No more Fashion Pollution for Zara

Zara commits to go toxic free by 2020 thanks to Greenpeace’s campaign.

Zara, the world’s largest clothing retailer was put under pressure by Greenpeace’s global Detox campaign, exposing the links between textile manufacturing facilities using toxic chemicals and water pollution. Greenpeace demanded Zara to eliminate releases of hazardous chemicals into the environment and its products. Everything started with a fashion show and conference in Beijing. Related images and comments began to appear on social networks within hours of the story breaking. By clicking on this page you can see who is commenting about the campaign on Twitter and Weibo in real time. This page brings together 7.1followers from around the world and it gives you an idea of how much did the campaign spread across the globe.

On Twitter : 43,800 mentions of Zara and the Detox campaign.

More than 300,000 people signed up to join the campaign to Detox Zara

Tens of thousands of people emailed and tweeted directly to the company for an ambitious Detox commitment.

More than 700 Greenpeace volunteers in 20 countries were out at Zara stores on Saturday. Check the following video to see what they did

 

One week after the start of the campaign, Zara and other seven brands from the Inditex group: Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe, commited to Detox.

Zara says that by the end of 2020 at least 100 of its suppliers in the Global South will publicly report data about their releases of hazardous chemicals into the environment. The open data will be chemical-by-chemical, facility-by-facility and at least year-by-year. Zara now joins Nike, Adidas, Puma, H&M, M&S and Li-Ning who have also committed to Detox, but other top clothing companies, such as: Calvin Klein, Levi’s, Mango and Tommy Hilfiger, still need to respond to the urgency of the situation and Detox.

I wonder… how seriously is Zara’s reputation affected?

In March, when their annual report was released, Zara has reported annual profits of £1.6bn, up 11.% on the previous year. 

Until now, it was a world-wide recognized brand and was standing for fast and affordable fashion. It was a growing profitable company.

What does it stand for now? Toxic clothes? Or a brand that committed to be environmental friendly?

What do you think about Zara now?

Oana.

Killing me softly – Should we accept capital punishment?

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What do you think about capital punishment? Is it ethical or not? More than 50 countries in the world including US (with more than half of its states) are still using capital punishment, which is actually a death sentence independently of the method of execution.

mainpromoIn my view I don’t see it as a major problem. Not currently anyway. It is based on the same regulations, you do something stupid, and one of your rights will be taken away from you. Usually we’re speaking about freedom but now it’s life. The basic rule seems to be that you have a right to be free as well as you have a right for life but when you affect the society in any way you have to pay.

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The reason why I have no problem with capital punishment is because supporting a prisoner for life in prison costs the society a lot more than you think. In 2010, Erwin James, journalist at the Guardian, presented statistics which affirmed that back then, ONE prisoner had an ANNUAL average cost of £45 000. I would rather have those money go to poor children and families. I know I seem judgemental but I only see capital punishments appropriate for SERIAL KILLERS in their full mental state (usually they are not) but I define full mental state as being conscious and aware of his or her actions and the consequences those actions might have. Because at the end of the day we all have problems or we are disturbed in a way but we are mostly aware and apt to be held responsible for our actions. I also think before sentencing to death somebody, evidence must 100% clear and no doubt of innocence, because we are speaking about justice and human lives. 

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time_management_softwareI consider it being a good for society. Do you think it is OK to torture people in order to get information from them that might harm the society? I would say YES, it is not the most ethical thing to do but it is for the greater good. Same rule applies to death sentenced prisoners. The most ethical thing to do would be to let them live and compensate their damage to society through daily hard work (whilst being treated ethically obviously) but then again, we have far more important things the society and governments have to worry about when it comes to the ethical side of everything. When we’ll afford it, and all poor children are well taken care of, and all poor families have a roof above their heads, and the health system is running at its 100% ethical capacity we can worry about serial killers as well.

What do you think? 

by Diana

CSR= PR tool?

It’s no news that CSR and PR are closely interrelated. In a company, every action must be supervised by PR in order to make sure that no conflicts or misunderstandings arise. On the other hand, CSR is all about environmental issues, respecting human rights at the workplace and ethical approaches.

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The main question that arises is: do companies use CSR as a PR tool? Critics would argue that CSR programmes are undertaken to distract the public from the core issues and that corporations use CSR as a tool for their commercial benefit, by building relationships.

From my perspective, the majority of companies do boost their credibility and image due to their CSR activity, but the core issue is whether they use it just to promote their brand and be seen as a trustworthy, responsible and environmental-friendly company, or they actually undertake CSR activities with a real feeling of contributing to the community.csr-corporate-social-responsibility-370x229

In 2010, Marks & Spencer was named the UK’s greenest supermarket by Ethical Consumer magazine, based on companies’ policies on ethical and environmental issues such as animal welfare, workers’ rights and sustainable sourcing. In this case, did M & S have any PR benefits? Of course, the news was all over the media and this “award” brought them a lot of extra credibility.

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Did their profits register a tremendous increase? As Diana was saying, people that care more about price that quality and can’t afford to shop from M & S won’t change their behaviour just because of this national recognition; but on the other hand, being named the UK’s greenest supermarket certainly brought M & S an advantage in comparison to its closest competitors: Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, etc.

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So, in my view, any CSR activity carries PR benefits, but I think it’s highly unethical of a company to undertake CSR approaches and activities, just for media coverage and building reputation. Any CSR campaign should be based on a real concern and care for ethical behaviour, environmental impact and respecting human rights.

