Sustainability is a central challenge of the fashion industry. In an era where Internet and social networks allow information to spread quickly, more consumers are familiar with the call for “ethical fashion” as disasters such as Rana Plaza resound worldwide. However, consumers interested in buying “ethical” clothing could have a hard time orienting themselves amongst the abundance of brands claiming to be ethical on the market. Consumers might make purchasing decisions based on their knowledge of a brand. In this context, it is imaginable that corporate social responsibility (CSR) communications, including codes of ethics, could constitute one way a consumer can learn more about a company’s values. These codes may serve a variety of purposes—they are undoubtedly one of the ways a brand communicates its commitment to ethical principles. Indeed, by analyzing the codes of ethics of some of the industry’s well-known brands, it is evident that they primarily focus on employment and workers’ rights (including equality and discrimination issues), labor safety standards, bribery and anti-corruption, counterfeiting and unfair business practices, as well as respect for (and sometimes improvement of) the environment. A company’s code of ethics is also a powerful tool for improving brand image by adopting a code that responds to the issues that consumers care about. It is therefore necessary to distinguish between companies that are truly ethical and those that merely appear so. In order to protect consumer confidence in such documents, a fil rouge across legal systems may be found (although the specific characteristics may vary greatly) in the laws that protect consumers from misleading advertising.

The Ethical Consumer and Codes of Ethics in the Fashion Industry / R.E. Cerchia, K. Piccolo. - In: LAWS. - ISSN 2075-471X. - 8:4(2019 Sep 24). [10.3390/laws8040023]

The Ethical Consumer and Codes of Ethics in the Fashion Industry

R.E. Cerchia
Primo
;
K. Piccolo
Secondo
2019

Abstract

Sustainability is a central challenge of the fashion industry. In an era where Internet and social networks allow information to spread quickly, more consumers are familiar with the call for “ethical fashion” as disasters such as Rana Plaza resound worldwide. However, consumers interested in buying “ethical” clothing could have a hard time orienting themselves amongst the abundance of brands claiming to be ethical on the market. Consumers might make purchasing decisions based on their knowledge of a brand. In this context, it is imaginable that corporate social responsibility (CSR) communications, including codes of ethics, could constitute one way a consumer can learn more about a company’s values. These codes may serve a variety of purposes—they are undoubtedly one of the ways a brand communicates its commitment to ethical principles. Indeed, by analyzing the codes of ethics of some of the industry’s well-known brands, it is evident that they primarily focus on employment and workers’ rights (including equality and discrimination issues), labor safety standards, bribery and anti-corruption, counterfeiting and unfair business practices, as well as respect for (and sometimes improvement of) the environment. A company’s code of ethics is also a powerful tool for improving brand image by adopting a code that responds to the issues that consumers care about. It is therefore necessary to distinguish between companies that are truly ethical and those that merely appear so. In order to protect consumer confidence in such documents, a fil rouge across legal systems may be found (although the specific characteristics may vary greatly) in the laws that protect consumers from misleading advertising.
code of ethics; sustainable fashion; ethical consumer
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/677153
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