Students are often portrayed as being the ethical pioneers. To see if this rings true, our videographer took to the streets to ask some students what branded products they were carrying and whether they considered the ethics of a brand before making a purchase.
What did we find out?
There is a lack of knowledge about which brands are ethical. Most of the students said that cost plays a big role in their purchases, but if they knew more about the ethics behind the brand they may think twice before buying.
We clearly need to do further research but should ethical brands be making a bigger play of their principles? Should we look in more detail at the cost-ethics relationship?
“Whatever I see in the shop, if it’s on offer, I buy it. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking, I just buy it. I’ve used Lynx quite a bit before and I’ve had no problem so I go back to it. I don’t pay much attention to a brand unless it is in the news. I don’t look at their ethical policies I just think about what I am going to buy.”
“I don’t think about the ethics behind brands as much as I should. You hear about the Apple factories collapsing and problems in China and Taiwan and the places where they are mining for materials. But other companies do it too. It’s either Apple or you go with Samsung and you’re the anti-Apple person.”
“If you want a PC or a phone, who isn’t exploiting people, most people don’t even know about it, they think its nice people like us living happy lives going into a building and making a laptop. People listen to bad things about Apple but it only takes two to three hours (before) they get on with their lives again. It’s the same story with everything.”
“I just save money. It’s hard to know what is ethical and what is not, so I just go for the cheap clothes, I don’t know how it works. I think nobody is really that aware. Every time I buy clothes they’re from Bangladesh, China, India or Turkey. I don’t know the process around the items I buy I just have to trust who I buy it from. That quite trusting isn’t it?”
“I’ve heard stuff or read things about ethics but I wouldn’t ever look it up. I don’t think Nike has a good reputation ethically. I think there should be a website where you can type in teabags and it would show you which ones are actually better, because they all say they are eco-friendly but you don’t know. I would definitely change my brands if I knew they were doing bad things.”