Academic Research



Journal of Consumer Ethics


In April 2017 Ethical Consumer, in collaboration with colleagues at universities in the UK and overseas, plans to launch a new journal focusing on ethical consumption.  Called the Journal of Consumer Ethics, it will be available online and be free and open access to anyone who wants to read it – academic or otherwise.  


Academic journal team

Left to right: Dr Andreas Chatzidakis, Professor Deirdre Shaw, Helen Gorowek and Dr Michal Carrington from the Glasgow seminar series and Journal team.

We are currently seeking submissions although we particularly want to encourage graduate students, young academics, or those who are at the beginning of their academic careers. We are also looking for academics wanting to join our list of reviewers and potential editors.


What will be in it?

Our plan is that it will contain three main sections:

  • A themed section addressing a special subject picked by the editors;
  • A general section with articles on current research on ethical consumption;
  • A news section with updates on current issues and projects, book reviews and an editorial.
  • The first two sections will be peer reviewed in the usual way, and in 2017 our planned themes are ‘reflections on classic texts in ethical consumption’ and ‘gender and ethical consumption’.



What’s the background?

When Ethical Consumer began life 27 years ago, the notion that buying ethically represented a coherent idea, let alone an area deserving of serious study, had barely been entertained.  Since then the number and variety of researchers looking into this subject has steadily increased.  Beginning with Businesses Studies and Marketing departments it quickly spread into Sociology, Politics and beyond.

In recent years we have seen an increase in established journals running their own special themed issues on ethical consumer behaviours, but no journal dedicated to the subject.

Two years ago, colleagues at Glasgow University instigated a new ‘cross-disciplinary’ project on ‘consumption ethics’, bringing together academics from many different departments in a series of seminars and meetings.  

This worked so well that Ethical Consumer began to explore the idea of a regular journal.  As a civil society organisation, attached to no particular academic discipline, we were a natural host for such a project.  

The project also lends itself to trying to develop a wider engagement – with businesses, campaigners, consumers and beyond – again a strong suit for Ethical Consumer.  Indeed the plan is that each edition of the journal (currently planned for three per year) will have a corresponding page in Ethical Consumer magazine summarising key content that might be of wider interest.


What’s its future?

If the truth be known, this is a bit of an experiment.  We don’t know the extent to which people will want to submit to an unknown (and un-ranked) journal.  In the longer term it also needs funding and sponsorship to remain truly open access – to authors as well as readers – and we don’t yet have that in place.  But we are optimistic.

The last couple of projects we floated in an experimental way – Save Our Bank and Fair Tax Mark - both surprised us by the enthusiasm by which they attracted interest and support.  Watch this space!  


For more information on the journal and how to get involved visit the website.


Current editorial board includes

  • Dr Andreas Chatzidakis (Royal Holloway University of London – School of Management)
  • Dr Sarah Marie Hall (University of Manchester – Geography, School of Environment, Education and Development)
  • Rob Harrison (Ethical Consumer Research Association)
  • Hiroshi Sato – (Institute of Developing Economies IDE-JETRO Japan)
  • Professor Dorothea Kleine (University of Sheffield – Geography Department)
  • Dr Joanna Long (Ethical Consumer Research Association)
  • Dr Terry Newholm (Manchester Business School – Marketing Department)
  • Dr. Julia Obinger (University of Zurich – International Studies)
  • Professor Deirdre Shaw (Glasgow University – Adam Smith Business School)
  • Dr Dan Welch (University of Manchester – Sustainable Consumption Institute) 



Academic articles on Ethical Consumption 1984 - 2013

We've compiled a reading list of academic texts specifically addressing ethical consumption, or ethical consumer behaviour generally. 

Each section has abstracts and references to books, chapters and journal articles.


Consumers and the Environment


Consumer Boycotts


Consumer Ethics and Motivations


Consumers and Morality


Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical Trade


General Texts on Ethical Consumerism


Political Consumerism