Industry the average consumer knows relatively very

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industry, the average consumer knows relatively very little about the origins of the garments they purchase and how they have been made. This lack of knowledge of the journey that garments take from fi bre to customer is often re fl ected with a consumer lack of engagement with social responsibility in their supply chain. A lack of basic knowledge at this point does not allow a consumer to engage with ethical or sustainable issues as they fi rst and foremost do not possess the foundation knowledge and context for which these issues are pertinent. The garment supply chain is a long and complex process, however, the generic consumer knows very little of even the most basic of processes undertaken in the production of fashion goods. This lack of knowledge is said to be due to a number of reasons will be discussed in more depth later in the chapter. How and where consumers obtain information regarding the supply chain has been highlighted as problematic. Despite an increase in media coverage in recent years, if a consumer does not actively seek to obtain information to better inform them of the story behind a garment, there is very little provision of this information. Media coverage tends to occur when an event or breach of regulations has taken place. This reactive approach whilst in the very nature of the press, does not aid in the average consumer gaining knowledge to better inform their purchasing deci- sions they are making. The fact that information is not readily available to con- sumers means that unless consumers are very interested in obtaining this information for themselves, they will probably not go actively looking. Without this 62 A.M. James and B. Montgomery
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initial basic knowledge of the supply chain, consumers will not be able to fully appreciate the social responsibility required during the manufacture of garments. The chapter will begin by outlining not only the importance of consumer knowledge of social responsibility in fashion but also the issues currently pre- venting this. Factors such as product segregation and a lack of available information are just a couple of examples that will be discussed in more detail. The supply chain will be discussed in Sect. 2.1 , with the complexities of this process detailed and the bene fi ts of further transparency in the pursuit of moving the industry to a more socially responsible future. Section 3.1 will begin to explore the consumer retailer relationship in more detail and how companies can engage themselves in social responsibility through the integration of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy into their business practices. Furthermore the communication of this strategy can also engage the consumer in these responsible practices, informing and increasing knowledge of issues surround ethics and sustainability. A CSR com- munication study will be presented where the authors took a case study approach working with fi ve high street retailers. This study investigated the existing com-
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  • Fall '19
  • Business Ethics, Corporate social responsibility, Alana M. James, Bruce Montgomery

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