Ethical Issues in the Fashion Industry

Topics: Corporate social responsibility, Vertical integration, Strategic management Pages: 12 (3503 words) Published: February 10, 2012
Ethical Issues in the Fashion Industry
This essay reflects on the lecture titled Creative Economy by Martin Bouette. I found this lecture relevant to my final project. My topic is the changing trends in the apparel industry. How Corporate Social Responsibility affects the supply chain, going local from global, vertical from horizontal. The lecture is relevant in many aspects, for example the knowledge society's changes and ethical issues and responsibility within the apparel industry.
The first part of the essay briefly speaks about the lecture Creative Economy and also introduces my final project. The second part explains in more detail the difference between horizontal and vertical integration. It also overviews the different kind of ethical problems in the industry in the last 10-15 years and specifies the problems through examples - fashion retailers as well as how these problems affect the consumers. After as an answer from the companies for these ethical problems the essay introduces Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and gives an example of a well developed CSR policy within the apparel industry. The essay finishes with a summery and speculating about different solutions.

The Creative Economy
The Lecture Creative Economy by Martin Bouette analyses the relationship between the market and creativity. It has four parts: A short historical overview, a section highlighting its turning points, followed by introducing political factors, and finishes with contemporary issues like: technology, ethics, the environment and the aging population.

The first two parts are about the historical background of the creative economy and how these historical trades reflect today's practice. It gives examples like the Asian Silk Road and Sutton Hoo Treasure (7th Century AD, England). It argues that Asia had well skilled creative people working in manufacturing who produced quality goods. It also states that competitive development was as rife in the 7th century as it is now.

It shows the turning points like the Great Exhibition (1851), the craft revival by Morris (1865) and the Bauhaus ( 1919-1933). After the beginning of the industrial revolution, the Great Exhibition showed the advantages and disadvantages of mass manufacturing. The United Kingdom's arts and crafts revival lead by Morris versus mass production in the 19th Century was idealistic and elitist but protested for the skills and knowledge in design and manufacturing. And finally the Bauhaus as the last major turning point in the history of the creative industry worked for mass production but quality objects (though they hand made all of there pieces) which are well designed, stylish and functional.

The third part is about political factors. In this part of Martin's lecture we got a definition of the so called Creative Industry: ‘The creative industries are those industries that are based on individual creativity, skill and talent. They are also those that have the potential to create wealth and jobs through developing intellectual property’ - DCMS 2010.

The thirteen main fields of the creative industry are: advertising, architecture, art and antiques, computer games, crafts, design, designer fashion, film and video, music, performing arts, publishing, software, TV and radio.

It also argues that creativity is about flaw and constant changing and that the UK is the last century's knowledge society which gives opportunity for creative development, but it is about to change right now, so provides some examples from other (Asian) countries like: Taiwan and South - Korea.

These countries are developing rapidly. They spend a lot of money to support their own creative industry (Taiwan has a Creative Industry Development Policy made in 2010).

The last, fourth part discusses contemporary issues. The four major points of this part are: Technology, Environment, Aging population, and Ethics.

Technology: It is about the revolutionary...
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