Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Concious clothing

Have a look at Howie's. They project themselves (probably fairly) as a clothing company with a concience. There are some good anti-American t-shirt designs in there if that's what rings your bell. (But don't tell Norm).

They have a 'rocking chair' test that they apply to their work. When they are older and looking back on their lives (in their rocking chair), how will they judge what they are doing now.

So why is it so tempting to be churlish about 'ethical' trading? For one thing, working for a charity or a company that has a social mission is one of the hedges that some of us have come up with against alienation. I often wonder if this is as much about helping ourselves as it is about helping other people? (note to editor: I work for a 'social enterprise' as well).

It's fairly hard to swallow terms like 'Ethical' and 'public service ethos' when people apply them to themselves though. I think that you have to demonstrate it with reference to the ongoing debate about which structures (market v state, co-op v charity etc) are the most appropriate servants of the public interest.

Update: There is, it seems, a blog devoted to business ethics. It links to a site called 'Hippy Shopper' where you can find out about wind-up TV remote controls.

1 comment:

Andrew Brown said...

The thing about Howies is that their clothes are very well made. The rest of it is a bonus.