Business Ethics Case Study

Question 2: Fusing Ethics Into Fashion

The Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF), based in London, strikes me as something of an extraordinary resource which could only be the product of modern times.   That is to say, as global awareness of sustainability is a relatively recent ideology, and as the fashion industry has a lengthy history, the EFF seems like an evolutionary hybrid, born out of mutual need.   What renders it so unique to me is, in fact, this coming together of seemingly contrasting ambitions.   Fashion, virtually an industry compelled to perpetually create the reasons for its own existence, has never been widely regarded as being a particularly responsible industry, in terms of ecological, or even ethical, concerns.   It seems, then, that only today's widespread awareness of the real, sustainability issues facing the world could generate so unlikely an organization.

A variety of offerings clearly point to the EFF as a non-profit organization with significant standing.   Its database is exhaustive, as its wide array of training programs in sustainability is by no means limited to encouraging the use of sustainable fabrics;  marketing and team-building, in fact, are the keynotes struck here, and the emphasis is on sustaining ethics as a cornerstone of a successful fashion business.   To that end, the EFF makes available an immense number of resources, for both established fashion concern or individual, as well as for the novice.   What makes these resources especially valuable is that they reflect serious research and effort made by the EFF.   For example, the results of a 2010 survey conducted by it encompass findings from dozens of UK fashion stockists who are devoted to promoting sustainability.    There is an agenda here – few non-profits are without one – but it is one backed by careful data, and the effect is to present a powerfully convincing argument for sustainable fashion as being a highly profitable endeavor.  

Along the same lines, comprehensive surveys from trade shows and media publications, all focused on the impact of sustainability, are offered to the EFF patron.   This entire resource section serves to emphasize the scope of the EFF, and to validate the intelligence behind it.   Clearly, this is not a grassroots organization, struggling to compel the fashion industry to honor sustainability as an ethical imperative; rather, it is an extremely professional and exhaustive effort to promote a trend well underway, and to educate those in the trade as to the many opportunities sustainability creates.   In a confident and informed presentation, the EFF resources link establishes the distinct probability that only the sustainability-aware fashion business can thrive, or even survive, in today's world.

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