There are three big problems facing the world: the rise in anti-globalisation sentiment; the growth of popular nationalism; and the unstoppable loss of blue-collar jobs. These are creating a polarised society riddled with contradictions. There seems to be no middle ground, only conflicting opinions, studies, and data about all the big issues surrounding us. Our general insecurity has only been exacerbated by the unexpected, from Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump to the emergence of ‘post-truth’ society. We live in fear of what might come next.
It’s hardly surprising that in this divided and divisive world, more and more people think it’s time to speak out and pin their colours to the mast, on issues concerning gender, women’s equality, immigration, privacy and even democracy itself. And brands are following suit as they understand that basic CRS policies are no longer enough: they need to be seen to be socially and politically engaged on a genuinely effective level.
Corporate altruism is becoming more common, as car companies create and promote green initiatives, or beauty brands promote a “natural look”. There have been many notable initiatives: Nike moving its marketing money away from huge-name celebrities into community training initiatives and races; L’Oréal announcing in March it would support the C40 Women4Climate initiative, mentoring 500 women in 10 cities who are working towards possible solutions for climate change. So how’s morality going.
The question is how this ‘new morality’ will show itself in our textile and fashion business?