So, in light of recent events like 385 people dying in a poorly run Bangladesh factory collapse and the unrest that has resulted, I ask myself how socially responsible is socially responsible really?
Lots of manufacturing companies these days want to call themselves socially responsible but are they really? Now we all understand that everyone is in business to make a profit. Popular consensus is that being “socially responsible” or “green” doesn’t always mix with running a profitable company, but I would have to disagree. Arthur Caplan, chair of the University of Pennsylvania’s medical ethics department says that “fashion companies had better be pretty green and socially conscious, because they’re very much about image, …they’re selling products that induce guilt. Who needs all that high-end stuff? You’d better do what you can to make it guilt-free.”
Consumers and shoppers are becoming more and more educated, aware, and even skeptical of so-called “organic” anything or “green” companies. For this reason, it is imperative that companies create policies and stick to them. According to University of Missouri 2011 research, consumers are willing to pay an extra 15 to 20 percent for truly socially responsible or “green” products so it just may be in company’s best interests to change their practices.
Most of us have seen the issues that some companies have had with their consumption of water and fertilizer in cotton production, chemical processing at plants, airway and environmental pollution, worker safety problems like the disaster in Bangladesh, and fair wage and child labor exploitation. So what to do about it? When shopping in-store or online, check the label for where the product was manufactured, its fiber content and also look for the brand’s information on their code of conduct or social responsibility policy. Most companies employing socially responsible international policies publicize the information and post it on their websites such as J.Crew and the PPR Group (Gucci, Balenciaga, McQueen, etc).
So, this is the first April that I really haven’t been much excited about getting a cute spring birthday outfit (I’m an income tax baby, birthday is April 15), because it’s still just about 50 degrees in New York!
This is really messing up business. According to the Labor Department, accessories and apparel stores cut 15,300 seasonally adjusted jobs last month and according to Women’s Wear Daily, retail employment fell by 24,000. This isn’t just messing up Spring/Summer Fashion 2013 business but it’s disheartening Northeast spring fashion lovers too. Yesterday, I went to a Guess event in midtown and they had some beautiful, lightweight pastel skirts, pants and jackets for Spring but with the wind blowing outside, there didn’t seem to be too much impetus to buy. I did pick up this cute neon ring and can’t wait until it gets a little warmer.
Cold Weather really is messing up things but I have some ideas to share while we wait on Spring Summer that have been keeping me feeling “winter-springy” up to this point.
Get yourself some nice leather pants and maybe some with pops of color. Yellow, magenta, and black of course will definitely be in for the Fall so not only can you wear them while we wait for warmer times, but you can wear them for Fall Winter 2013-2014 too. Check out a few below from J. Brand, Balenciaga, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Acne. For a lower price point, Nasty Gal has plenty of vegan leather leggings to choose from.