It wasn’t that long ago that consumers would go into a clothing store, pick up a tee-shirt, glance at the price tag, perhaps check the label to see where it is made, washing instructions and then make the decision to purchase it. Nowadays, with the greater awareness we have about the environmental and social impact of just about every product as well as being bombarded with an unending supply of fast fashion and products at an affordable price tag at our fingertips—our shopping basket is becoming somewhat of an ‘ethical conundrum.’
Worker rights and safety, health concerns, child exploitation, animal cruelty, small living wages, environmental and social impacts. These are some of the factors to consider for retailing entities, especially clothing retailers, concerned about the ethical foundations of their business in a new age when many shoppers seem to want to wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Lush Handmade Cosmetics is one organization built on a strong ethical business model. From humble beginnings to becoming a global leader in ethical retailing, Lush commits to regenerative business practices in giving back to communities around the world.
When it comes to starting a business and considering ethical products or ingredients, Lush’s director, Peta Granger tells TheGoodTV, you’ve to be clear about what you stand for, what you believe and your values. Once you have a clear path, recruit people into your business with similar values as customers can really tell when people believe in what they stand for, and this helps build a powerful and positive brand.
Peta says when it comes to sourcing ingredients and products for your business, whether its the people, land or communities we’re interacting -that we ensure we’re enriching them. She adds it’s essential not to make a negative impact environmentally or socially trying to make as much profit as you can for your business at the expense of others.
So how do these issues of ethical retailing actually affect where we shop, and what we buy? UK research company Morgan Stanley Research recently surveyed 1,000 customers in the UK for their views on popular fashion retailers and found that, while ethical concerns don’t dominate the number one spot for shopping habits, they have still gained growing prominence since 2010. The research found is a trend seen particularly with the critical younger consumer demographic which is a consideration for retailers and targeting their future consumers.