There are many advantages for businesses who practice corporate social responsibility. Consumers are increasingly avoiding unethical clothing companies, as the exploitation of people and the planet continue to be exposed through social media indicating that being a socially responsible can drive more business.
Many high-end consumers are now following a new ethical fashion trend. Corporate leaders are motivated to balance social and environmental concerns, with the need to make a profit. Clothing companies are being held accountable, by the public, for how their suppliers and manufacturers conduct business practices. They can no longer claim ignorance, and now is the time for fashion companies to collaborate, and actively educate their shared suppliers about the benefits of corporate social responsibility.
The benefits of practising corporate social responsibility are immeasurable due to the ripple effect of our actions in the world around us, however here are some obvious examples:
- 1) Companies who invest strongly in employees, and contribute to their personal development, will be rewarded with strong loyalty, positive morale, and higher productivity. If a company cares, good employees will care back. It is a win-win. Most employees look to find meaning in their work, and supporting a company that is working to improve communities is incredibly inspiring.
- Practising social responsibility will reduce risk and liability for businesses, due to more responsible and ethical business practices.
- Profit models that do not exhaust people and natural resources can provide long-term business sustainability.
- Environmental consciousness can cut costs (eg. reduction in electricity and water use, packaging, waste, etc.)
Is There Sustainability In Forever-High Profits?
Strong profits are important, however the future sustainability of companies will depend on their ability to integrate the interests of consumers, employees, communities, investors, and the environment. It is dangerous to ignore our interconnectedness, and the global cost of greed and materialism. How we live our lives affects all other lives in our ecosystem. Millions of workers are suffering the slow torture of poverty in clothing factories everyday. Fashion is the second dirtiest industry in the world, next to oil companies. Just one synthetic garment can shed up to 1,900 plastic microfibres into the water supply. If the oceans die, we die. Scientists have said that the current rate of global species extinctions is estimated as 100 to 1000 times the average rates. The time for change is now.
We are all accountable by the choices we make as business leaders and consumers. Ethics in business will only strengthen our global economy and the environment. Governments and regulatory bodies, businesses, communities, and consumers must work collaboratively to implement corporate social responsibility.
A new type of conscious capitalism with long-term sustainability is emerging, as predatory capitalism continues to cause mass suffering, pollution and extinction. The way of the future will be to create profitable businesses that are not only practising corporate social responsibility to make a positive impact, but actively working to reverse the damage already done.