Content From This Author
Dara O’Rourke, the activist-scholar who first broke the news about Nike’s sweatshops in the 1990s, considers the promise of ethical consumption—the idea that individuals, voting with their wallets, can promote better labor conditions and environmental outcomes globally.
“Buy local,” “buy green,” “buy organic” . . . we cannot buy anything without considering its moral implications. How has consumption become suffused with right and wrong? How effective has the ethical-consumption movement been in changing market behavior?
Even as globalization makes us complicit in terrible abuses of workers, it opens up new possibilities for public action. Corporations can improve workplace conditions through the same sophisticated management strategies that make them champions of the current globalization in first place.