Thursday 10 June 2010

M&S ethical advertising is a boost for all ethical clothing

An update on the excellent Ethical Fashion Twitter feed alerted us to a big development at M&S to push ethical fashions to the forefront with a new £200m ad campaign.

You can read more at a Guardian story where you can also see some ad copy which pushes Plan A as "Doing the Right Thing" making the point "For some retailers, green went out of fashion as soon as it came in".

Our initial thought is that this 'pop' at its competitors might signal that for many retailers ethical clothing was 'in' in the good times, and now we are embarking on a age of austerity it's quietly being forgotten about. And that is indeed the point which M&S are making. Steve Sharp, executive director of marketing at M&S is quoted as saying "Without being specific there are plenty of companies that have jumped on the bandwagon but have not really committed or are [not] delivering".

The Guardian states M&S as having so far achieved achieved 39 of the 100 commitments outlined in Plan A, a five year plan launched in 2007 to transform M&S's ethical credentials. M&S itself in its 2010 annual report says it's met 62 of the original 100 ethical and green commitments and added another 80! The 'Grauniad' seems to be counting backwards - make sense of the figures and the efficacy of the commitments for yourself here.

We think it's great that ethical issues in clothing are going to be out there in a big way in adverts everyone will see over the coming weeks. Whether for your own back or for a promotional campaign (that's where we come in!) making ethical clothing as part of the choice is going to be there for everyone to think about.

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