Explores the role of the retailer in this debate and

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explores the role of the retailer in this debate and the powerful position they are in as the middleman between the purchasing consumers and the manufacturing sup- pliers. In order to in fl uence consumer behaviour towards a more socially respon- sible approach, retailers need to engage their consumers in an innovative way. Their 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_1 1
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unique role is to inspire their consumers, using fashion as the communication vehicle for a drive towards future change. Keywords Ethical fashion Á Consumer purchasing behaviour Á Fashion purchas- ing process 1 Background and Context The fashion industry is one of the largest consumers of natural resources in the world. In order for the industry to operate, it requires large quantities of many of these resources such as water, for example, which is needed in order to grow and produce cotton based clothing. To produce a basic cotton t-shirt, for example, requires 2700 L of water throughout the manufacturing process (WWF 2015 ). Another heavily utilised natural resource in the fashion industry is oil, which is used to produce man-made fi bres such as polyester. The draining of many natural resources and the consequential damage to the environment is in some cases irre- vocable. Factory operation and transportation of goods causes toxic carbon emis- sions to be emitted, polluting the air and contributing to the long list of negative environmental consequences, which are as a result of the production of garments. In addition to the impact on the environment, there are also social issues to be considered. Retail historically has tended to focus on the operational functions of primary importance to retail such as the brick and mortar stores, warehouses and distribution centres and stakeholder engagement. Latterly, however, retail is having to become more conscious of making the garment supply chain transparent and consider for the fi rst time integrating its sustainability agenda throughout the business and on to the consumer. Within the long and complex process of the fashion supply chain, dozens of factory workers, dyers and processors contribute to the production of fashion prod- ucts. All of these human beings require a safe working environment and to be paid a fair living wage, however this is not always the case. In April 2013, the deadliest accidental structure failure in modern human history occurred (BBC 2013 ). Rana Plaza was a commercial building in the Savar region of Dhaka, Bangladesh and housed many clothing factories employing thousands of workers. Despite warnings regarding the safety of the eight-storey extension on the top of the building, 1130 workers were killed when the building collapsed. In the days leading up to the
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  • Fall '19
  • Business Ethics, Corporate social responsibility, Alana M. James, Bruce Montgomery

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