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Consumers and Ethical Considerations in the Fashion Industry

Understand how ethics plays a role in consumer behaviour and how this affects decisions in the fashion industry.

A group of models walk the runway wearing fur garments.

Explore approaches that can be used to address ethical dilemmas

The way in which consumers view a fashion brand is hugely influential. With consumer demands becoming increasingly influenced by ethics, fashion companies must align themselves with their consumer ethics to remain competitive.

On this three-week course, you’ll delve into the concept of ethics to help you better understand its role in today’s fashion industry.

You’ll uncover the history of ethics as well as philosophers’ contributions to ethical theory. This knowledge will help you explore the various approaches that can be used to address ethical dilemmas in both everyday life and the fashion industry.

Unpack ethical decisions in the fashion industry

With your knowledge of ethics, you’ll start to connect ethical decision-making to fashion industry applications.

You’ll explore the decisions of both the consumer and fashion companies as you unpack various perspectives related to ethics. This knowledge will help you understand more about your customers and what they consider in their decision-making process, and how this affects the decisions made by fashion companies.

Explore consumer’s ethical behaviour

You’ll identify how consumers seek to exercise positive ethical behaviour in their purchasing choices.

This knowledge will help you explore the barriers consumers face to positive ethical behaviour and how these can be overcome.

Understand the actions of fashion companies with the experts at Bloomsbury Academic

With the knowledge of consumer ethical behaviour, you’ll be able to summarise the effects that fashion companies’ unethical actions can have on consumer decisions.

Guided by the expertise of Bloomsbury Academic, you’ll finish the course with a deep understanding of how ethics influences consumer behaviour and how this in turn affects fashion companies.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Ethics in everyday life: Part 1

    • Course welcome

      In this activity, you will be introduced to the content that will be covered during this course. You will also get an overview of the topics covered during the first week of this course.

    • Ethics over time

      In this activity, we learn how ethics change over time, by considering how practices that were commonly accepted in our ancestors’ cultures are seen as unethical behaviors in today’s society.

    • Values, emotions and ethics

      In this activity, we learn how our human emotions complicate our decision-making process with respect to ethics.

    • Ethics in the news

      In this activity, we look at the shift in ethical emphasis and some of the ethical issues emergent in the fashion industry.

    • Ethical dilemmas and approaches to ethics

      In this activity, we explore the concept of ethical dilemmas, when they occur, and approaches to dealing with them.

    • Week wrap up

      In this activity, you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge of the topics covered during the week. You will also be provided with a summary of the week's learning, and some insight on what to expect in the new week.

  • Week 2

    Ethics in everyday life: Part 2

    • Weekly welcome

      Moving into the second week of this course, this activity will give you an overview of the topics that will be covered during this week.

    • Ethical dilemmas and approaches to ethics: Part 2

      In this activity, we continue with our exploration of approaches to ethical dilemmas.

    • The role of ethics in social media

      In this activity, we look at the role of ethics when it comes to social media.

    • Ethics in the fashion industry

      In this activity, you will learn about various ethical dilemmas that companies in the fashion industry are constantly wrestling with, and consider the role you can play in your environment through the decisions you make.

    • Real-world cases

      In this activity, we look at a case study, to facilitate the exploration of current and relevant industry activities, as well as examples of the types of dilemmas employees face in their work environments.

    • Week wrap up

      In this activity, you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge of the topics covered during the week. You will also be provided with a summary of the week's learning, and some insight on what to expect in the new week.

  • Week 3

    Positioning fashion companies to meet today's consumer demands

    • Weekly welcome

      Moving into the third week of this course, this activity will give you an overview of the topics that will be covered during this week.

    • Consumer sovreignity

      In this activity, we learn about the role that consumers play in the fashion company strategy.

    • Consumer information sources

      In this activity, you will learn how the role of technology influences consumers with respect to their power in the marketplace.

    • The evolving conscientious consumer

      In this activity, we learn how consumers that choose to exercise ethical consumption, bring a virtuous approach to their decision making.

    • How do consumers influence company policy?

      In this activity, we learn about various factors that tend to influence consumers’ purchasing behaviors and may affect ethical behavior.

    • Real-world cases

      In this activity, we look at a case study to learn about the ethical dilemmas the industry faces when it comes to big data and accessing personal information when interacting with customers directly.

    • Course wrap up

      In this activity, you will have the opportunity to test your knowledge of the topics covered during the week. You will also be provided with a summary of the week's learning, and some insight on what to expect in the new week.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify and explain the concept of ethics
  • Describe the history of ethics and recall major philosophers’ contributions to ethical theory
  • Discuss the various approaches that can be used to address ethical dilemmas
  • Compare ethical decision-making to fashion industry applications, by defining the role consumers play in decisions made by fashion companies
  • Identify ways that consumers seek to exercise positive ethical behavior in their acquisition of goods and services as well as barriers that they might face that limit their ability to exercise positive ethical behavior
  • Identify consumer cohorts and understand the consumer characteristics associated with generational groups, and the effects that fashion companies’ unethical actions can have on consumers’ decisions

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in consumer behaviour and ethics as you learn from top authors V. Ann Paulins and Julie L. Hillery. It is most suited for those working in the fashion industry or with aspirations to.

Who will you learn with?

I lead a team of content experts who work with educators to create, develop and deliver high quality and inspiring content that changes lives.

Who developed the course?

Bloomsbury Publishing

Bloomsbury Publishing is a leading independent publishing house, established in 1986, with authors who have won the Nobel, Pulitzer and Booker Prizes.and is the originating publisher and custodian of the Harry Potter series. Bloomsbury has offices in London, New York, New Delhi, Oxford and Sydney. Within Bloomsbury’s Academic division, it publishes under Bloomsbury, as well as under a number of prestigious and historic imprint names.

Fairchild Books

With a history stretching back over more than 100 years, Fairchild Books is a world-leading publisher in the fields of fashion and interior design.

FutureLearn

FutureLearn is jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group and has been providing online courses for learners around the world over the last eight years.

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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