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Destroying the False Idol of Ethical Fashion

Changes in Ethical Fashion & Influencing Remember capsule wardrobes? You may recall that I was initially very skeptical of the capsule wardrobe movement, mostly because the people I saw touting it were using it as a way of feigning a reduction in their consumption - after all, a capsule wardrobe is "minimalist" - while, in…

The Trouble With Charity: Why Giving Back Isn’t Enough

Are Give-Back Brands Really Ethical? A few nights ago, my husband and I were watching an episode of Dragon's Den, the Canadian version of Shark Tank, and a "social good" company was pitching their Haitian recycling program. It was a bad business concept poorly executed, but it didn't justify one of the Dragons' responses, paraphrased…

Is Your Artisan Made Item *Really* Ethical? 5 Things to Look For

This piece was written by me with compensation and support from MATTER Prints What Does Artisan Made Mean? Artisan made was the buzzword that triggered my exploration of ethical consumerism. In 2011, while undertaking a routine shelf-tidying during my shift at Hobby Lobby, a privately held "Christian" craft and home decor chain, I came across…

Why Charity Navigator Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All, Especially for Social Enterprises

Part of the Complexity Series Why Charity Navigator Doesn't Work for Small Nonprofits Charity Navigator advertises itself as the authoritative source on responsible nonprofits. By combing financial data and assigning a score for things like fundraising, administrative, and marketing costs, along with transparency standards, it ranks nonprofits in order of best to worst. This sounds…

Is Social Good Marketing Just Another Form of Greenwashing?

Is Social Good Marketing Hiding Ethical Issues? Recently I've been dealing with a really unpleasant situation regarding a company that reached out to me for collaboration. Their marketing looked good: they produce eco-friendly accessories in the USA through a program that empowers marginalized women. What's not to like about that? After all, the US has…