Uencing their socially responsible purchasing

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uencing their socially responsible purchasing behaviour. The supply chain remains a complex process, however, with an increased lack of transparency, how consumers can obtain additional information about this remains a problem. Whilst consumers continue to be uninformed their power becomes meaningless, as they are unable to make informed purchasing decisions. Knowledge allows the consumer to choose where to shop, and where to avoid, in relation to their values. It is becoming more common to see retailers now engaging with corporate social responsibility as part of their everyday business practices. The level of engagement, however, remains varied with some companies being much more proactive in developing a strategy to help them move to more responsible practices. It is the communication of this strategy that allows retailers to engage consumers in these practices, informing them of such issues in the process. The adoption of this attitude promotes the linking of their consumers with the supply chain, taking a more transparent approach to business. The connection of the consumer with the supply chain not only increases their knowledge of ethical and sustainable issues in fashion but also aids in the creation of empathy and under- standing with the social side of manufacturing. Currently, consumers are discon- nected with behind the scenes of the fashion industry and cannot relate to the individual who produced the clothing they choose to buy. Through retailers creating A.M. James ( & ) School of Textiles and Design, Heriot-Watt University, Galashiels, UK e-mail: [email protected] B. Montgomery Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017 S.S. Muthu (ed.), Textiles and Clothing Sustainability , Textile Science and Clothing Technology, DOI 10.1007/978-981-10-2131-2_3 61
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this connection with the consumers and the supply chain they stop acting as the middleman barrier and begin to adopt a more holistic approach to their responsible business practices. This consequently will help in the consumer making more informed and responsible purchasing decisions, transferring some of the power to in fl uence the direction of the industry s future back with those who buy into it. Keywords Corporate social responsibility (CSR) Á CSR communication Á Ethical fashion purchasing 1 Background and Context 1.1 Introduction Fashion is vast industry accounting for almost one-third of the world s employ- ment, from the farmers growing the raw fi bre right through to the retail sales assistants. In the UK alone, the industry is said to be worth over £ 21 billion with approximately six billion items owned, equating to an average of 100 items per person (Compare My Spend 2012 ). Sustaining this huge industry of employment is the fashion consumer, with the average customer spending £ 1232 on clothing alone each year (Kirk 2015 ). Despite this huge consumer buy into this obviously popular
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  • Fall '19
  • Business Ethics, Corporate social responsibility, Alana M. James, Bruce Montgomery

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