Retailers as Role Models
Are we ever going to move towards a more perfect world? Sometimes in the news you get a small glimpse that, amongst the mess, there are acts of kindness, scientific discoveries and policy changes that are pushing us in the right direction. Other times, it’s news of another flood or forest fire, or another animal extinct.
There is much talk that the generation of Millennials, with greater access to what is happening in the world around them, have higher moral standards and, when they take over the buying-power baton from the baby boomers, the planet might have a greater chance to heal. If we look at the way this attitude manifests itself in the retail world, we see Millennials prefer to do business with with those with positive social messages, sustainable methods of production and ethical values.
As we learn that ‘more than nine in ten millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause.’ and that ‘74 percent of consumers would pay 5 percent more for their clothes if they guaranteed that workers producing them received fair pay and safe conditions’, we take a look at how retailers are responding to these expectations and are setting an example to other industries.
Here are some of our favourites:
Charity Donations – Yireh
Yireh design light and beautiful clothing which is easy to wear and pack for the modern travelling woman. Their aim is to stay out of the category of ‘fast fashion’ by producing small-batch, handmade collections. Not only are the workers paid fair wages, receive one-month paid vacation, have religious holidays off, sick leave, and medical insurance, the company also donates 10% of the profits to International Justice Mission (IJM.org) an organization fighting towards bringing an end to human trafficking.
Find out more at: http://shopyireh.com/
Helping the community – Nadaam
Nadaam makes beautiful cashmere products sourced from the Zalaa Jinst white goat who live out in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert, 400 miles off-road from the nearest city. Every part of the process is controlled by Nadaam, meaning the middlemen are cut out and the nomadic herders receive 50% more than traditional traders. The goats also get better treatment, being hand combed to avoid the stress of shearing. The Naadam’s Gobi Revival Fund also supports 1,000 nomadic herding families and has provided veterinary care to over 250,000 goats.
Find out more at: https://naadam.co/
Treatment of Staff – Llulelemon
Llulelemon, whilst based in Canada, consider themselves a global community which sparks meaningful conversations and places yoga is at the core of everything they do. Receiving favourable scores on Glass Door one employee commented: ‘They pay for your fitness classes. The amount varies full-time to part-time. The culture is amazing. I see how from the outside it could look cult like – but everyone within the company genuinely cares about your personal well-being and the goals you want to achieve in life. Also, day to day work on the retail floor is fun!’
Find out more at: https://shop.lululemon.com/
Environmentally Friendly – Patagonia
With their mission statement as “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”, Patagonia realises that it’s customers love the outdoors and have aligned their company values to fit. As well as supporting many activist causes and documentaries, they use recycled polyester in many of their clothes and only organic, rather than pesticide-intensive, cotton. In 2017 the company pledged to donate 100 percent of Black Friday sales to grassroots nonprofits. Their customers love their commitment to the cause and profits continue to grow.