Close
 

Ethical purchasing: Why we feel guilty purchasing from Kmart

  • Opinion
  • November 29, 2018
  • Hemma Vara
Ethical purchasing: Why we feel guilty purchasing from Kmart

In Auckland city, a passionate group came together for a talk on Ethical Fashion by New Zealand industry experts. The event was organised by Outliv, and sponsored by Grid AKL. 

The panel was hosted by Natalie Cutler-Welsh, and featured editor of Good magazine Carolyn Enting, sustainable blogger Ethically Kate, founder of OKI for all Kerith McKenzie-Brown, and Laurie Foon, founder of the Sustainable Business Network. 

The talk started with a robust discussion around the problem with fast fashion. Kerith noted that the main problem for consumers is appreciating why a t-shirt should cost more than $8. Kate says that people sometimes apologise to her when they say they bought a cheap Kmart t-shirt. Kate doesn't want people apologising to her. It's not her that they're harming, but those being exploited throughout the supply chain. 

The Rana Plaza tragedy was something the industry and consumers could not unsee. As Carolyn puts it, everyone has to wear clothes, and a pivotal shift in thinking is attributed to portrayals in the media of poor working conditions and discarded textiles in rubbish dumps. Now that people are feeling guilty when they purchase an $8 Kmart t-shirt, their mindsets are slowly shifting towards consuming more ethically.  

Turning to the impact of fashion on the environment, the apparel industry makes up 10% of the world's global carbon emissions. After oil, it is the second largest industrial polluter. With this in mind, Kerith believes we should give clothes a new life after wearing them. As a business owner, she says it's wise to offer a product rebate to control where her clothes end up, which also allows her to repurpose them for a second life. The circular economy is at play. 

So, what's the deal with shopping with fast fashion retailers? Will they change and adapt? And should we boycott them? 

Laurie says that when we buy from retailers, we consent to their production practices. So, for the likes of H&M, we should support their Conscious Collection. This signifies to them that this is what the customer wants - and they will then be motivated to improve their practices across the board. On this basis, we should also utilise H&M's Garment Collection Program for used and unwanted clothes, although the irony is that H&M's fast fashion practices combined with mass consumption by consumers assisted in creating this excess waste in the first place. 

Laurie proudly says that she recently bought pants from Country Road made of eco-friendly material REFIBRA™ (recycled cotton). We need to actively support these types of decisions, in order to encourage these companies to do more. We should engage with the staff in-store, as well as at a higher level. The likes of H&M and Country Road are the companies that have buying power, and the ultimate ability to improve working conditions and environmental processes. 

Helpfully, Kate reminded us that we also shouldn't flat-out boycott particular types of stores. For example, if everyone bought from an op-shop and never purchased anything new, it would ultimately be unsustainable for the economy. Kerith says that we shouldn't stop purchasing products in from other countries, as this is harming nations from developing. We need to diversify our approach if we want our impact to be broad and effective. 

Ultimately, New Zealand companies have a long way to go when it comes to innovations in sustainability. We need to take more risks, and invest in R&D.

Although the talk could have gone on forever, all good things must come to an end. It ended on a high note, with the message that we must be the change. Feeling inspired, we left armed with knowledge to push for better industry standards. 

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Sharesies investment platform joins the NZX

  • News
  • June 25, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Sharesies investment platform joins the NZX

Investment growth platform Sharesies has had a busy year in 2019, becoming B Corp certified earlier in April, and now has become an NZX participant starting this July.

Read more
 
 
News

Capitalise on today and invest in tomorrow at the Retail NZ Summit and SME Forum

New Zealand’s leading retail trade organization, Retail NZ, works year-round to assist its members with retail advice, benefits, industry intel and education. This July it’s ...

 
 
News

Ambiente: A window on the world

Global forces like Brexit and climate change are affecting trade worldwide. Sarah Dunn consults the Ambiente trade fair in Germany for evidence of how this ...

 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

  • News
  • June 24, 2019
  • Emily Bell
Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

If you hadn’t already heard, global beauty giant Sephora is coming to Auckland this July. Founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970 and owned by luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitto, Sephora has since become a leading beauty pioneer, community and trailblazer in the industry, to say the least.

Read more
 
 

Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

  • News
  • June 21, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

Heritage Canterbury department store Ballantynes is introducing the US brands Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm to the Kiwi market through a New Zealand exclusive partnership with Williams-Sonoma.

Read more
 

Global recognition for instore innovation

  • Design
  • June 20, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Global recognition for instore innovation

The Global Innovation Awards (GIA) program was created by the IHA and International Home + Housewares Show to foster innovation and excellence in home and housewares retailing throughout the world. This year saw 30 national winners from 29 countries. The competition is structured on a two-tier level, evaluating national and global retailers across the following metrics: Overall mission statement, vision and strategy, store design and layout, visual merchandising, displays and window displays, marketing, advertising and promotions, customer service and staff training, innovation.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}