CONSUMER ETHICS was created to help us understand how our purchasing power can help or harm the world around us.

Members: 63
Latest Activity: Dec 18



Anyone who pays attention at all should not be surprised to learn that how we spend our money can profoundly influence social and economic justice, environmental preservation or degradation, animal welfare, and democratic freedoms—especially in third-world countries.

Of course, it is difficult to always be 100% ethical in everything we do. No one lives a blameless life, and in our capitalist culture it is very difficult to monitor and be aware of every injustice that occurs for the sake of profit. Clearly, most economic or consumer injustices take place out of sight – and therefore out of mind for most of us.

Add to that the sheer burden of just getting through the day: working, commuting, doing chores, meeting our obligations and responsibilities, etc., that it seems damn near impossible to be mindful of how, what, and even whom we consume day after day. But doesn’t mean that we can’t try to make better consumer choices as much as possible.

The Consumer Ethics group will allow us to share information that will help us understand and address the above issues and become conscientious consumers by:

  • Identifying unscrupulous corporations that exploit people or animals; or maintain and increase social poverty, inequality, and deprivation
  • Allowing us to share information on fair trade products or services
  • Exposing workplace injustices, sweatshops, and child labor violations
  • Identifying companies that value their employees and customers, that promote living wages and equality and fairness in the workplace, provide safe and healthy working environments, and maintain sustainable business and environmental practices
  • Finding products that are safe to use or healthy to consume
  • Recognizing consumer addiction and consumer propaganda
  • Understanding and voting against economic legislation that is unfair or predatory

We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered. A nation can flounder as readily in the face of moral and spiritual bankruptcy as it can through financial bankruptcy. -- Dr. Martin Luther King, April, 1967

Discussion Forum

Bangladesh's deadly building collapse: Are cheap clothes to blame?

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by A Former Member May 5, 2013. 2 Replies

What Isn’t for Sale?

Started by A Former Member Apr 29, 2013. 0 Replies

The Corporation with Ethos-a time for change films to see

Started by michele ricketts. Last reply by michele ricketts Apr 29, 2013. 2 Replies

The Center for a New American Dream

Started by A Former Member Apr 29, 2013. 0 Replies

The Consumer Ethics Book List

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by A Former Member Apr 29, 2013. 1 Reply

The true cost of Mother's Day flowers

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Steph S. Apr 25, 2013. 1 Reply

Ethical Consumer Buyer Guides

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Joan Denoo May 30, 2012. 1 Reply

Politics of the Plate: The Price of Tomatoes

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Joan Denoo May 30, 2012. 1 Reply

Ford, Starbucks Among ‘Most Ethical Companies’

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Steph S. May 4, 2012. 1 Reply

A One-for-One Revolution

Started by A Former Member Nov 16, 2011. 0 Replies

We-First Capitalism

Started by A Former Member Sep 24, 2011. 0 Replies

What’s yours is mine

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Richard C Brown Jul 25, 2011. 1 Reply

The Cigarette Century and Beyond

Started by A Former Member Dec 30, 2010. 0 Replies

The Idea of a Local Economy

Started by A Former Member Dec 29, 2010. 0 Replies

Amazon Kindle: Now you read it, now you don't

Started by Фелч Гроган. Last reply by Daniel W Aug 31, 2010. 2 Replies

The Ethical Consumer

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Comment Wall


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Comment by A Former Member on March 28, 2009 at 7:03pm
@Sydni: Yes that is a neat story, and yes, charities are always the first to get hit in economic hard times. I've done some stuff for animal resuce and adoption, but I was never as successful as these guys.

@Felch: I think you are right about the enlightened self-interest bit. Few of us are totally selfless.
Comment by Фелч Гроган on March 28, 2009 at 4:16am
Sydni, to understand the magnitude of disgust the Nike Foundation video really deserves, check out -

It is a Nike who's who. This is raw propaganda to deflect from the real issue - it is the Nikes of the world that trap (mostly) women and girls in sweatshop labour concentration camps from which there is no realistic possibility of escape. Google nike sweatshop [images].

If Nike were sincere, they'd open their sweatshops to free scrutiny, pay a living wage and provide a work environment they would find acceptable for their own children. They aren't sincere - it is cheaper to run their "benevolent" foundation to mollify any guilt the soft, pink western consumers may feel. It is far more cost effective to preach than to practice. Nike are by no means the only culprits. Do you own an iPod or an iPhone ? A Dell PC ? Wear Levis ? By junk from $2 shops ? Coffee, tea, chocolate... There is very little in our lives that is not tainted by misery. It is pretty much impossible to avoid.

I'd also like to note I am a capitalist pig - there isn't really a socialist bone in my body. My humanitarian instincts come from enlightened self-interest, unlike the rest of the greater communist ridden a|n (*ducking*).

"Give me convenience, or give me death !" - Dead Kennedy's
Comment by A Former Member on March 27, 2009 at 1:40pm
BTW Sydni, what Felch meant by a bit of nausea on that video is the fact that Nike is one of the worst perpetrators of sweatshops in third world countries -- failing to invest in the people they encourage us to invest in with that video. Nike corporation is totally hypocritical.
Comment by A Former Member on March 27, 2009 at 10:21am
Yeah, you've linked to this before. It is a good video. We need a good post on the Nike problem.
Comment by Фелч Гроган on March 27, 2009 at 10:15am
How about a bit of nausea to move things along -

Comment by A Former Member on March 27, 2009 at 10:09am
Good quote Felch. Everything has its price -- and it is mostly hidden.
Comment by Фелч Гроган on March 27, 2009 at 10:03am
Down with a world in which the guarantee that we will not die of starvation has been purchased with the guarantee that we will die of boredom - Parisian Situationist graffiti, circa 1968
Comment by A Former Member on March 27, 2009 at 9:15am
Coffee With a Conscience

Lee Hochberg reports on how Seattle coffee company Pura Vida helps its bean growers in Central America improve their lives.

This is a story that was on Newshour with Jim Lehrer last night. There is no transcript available online, but you can listen to it here.
Comment by A Former Member on March 27, 2009 at 8:59am


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