Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Right to Causumption... fashion

There are many brands of clothing and fashion accessories
that promise to give to some group of people, 
plant trees, or aid something,
 if you buy their product.
I coined this term a year ago, causumption, to describe this new trend
of consumption, as the act of shopping for a cause.

Here are a few brands and their causes:
We Wood watches for tree planting
TOM'S shoes and sunglasses for foot and eye health
Feed Projects totebags for food
Sevenly shirts for various human causes
Waddlebird clothing for eco-habitats
Cure apparel for diabetes
The Hunger Site for food
Raintees kid's shirts for rainforest trees

Although not all the products are great,
all the causes are.
The best causumption models match product to cause,
They are full-on; all their products relate to that cause
in some way and benefit the cause.

But the current causumption brands still have no power compared to these big brands:

Give them time.
I think they will.

Or, will the largest brands turn to full-on causumption, too?
Gucci has a product they made for charity,
proceeds going to Japanese earthquake victims.

What do you think?


Revision: thanks to commenter AS




56 comments:

Anonymous said...

Consumption is inevitable. When everywhere you look there is an advertisement for a product, you can not help but to want it if relates to you or your life style. Causumption will promote sales because after a splurge most consumers feel guilty. If your splurge technically helps others, you can consider yourself guilt free. Large brands already have causumption products. For example, Gucci made a bracelet to benefit the Japan earthquake. All proceeds would benefit the Japanese Red Cross Society. You could see this bracelet at http://www.gucci.com/us/worldofgucci/articles/charitybracelet. AS

Anonymous said...

We live in a consumerism society where fashion, for most people, is more important than charity. People choose to purchase brand names not for what they are, but rather for what they represent. At the time of buying apparel or accessories not too many individuals pay attentions to a manufacture’s cause. They just want to look good or to resemble some type of “celebrity” they saw on television or on a magazine.

GS

Anonymous said...

I believe that the large brands will turn to causumption, but they will not fully turn to it. Decisions won't always be based on what the product is supporting, it has to do with fashion and looks. But these large brands will offer some products that support something so that people have the option. That way they can make more money and also help support a good cause. ECZ

Anonymous said...

In the society, that we live in today, our appearance is consider number one priority. Nowadays, the majority of the monies that people spend on clothing, accessories, etc. are based on popularity and the latest fashion not so much on whether charity is part of it or not. EL

Anonymous said...

I think people care more about name brand products than anything. They care so much about showing off what they have, following the latest trends, and always trying to out-do others that they would much rather shop at over priced stores than going somewhere and helping out a charity. However if these brand labels decided to convert all there products to charity products then that will leave them no choice. (And then maybe charities will become the new trend?) Until then we’re left with this superficial society that cares more about their looks then helping others. BG

Anonymous said...

People don’t look at the bigger picture because their stuck in the present. We all have to wake up and act now to improve the standard of living for those who are in dire need of it. We have to work for the better of the world in unity.
RV646

Anonymous said...

One really great thing about causumption is that there will be those who try to make themselves seem better or nicer by saying they bought a product because of the cause it serves. In cases like that, the person bought for their own personal gain but regardless of their reasoning, the money will be used for a good cause.

-APX

Anonymous said...

It is great to buy something and at the same time be part of a good cause. There are other brands that also donate to charities when their products are purchased, such as Nike, Johnson and Johnson, Ford, Exxon Mobile, etc. However, some of these companies are not environmentally friendly. Would the fact that they donate to charities excuse them from contributing to the pollution of the planet? JPA

Anonymous said...

"Kony 2012"... The Invisible Children, Inc., a charity with misleading information, which leads me to disagreeing with a lot of comments. The "Kony 2012" film had over 93 million views on YouTube. I remember watching the video and feeling so bad for the families in Uganda. I was already preparing to buy the bracelet and a kit which helped create awareness. As I researched Online only 32% of the money raised was given to the charity, and most of the information was outdated.

My point is that most people don't buy products that support certain charities because they don't believe that the money raised is actually given to charity. Also, most of us humans would rather spend money on a product that is great quality then one that isn't.

http://keepittrill.com/online/2012/03/kony-2012-scam-stop-supporting-invisible-children/

SMiLey

Anonymous said...

It is amazing that these companies are giving back. More companies need to do it. The impact on us as consumers would be more profound if bigger names we dearly love were giving back. I save up money to get expensive items, and it would feel good to know that some of that money goes to a greater cause! HL

Anonymous said...

Causumption is the new trend.If major brands dont get on the causumption train than they will be left behind and they know it. LMI

Anonymous said...

Causumption brands characterized by wasting away using goods and services by consumer purchasing the fashion trends. This causumption fashion trends may forever stay the same. SM

Anonymous said...

