Newsnight

Sainsbury‘s Head of Sustainability appeared on Newsnight last night, discussing an interesting piece on ethical fashion. Unfortunately she was either misinformed or, more likely given her senior position, deliberately misleading viewers.  Here’s the particular exchange that raised my eyebrows: Read the rest of this entry »

Who is the ethical consumer?

At LBL you might be detect an audible sigh when a consumer asks “where can I get ethical clothes?” or a journalist “do Gap produce in unethical conditions?”

‘Ethical’ in the sense of ‘ethical fashion’ has come to mean “an approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing, which is both socially and environmentally sustainable” (Ethical Fashion Forum). But it signifies more than that: it is a fashion trend in its own right, a segment of the market, like petite or smart-casual or goth.

‘Ethical’ in the sense of ‘ethical trade’, means that companies, “take agreed steps to ensure their supplier companies respect the rights of their workers by adhering to national labour laws and the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)” (Ethical Trading Initiative). Read the rest of this entry »