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.  

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.

Third issue (June 2018): What is going on in ethical consumption?

The third issue of Ethical Consumer’s academic journal (Vol 2 Issue 1) contains discussions of slavery, ivory, boycotts and consumer motivation.

One paper discusses the methodological choices made in Ethical Consumer’s Markets Report: our measurement of the size of the UK market for ‘ethical’ products, which has now been published annually for 17 years.

Another article provides a brief account of elephant ivory consumption from the ancient world to the early twenty-first century.

An extended version of the article on the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) which appeared in Ethical Consumer, looks at how civil society groups have begun to analyse and comment on the modern slavery statements that companies are starting to publish.

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)