Causumption has become very popular. In my opinion it is an awesome feeling when you are able to give back. The good thing about causumption is that not only are you giving back, but you are also receiving something. A very popular example that I can think of is TOM’S Shoes. When you purchase a pair of TOM’s you are not only getting the pair of shoes you bought, but you are also providing a pair of shoes to a child who is less fortunate. Although causumption is a great deal there are still some companies who sell their products without a cause behind them. I do think that these certain companies will offer some causumption products in the future, but I don't think that they will fully turn towards causumption.

AVJ

Anonymous said...

Fashion, has become a powerful element in showing diversity, uniqueness and expressing beauty. In many cases helps voice and support great causes. Fashion shows and other related events usually donate to help numerous charities. Although, is true that well-known brands are not really associated with helping support a good cause, these are strongly marketable. Therefore, these will still be most popular and continued to be favored. Society emphasizes on an individual’s image, fashion being part of it often portraying who you are, your essence, personality, and in some cases even showing your emotions.
I am hopeful, since there will be consumption in one way or another, that more brands for a cause become available for consumers to choose from. Be aware this is a way to help as well as spreading the word; even if it means advertising for free, which is what these products lack. Either way, there is not much effort to it. If both ends have something to gain, why not try it?
I recently bought a pair of TOMS shoes myself not knowing the cause behind it. Even though, I left the store unsure they were as fashionable as I may like, they were really comfortable. For some unexpected reason, people around me started complementing me on the shoes and asking where I got them from. Out of pure curiosity I decided to Google the slogan on the box, and bam, there it was! It did not make me feel any nicer, nor did it have anything to do with guiltiness in any way. It just made me feel fortunate, and glad initiatives like this exist, where even as a consumer you can help a little. COCO
Note: About five other people among relatives and friends are wearing TOMS now, they say they love them. It may not be much, but maybe six other people in need have shoes to put on.

Anonymous said...

Some of the clothing and accessories posted are pretty cool, I think it may be time for a new watch. Back to my point, purchasing goods from a person or company that promise a service, or donation to a cause in exchange for business shows a very progressive attitude. I would like to see this become a trend in the near future.
MRM

Anonymous said...

Causumption is a noble trend burning through the United States today, the right to purchase a product for a cause. Trademarks and service marks are what sell products and services to consumers’ worldwide. Brands that were once eye catching to make a profit are now targeting consumers who shop for cause. For example, pink shirts and lace which represent brave women who fought and survived cancer to cans with the brand “Pepsi” or “Coke” advertising the Special Olympics are some examples of known brands consumers are looking out for in their quest to shop for cause. Consumers today are showing concern and shopping for products that will help those in need, or help save a piece of nature important to all. mjd

Anonymous said...

I think the BIG brands such as D&G, Gucci, and others, should have a cause to which some of their profits go to. People buy their products anyway, so why not give a little back!.....NYH

Anonymous said...

It's sad but nowadays, everybody wants to use the best brands, the most expensive ones, no matter if it's their style or not. They do not care if someone is benefiting or not. I believe that all brands at some point unite to a good cause, but do they do it to help the cause, or do they take advantage of it, and do it just to become more famous and sale more? CPO.

Anonymous said...

Big brands will never fully turn causumption because they do not need to. They may have a few causumption products but it is only to appeal to the people who care about the cause.
- BRD

Anonymous said...

We live in a capitalist country were consumption is what the government thrives on. Many companies outsource their employees, since laws are not as strict they have employees working in horrific conditions. We should not only be aware of the cause the brand or manufacturer promotes, but where their product is produced, and it what conditions it was produced.

JA23

Anonymous said...

It is real, brand names are recognized around the world, and the people like it and pay for it. In my opinion, it is a good way to help other and enjoy special product. MCC

Anonymous said...

Buying a product and making a contribution at the same time is great. However, I feel that large products main focus is to make profits, not the contribution for causes. I think they use causes as a way to to gain more consumers to buy their products. JA

Anonymous said...

I agree with the idea of causumption and its purpose. If large companies would continue the trend of causumption, it would positively impact society. As a shopper there have been times when I have felt guilty about splurging; however, if the money that I have spent goes to a good cause, then I would have to say it was money well spent. In essence if more high-end fashion designers follow the causumption trend, then the outcome will be beneficial to everyone. -SA

Anonymous said...

