Justifying your jeans

I am not an expert in the area of consumer behaviour, but occasionally I stumble across a paper with currency.  

A recent paper Harvard Business School addressed quite directly a question I asked back in October: how do consumers reconcile information about the likely poor working conditions under which their jeans are produced?

jeansThe paper, snappily titled “Sweatshop Labor is Wrong Unless the Jeans are Cute: Motivated Moral Disengagement“, by Neeru Paharia and Rohit Deshpandé, argues quite convincingly that consumers shift their moral compasses considerably in the face of desire. 

Put simply, we are willing to shift our views on the merits (or acceptability) of sweatshops if we desire an item sufficiently. This shift may include citing economic (or other) justifications for such work.

The implications of such work vary depending on the audience I guess.  Campaigners against such working conditions need to make their arguments more sticky, while marketers of such products can perhaps maintain their strategies of pretending the issues isn’t there (or even offering more justifications for such labour usage).

It ain’t pretty, but it is the real world!!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Justifying your jeans”

  1. Unrelenting Tedium Says:

    Lik any good commenter I haven’t bothered to read the source article before giving my 2c. So here goes.

    It is a fine point, well made but my response when thinking about my own purchases is that there isn’t really an alternative. Short of purchasing a bespoke suit, and looking natty, every other garment is made in a sweatshop. I have no alternative if I am buying in my current market, i.e. male 30 till death. (Obviously we have to overlook the Hemp clothing craze which was a super fabric that was held back by an international trans-inter-intra-governmental-military-industrial-commercial plot that was terrified of the fabrics sheer awesomeness and ability to free everyone of whatever their local problems may be)

    Please correct me if I am wrong.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: