Clothing Retailers’ Ethical Problems: Consumer-Retailer Relationship Allows Issues to Persist
- Pages: 23
- Published: May 2017
- Report Code: ML00024-016
Subject to numerous scandals regarding ethical behavior for longer than many people care to remember, clothing retailers face a challenging future. In the age of ”˜fast fashion’ some problems – such as the use of fur – many thought had gone have now returned to the mainstream. Unethical behavior issues within the garment industry can be traced back to the relationship between the consumer and the retailer, resulting in problems failing to gain sufficient attention, although some progress has occurred, to inspire change at the top of the clothing industry in the United Kingdom.
Key Questions Answered
– Why has fur returned to high-street products?
– What is the impact of fast fashion on labor rights?
– What are the environmental consequences of fast fashion?
– Can a new ethical brand enter the mainstream market?
Reasons to buy#NAME?
Table of Contents
Fur returns as retailers fail to uphold ethical policies 6
Retailers found to be selling real fur marketed as faux fur - commercial impact appears only temporary 6
Cost demands and fashion tastes put pressure on ethical policies as fur returns to the catwalk 7
Labor rights problems continue despite bad publicity 9
Bangladesh factory collapse demonstrates dangers of shying away from labor rights 9
Fast fashion encourages retailers to flirt with bad working practices in factories 10
Clothing has a big environmental impact - retailers are under little pressure to act 12
Piles of used clothing represents a growing environmental problem with fast fashion 12
Water consumption is a big problem for the industry - retailers are under little pressure to change 13
Sustainability policies are framed in context of business benefit 14
Sustainability is increasingly influential to a successful brand image 14
Key selling points come before sustainable policies to protect bottom line 15
Consumer demands make life harder for new ethical clothing brands 17
Cotton On shows ethical trading is possible but economies of scale are important 17
Commercial reality is tough for brands predicated on ethical trading 18
Relationship between consumers and retailers allows ethical problems to continue 20
Further Reading 21
Ask the analyst 22
About MarketLine 22
List of Tables
List of Tables
Table 1: Number of garment factories and workers in Bangladesh, 2001-2016 9
Table 2: Average footprint from fabric production (per tonne) 12
Table 3: Predicted carbon and water savings from using clothing for longer 14
List of Figures
List of Figures
Figure 1: ASOS Share price before and after reports of fur in products 12/04/2016 – 04/01/2017 7
Figure 2: Fur entering fashion 8
Figure 3: Syrian child refugees photographed in Turkish clothing factory, BBC 10
Figure 4: M&S Plan A branding 15
Figure 5: Cotton On store 17
Figure 6: Clothing from ethical retailer Thought 18