Sex Continues to Sell More Than Ethics

I’m not surprised. This is classic capitalism in the works. Here’s a case in point.

(via Fast Company: American Apparel’s New Image)

"A whopping majority of American shoppers may consider themselves environmentalists, but, according to the Journal of Industrial Ecology, only 10% to 12% "actually go out of their way to purchase environmentally sound products." Similarly, Brandweek
reported on a survey that found that even among consumers who called
themselves "environmentally conscious," more than half could not name a
single green brand.

"Why the disconnect? Well, ask most people whether they care about
the environment, and it’s not particularly surprising that many would
say yes. Ask whether they would back that up by "buying green" if they
had the chance, and again, it’s likely that very few would admit to
being hypocrites by saying no. What we do in the marketplace is another
matter."

"Eventually, I ended up in Charney’s office, just in time, it would turn
out, to witness an underwear fitting. He had concluded that — whatever
the polls might say — ethical consumers were a niche. And he wasn’t
going to sell as many T-shirts as he wanted by targeting a niche; he
wanted a generation. "We make sexy T-shirts for young people," he
summarized.
"
[read more]

The article is an excerpt from Rob Walker’s Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are.