This report describes various meaning of consumerism and describes various approaches adopted by Cooperative group of companies in carrying out its social activities. The report concludes by providing the gap that exist the current study of consumerism.
Ethical consumerism (also known as ethical purchasing, ethical consumption, ethical sourcing or ethical shopping) is a type of consumer activism that is based on dollar voting. This concept is practiced through positive buying where ethical products are given first priority. Ethical consumerism was first popularized by a UK magazine published in 1989 so as to produce rating tables which was inspired by criteria-based approach of the ethical investments movement.
Ethical consumerism also means that several customers are willing to buy ethically sourced goods that are ethically made and distributed. On the other hand, an ethical consumer is someone who buys things that are ethically produced. Depending on the context used, ethical production means producing a product that is recycled, use of labor that is produced in facilities without using child labor and slavery, or producing food that is free range or organic raised. Therefore the whole idea of ethical consumerism movement is that you know what you are purchasing and that you buy products that are ethically produced since not knowing results to abuse and exploitation.
Consumerism is used by other stakeholders as a tool for social change, basing on the theory that organizations make decisions basing on consumer demand. This idea is evidently limited by the massive power of large organizations which influence, if not create, consumer demand through branding and advertisement. Nevertheless, consumer power may be utilized to ensuring that companies are made accountable to the society; where common citizens in their consumer role can make companies to be accountable. Some authors (Ayglon 2009) regard consumerism as a tool for social change while others (Lang & Tahc