Ruxandra

The deeper purpose of Lush’s animal testing campaign

Both live and deceased animals are used for commercial or scientific research or educational purposes in a wide range of industries. The idea if animal testing started around 1859, when Charles Darwin affirmed that animals could serve as models for humans in the study of biology and physiology. Since 1863, organised protests against vivisection started to be organized, at first in Florence, Italy. The Cruelty to Animals Act, allowing the use of anaesthetics during vivisection, was passed in England in 1876.

Animal testing peaked in the early 1980s, and has been in decline since, due to both increased public pressure to reduce the numbers of animals tested and the development of available alternatives. The testing of cosmetic products on animals was banned in Britain in 1998 and throughout Europe in 2004. England has the strictest animal welfare provisions regarding the use of animals for scientific purposes anywhere in the EU and is promoting  the use of alternatives.

24th April, 2012 – A demonstration about the atrocity of animal testing took place in London.  A deliberately shocking performance was presented in the shop window of Lush cosmetic store’s branch in Regent Street, to re-enact widely used tests. The campaign aimed at drawing attention to the pain and cruelty inflicted on animals during laboratory tests on cosmetics. Wearing just a flesh-coloured body stocking, Jaqueline was treated like an animal in a testing laboratory.

Image I am not going to explain the details of the demonstration or show other images than the one above, as are quire disturbing. Furthermore I do not want to talk about the campaign itself…but of its need and purpose.

Why do you thing Lush decided to run suck a shocking campaign in the UK where animal testing was banned 14 year ago ? Do you think this could be just a PR tool? Or is just an ethical position that the company stands for?

Oana.

Ethical Sourcing – Quality or Price?

When we speak about ethical sourcing we speak about products that are sourced and created in safe facilities by workers who are treated well and paid fair wages to work legal hours. Ethical sourcing also implies that the supplier is respecting the environments during the production or the manufacture of those products.

Now my question is: how many of you actually CARE where the products come from, who worked for them, how many gallons of water were there used or how was it tested? In such a difficult global economical situation, the question comes down to: do we afford to care?

Can you AFFORD to pay up to double in food to provide your family ethically sourced products? Do you have the TIME to spend to read each and every single label in order to comprehend which product is ethically sourced and which is not? In my case anyway the answer to these questions is generally NO. And considering the present market and the present economical situation I find that ethical sourced products are fit for those who can afford them, who are extremely interested in the issue, highly opinionated and dedicated to ethical consumerism. Even though ethically sourced products are not MUCH more expensive than any other, it probably makes a difference for a mother or for student at the end of the month.          

There are some other elements blocking accessibility to ethical consumerism. Some involve lack of awareness, for example, of which product is ethically sourced and which is not and one of them is labeling. In my view if a particular product was promoted and advertised on the shelf or FRONT label as ethically sourced, and the price difference was not tremendous, me as a student, I would go for it. But yet again, I would not want unethically sourced products to get the same treatment. For example when going to a cheap clothing shop, I would not want to know that my T-shirt was made in Uzbekistan by a 6 year old or that working on my phone, a person was not paid properly.

The conclusion is, sometimes people can’t afford to have QUALITY and they only look at the PRICE! Stay tuned, Ruxi and Oana will blog about CSR and animal testing!

Tell us what you think!

This little video explains the process of ethical sourcing including major stakeholders, of a major company. It is quite interesting and easy to understand.

by Diana

How much can your virtual life affect your real life?

In the previous post, my colleague Diana was saying that social media is something that got completely out of control and is now impossible to monitor. I totally agree with her statement.

The list of most famous social network sites counts 203 different ones, such as: delicious (22,000,000  registered users), Facebook (more than 1 bn registered users), Flickr (32,000,000 registered users), Foursquare (20,000,000 registered users), LinkedIn (160,000,000 registered users), Twitter (more than 500,000,000 registered users) etc. Furthermore, according to Dr. Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbyllying Research Center, 20% of this online population are offenders.

Is it ethical to ignore the cyber bulling when affects reputation, career and personal life?

Charlotte Dawson, Australian Top Model and host of the TV Show Australia’s Next Top Model ended in hospital after Twitter attack. The war started after the model tracked down one alleged Twitter hater: Tanya Heti, which was suspended from her mentoring job at Melbourne’s Monash University.

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(* Charlotte Dawson describes Twitter abuse. on TV)

Charlotte than appeared on the Nine Network’s A Current Affair and Ten Network’s The Project to speak out about Twitter bullying and how she dealt with it.  After the night of her TV appearence she was targeted by hundreds Twitter users receiving messages such as:

“neck yourself you filthy s***”

“please put your face in a toaster”

“please hand yourself promptly”

“It’s a very good thing that you cannot breed”

“how the f*** did you become a model”

Users are not taking this seriously. “Kids get the idea that the online environment is almost like Las Vegas — what happens online is going to stay online,” said Deborah Temkin, Research and Policy Coordinator for Bullying Prevention Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Education. Users feel free to express their own opinion online because they know that they are not going to be held responsible for their online behaviour.

How can you ignore when somebody sais those things to you? Keep in mind that we are not talking about one or two tweets…but hundreds.

Would you be able to ignore hundreds of people attacking you without a reaction?

Oana.