business ethics

  1. Better Brands
  2. Business
  3. Profit
Busy? Try the speed read.

Founder story: Elon Musk (co-founder) is a controversial figure with a complicated history. But he is a forward-thinker that can help drive a more sustainable future.

Industry standards: Automakers have a history of poor environmental standards. The manufacturing process requires loads of resources, equipment and infrastructure. Tesla has a $500bn+ market cap, so we understand that complete sustainability is difficult to accomplish.

Materials: Modern cars use metals (aluminum in common), silica, rubber, plastic, rubber, soy, wheat, rice… to name a few. In terms of sustainability, the lithium ion battery is most concerning.

Tesla's current battery uses cobalt... linked to human rights violations in the Congo. Cobalt also makes the vehicle more expensive. Tesla is currently working to remove cobalt from their supply chain.

Ethics: To hit ambitious production goals, Tesla overworked domestic workers in a pretty ugly way. That adds to their controversy in the Congo. Not a good look when a billionaire does so well and you find out workers were unhappy.

Bottom line: Tesla has sustainability tied to its mission, and they are doing awesome things in the solar energy space. Still, their current business model is not sustainable. Wait until Tesla removes cobalt, improves worker conditions and reduces vehicle prices to make an ethical purchase.

Dig deeper → 5 min.

  1. Better Business
  2. Doing
  3. Lifestyle
  4. People

The scoop The fashion industry faces criticism for not following environmental standards to produce cheaper closet updates. Once again. But at what cost?

At the expense of exploiting cheap labor and adding to the global problem of industrial pollution. Brands such as Zara have been at the center of this heated debate as they continue to follow their fast business models.

The invisible price tag

  • Online fashion houses such as Zaful, Shein and Romwe make millions on their fashion lines by taking advantage of low-wage labor in sweatshops in China and other parts of Asia. 
  • Customers fall victim to the low prices of their goods but a rising number in the online consumer market have complained about the sub-standard quality of the items they purchase. 
  • Consumers of fast fashion tend to ignore the moral and environmental standards that companies disregard. 

What are the consequences?

  • Over 265 million children globally are enslaved by manufacturing houses found guilty of illegal labour practices. 
  • As of 2017, only 15% of old clothes were recycled.
  • Companies such as Zaful make greenwashing claims about their sustainability programs but there is a shadow of doubt as to what their policies on environmental management actually are?

Eco-friendly goes beyond price

  • There are strict sustainability guidelines which restrict organic cloth manufacturers from scaling their production.
  • Sustainable fashion must enable the consumers to lead more minimalist lifestyles. 

Choose slow fashion

  • Consider quality over quantity. What is that you really need?
  • Leverage your purse by purchasing from sustainable brands in order to facilitate the shift towards a sustainable industry.
  • Upcycle by using old fabrics for other uses once you’re done using the fashion item, to create a circular consumption pattern for yourself.

Dig deeper → 4 min

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