Causumption should be the number one goal for this Major brands. Unfortunately it is not. A couple of year ago I became very focus on the brands I purchase. I must admit that at times i will buy a brand regardless if it helps or not. However, consumers are becoming very concern about the impact it has on society their consumptions, this is the reason why most people now buy Organic products, fight for cancer products, etc. Major brands like Channel, Victoria Secret, Louis Vuitton make revenues that not many companies has the fortune to make. This brands have become aware of the point of consumer's point of view, Therefore I see this Major brands becoming more involve as consumers become involve. It is just a matter of time.

SL

Anonymous said...

The fact that much less profitable businesses then Gucci and Prada are making the greater effort to better society shows a strong statement. I feel like change with occur much faster if these large corporations use all their products as jumping off points for charity. BB

Anonymous said...

I like that word "causumption" because it sounds like charity. What I don't understand about these major brand and businesses is why wouldn't they support a certain cause. I agree with AS saying " Causumption promotes sale". It does because if its going to the right cause, customers would support the business. When ever I shop and the cashier ask if I would like to donate to a certain cause, my answer is always yes. A252

Anonymous said...

These are the rules of capitalism, persuade the public to buy your products for a charity cause that they believe, as long as they increse their profits.

Anonymous said...

I'm the author of the comment above.LC

Anonymous said...

Brands like Channel, Louis Vuitton , and Vera Wang sell products to the wealthy. Vanity is an obsession to some people. A percentage of higher scale products should aid those who are less fortunate. Society would view the millionaires who spend countless thousands of dollars on pairs of shoes, as good hearted individual who like to give back.

AD

Anonymous said...

Patagonia is a very good example of donating 1% of its gross sales. This company is committed to changing the impacts of business on the environment. It's ultimately up to us to change this habit. LO

Anonymous said...

Any company should reference to their customers as part of their business strategy. This could be done just mentioning in their objectives customers as the reason of who we are today. Even if the product the company offers is not that great, when there is a reason to help less fortuned people with a percentage of their assets, is always worth to be part of the consumer group.
Apple

Anonymous said...

Causumption has been a huge trend lately. The fact that companies are designing products to benefit organizations such as cancer research insitutes, is a huge step toward the goodness of our humanity. You can find almost every wearble merchandise that supports a cause. A great website to go and find products by either charity or type of merchandise is http://www.causeshoppe.com/. Happy shopping.

Mercy

Anonymous said...

I think the idea of causumption is great! I know I would definitely buy a product that serves a cause. It feels good knowing I can make a difference in the world by purchasing a product I need. For example Chegg, a book rental company, plants a tree for every order we place. I buy and rent books from Chegg for this reason instead of from other companies that do not offer the same benefit. I agree with AS, that causumption will promote sales. ANC

Anonymous said...

I whole heartedly agree with the idea of causumption. However, many well known brands have not played such a big role in the idea of consumption with a cause. I have hope that brands such as Prada, Fendi, and Gucci will soon use causumption to give back to society and help charities around the world. -GPC

Anonymous said...

I think this is an incredible cause! If big name brands would do this more often, then maybe our problems would not be as significant as they are now. I doubt these brands will ever become full-on causumption, but even a little can go a long way. CMH

Anonymous said...

I don’t believe that the current causumption brands will ever match up to these big brands. Although causumption is becoming very popular these days because people are beginning to really notice the troubles of the world, and feel the need to help it. The majority of the people out there are still feeling the need to buy products with brand names. These major brands also would not allow these rookie brands to out do them; therefore, they would turn full-on causumption before people decide to buy Tom’s instead of Chanel or We Wood watches before Rolex.

JPK

Anonymous said...

The truth of the matter is, people buy clothes and other apparel from certain brands just for show or because it’s what they like. Eventually more and more companies will turn to causumption just to seem like good people but in the end, the majority of people just buy certain clothes and accessories because they like it, need it, or want it. Not because of what that company will provide to charity.

JB

Anonymous said...

Even though the current causumption brands have no power compared to big brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, or Prada, they make a difference to the world, and they try to help with their causes. Hopefully the big brands will join these great causes and realized that not everything in life is wearing the most expensive outfit out there.

AS

Anonymous said...

Sadly, those with money and power don't all use their abilities for a greater cause in the long run. Promoting causumption can surely make a statement to those larger organizations. It certainly gets me personally interested when I come across such products. MV

Anonymous said...

Why can't people just spend an amount on charity, and then buy a cheaper product? They're usually marked up to make the difference anyways. The benefit of 'causumption' is obvious, everyone wants to feel good, donating to a charity, but everyone also has their own desires. Instead of paying $50 for a purse, and donating $10 to a charity, a $60 purse that donates $10 to charity just feels like a better purchase. You have a perceived higher value on your object, and money was donated to charity.

