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MARKETING: ETHICAL BOUNDARIES & BUSINESS BEHAVIOUR

There are times I wonder if this is the industry for me; because I think about our planet and wonder if marketing is at the core of the fundamental problem we face with waste, global warming and over-consumption. Yes, I have shopped in fast fashion stores in person and online but what is the reality of Marketing VS the real machines that are at play here. I am writing about this because I want others to be consciously aware that marketing can be positive and negative - but the business portal of the reality is sometimes far from the truth.

GO WATCH: Inside The Shein Machine - Free on ABC iView - Four Corners The 44 minute documentary episode looks into the operations of Shein operations. The incredible marketing machine that is Shein:

  • The Machine Generated bots that search the web for 'clothing' items that are selling to enable fast trends to be reproduced

  • Machine Bots categorising the clothing trends to initiate advertising - short turn around from design to production and sale

  • Technology analysing shopper behaviour, creating on the sport endorphins with discounts to push for sales.

  • Prolific in their ability to understand individual 'likes' to re-market back to consumers for increased sales.

  • Prolific in their use of smaller to mid range Influencers globally to drive sales and traffic to their website.

The company growth went from $5 billion valuation in 2019 to $100 billion in early 2022, although that has since declined to $64 billion in 2023.This is phenomenal growth however with products like this what are the downsides:

  • Increased waste

  • Modern Slavery (workers made to make 500+ garments a day with at times 1 day off a month in factories)

  • Care and consumer 'value' of the items mean they care less if they dispose of it - meaning they have less attachment to the items.

The real question here is - Is it ethical and should we be shopping with companies that are fundamentally making a drastic impact on the world? The fast fashion industry have some incredible marketing techniques and Shein is not the only one. The article titled "Unravelling the Illusion: H&M's 'Close the Loop' Textile Waste Initiative - A Greenwash?" delves into H&M's "Close the Loop" textile waste initiative, examining its environmental impact and questioning its authenticity. The article raises concerns about whether the initiative genuinely addresses the fast fashion industry's sustainability issues or if it serves as a form of greenwashing. It critically evaluates the practicality and effectiveness of the program in reducing textile waste and its alignment with H&M's broader business practices. The article provides a comprehensive analysis that prompts readers to consider the complexities of corporate sustainability efforts in the context of the fashion industry. Is this Marketing "Green Washing" to attract consumers? Is it ethical marketing? As business people, these are the decisions we need to make in our marketing strategies.

What legacy do you want to leave behind?

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