Journal of Consumer Ethics

Journal of Consumer Ethics


Ethical Consumer, in collaboration with colleagues at universities in the UK and overseas, has launched a new journal focusing on ethical consumption.  

Called the Journal of Consumer Ethics, it is open access and available for free 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.



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.


Second issue: Gender and Ethical Consumption


The second issue of The Journal of Consumer Ethics questions why the relationship between gender and ethical consumption has been largely overlooked within academic agendas.


In doing so, this issue raises 3 key questions:

  • What can current research tell us about the relationship between gender and ethical consumption?
  • What theories, methods or approaches might help us to better understand this relationship?
  • What are the implications for understanding ethical consumption through the lens of gender, or gender through the lens of ethical consumption?


Broadly split into two key themes, the issue: 

(a) considers how the motivations, practices, and politics of ethical consumerism have gendered dimensions and can reveal gendered differences;

(b) and also applies feminist or gender-sensitive perspectives to investigating ethical consumerism.


Amongst the 13 contributors are NGOs, including Oxfam, and scholars from anthropology, business and management, economics and geography writing about their respective work in China, Denmark, Finland, Kenya, Spain, UK and USA.

The issue also covers a comprehensive range of issues.  Some are focused on different consumer goods including fashion, perfume, and ethical fur.  Others consider ethical consumption within particular spaces and places, such as energy use within the home and everyday family practices.  A further set approaches the topic through a corporate lens, examining ethical consumption from a branding and corporate social responsibility perspective.

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



Current editorial board includes


  • Dr Tomas Ariztia (Associate Professor – Sociology Department – Universidad Diego Portales Chile)
  • Professor Marylyn Carrigan (Coventry University – Centre for Business in Society)
  • Dr Andreas Chatzidakis (Royal Holloway/ University of London – School of Management)
  • Dr Phani Kumar Chintakayala (University of Leeds – Consumer Data Research Centre)
  • Dr Helen Gorowek (University of Leicester – School of Management)
  • Dr Sarah Marie Hall (University of Manchester – Geography, School of Environment, Education and Development)
  • Rob Harrison (Ethical Consumer Research Association)
  • 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)
  • Hiroshi Sato (Institute of Developing Economies, IDE-JETRO Japan)
  • Professor Deirdre Shaw (Glasgow University – Adam Smith Business School)
  • Professor Tatsuya Watanabe (University of Tokyo – Faculty of Economics)
  • Dr Dan Welch (University of Manchester – Sustainable Consumption Institute)