Another reason I believe it's more attractive is the attention. How many people would honestly donate completely anonymously? No thank you, no reward? 'Causumption' basically throws this out. Every time you take out your (PRODUCT) Red brand iPod, you're advertising to other people that you donated to help fight HIV. If products weren't so advertised for being based in charity, I wonder how the popularity of them would shift.

NLG

Anonymous said...

Its easier for the "big brands" to get more involved with causumption, than for the general public to support it. Since people are more interested in keeping up with fashion rather then helping out for a cause. Unless causumption becomes a fashion trend the "big Brands" will always win.
YGR

Anonymous said...

I am not entirely sold on the fact that these profitable businesses are actually donating what is being promised. It would be nice to be able to see the proof, other than the known fact, that the donations are a tax ride off for the companies.

ARBA

Anonymous said...

I think that the big brands rely on this full-causumption concept with the intention to expand.For instance,Gucci develops charitable works in order to help victims of natural disasters in Japan. Although people are benefitting from this,they gain even more because then people will no longer see it as a luxury but a necessity instead.DAM

Anonymous said...

This is a tricky subject and I guess for me the jury is still out on this one. I can see the pro's and con's of it and in the end the companies are going to sell and people are going to buy might as well buy and help a cause then not. In regards to if the money is being used properly or not I have this to say. Several years ago I was walking in Key West and there was a homeless man on the side of the street begging with a cup. Now normally I might pass him by or drop a dollar but this day I took a twenty dollar bill and placed it in his cup. As I was walking away I heard two gentlemen behind me saying "hey did you see him give the homeless guy a 20" to which the other responded" That was cool of him but the guys probably just going to waist it on beer" I kept walking but I came to this conclusion. Yes it is possible that he may use the money for bad but in the same way there is a chance he could do right by it. My problem wasn't if he was or wasn't going to make the right choice but did I give him a chance to make the choice at all.

Anonymous said...

sorry forgot MAR III

Anonymous said...

There are many brands of clothing and accessories which contribute to many causes. Many people and children benefit from this, only we can help and make a difference. For instance, the organization RED fights for AIDS, http://www.joinred.com/red/, people should be more aware of this kind organizations, it could help the future and it could help you. SVV

Anonymous said...

As a big fan of causumption, I'd like to add another of my favorites to the list:
http://www.solerebelsfootwear.co/
Im not emotionally invested in whether or not big brands will be overcome, or run with the trend of causumption, but by sticking to these brands we automatically give them brand name recognition. That is big in this world. SV

Anonymous said...

“Causumption” can only be effective if more persons become involved. Big brands follow big names. Celebrities make a huge impact on what people especially the younger generation wears. If celebrities make “causumption” their cause, then it would make a bigger impact on the name brands to give back to our society. We hold the power to change the mindsets of the brands. We must dictate and make the brands listen. SAM

Anonymous said...

I'm not into buying name brand accessories, but if it were for a great cause I'd definately consider it. Especially if the quality+craftsmanship were that of Gucci or Mercedes Benz, it would be worth saving up and purchasing something of quality while helping others. RKS

Annabel Guerra said...

If there companies are making billions, then why are they not giving back to help others in need. I believe that if they have enough money to pay everything they need to pay, then give money back to the people who need it the most.

I agree that these companies should have a cause and have people buy for the cause. This way, everyone gets want they want and someone gets the help from it.

I buy anything that has Breast Cancer, because my aunt had breast cancer.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe in consumption. I think you are able to find the same item without it being pricey and name brand. I was brought up in a house hold with many siblings and not much income. My parents always provided what they could. Meaning the majority of the time it was not a name brand article. In my opinion, more of these large companies should have consumption products, that its proceeds go to a good cause. Samrog

Anonymous said...

Causumption is an effective way for certain causes to receive funding. Large brands create products for their customer base and give the proceeds to the non profit organization they're supporting with that product. There's nothing wrong with causumption you're just exploiting an existing market for a good cause. - ID

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of causumption. I previously worked in a large retail department store and was able to see the benefits of it. In this society, people will always be consumers and I don't see how adding charity to a purchase can hurt. Through first hand experience I have witnessed some people reject the idea of any sort of donation. For the most part people see causumption as a win-win situation and I couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

^^ MR

Anonymous said...

I believe money is such a powerful influence that its nearly impossible for these millionaire companies to change totally to causumption. Causumption won't bring them equivalent profit so its not in their priorities to make these huge sacrifices. Yet, of course they will embrace causumption once in a while to be in favor of more diverse consumers.
RV646

Anonymous said...

I do believe that people rarely think about charity and feel that fashion is more important, I am guilty of this. But I am really curious to know if those different designers are really giving some of that money to charity or is it just a gimmick to get you to buy their items. You have to remember that we also live in a society full of crooks.

ADT