Most of us would like to believe that sound ethics and corporate responsibility is important to us when choosing a brand. But how many of us would say it matters more than convenience and cost?
We may not like to admit it, but it is purpose that attracts us to a brand. To grab the attention of consumers and progress past the courting phase of a relationship, a brand has to convince people that its purpose will meet their needs. If the goal is to provide things quickly and cheaply, and that’s what we want, we’ll take it.
Ethics and purpose
One of the best current examples of this paradox today is fast fashion. It’s one of the most blatant examples of what we think we’ll do versus what we actually do. Consumers under the age of 30 care about corporate responsibility and ethics, about what companies do to the environment and employment issues. If you’re a brand looking to develop a relationship with the under-30s, you should be doing so with an ethical standpoint and an awareness of your corporate responsibility in mind.
But here’s the paradox. Fast fashion is an industry that is mostly enabled by people under the age of 30. So why, when it comes to clothing, are morals compromised? Fast fashion retailers were recently cited by the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee as some of the UK’s least sustainable and responsible clothing firms. Yet the sectors’ customers are, apparently, among the most concerned about the environment.