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.