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Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love Hardcover – June 19, 2012
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“Ethical Chic will change the way you see the products lining the supermarket shelves, and even maybe the supermarket itself.” —Michael Blanding, author of The Coke Machine
“Highly recommended.”—John Rodzvilla, Library Journal, starred review
“Fran Hawthorne’s illuminating book will delight fans of 'corporate social responsibility'—and enrage its critics. Her descriptions of Apple, for example, at once beloved and much criticized by the CSR crowd, aptly captures the essence of the debate.”—Adam Lashinsky, author of Inside Apple
“In assessing corporate performance on social responsibility, Fran Hawthorne digs beneath the surface of some of America’s most beloved companies. Given the multiple dimensions of sustainability and ethical performance, it can come as no surprise that she finds no company is perfect. But there are differences. Bravo to Ethical Chic for helping to illuminate which companies are on the right track.”—Daniel C. Esty, co-author of Green to Gold
“A very informative look.”—Booklist
“Ethical Chic is a lively and engaging look at the environmental, labor, and social practices of six legendary US companies. It’s a must-read for any consumer interested in spending their money in socially conscious ways.”—Sally Greenberg, executive director, National Consumers League
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Top Customer Reviews
Hawthorne looks at several favorite retailers - the above 3, Timberland, American Apparel, Tom's of Maine, and a couple of others. She looks at them in a number of different dimensions - how they treat their employees, how they treat the environment, how they interact with their community, how much they share about themselves, and more. She does a great job of really getting into the specifics and also really telling a good story. Did you know, for example, that Trader Joe's is owned by two very secretive (I'm talking Howard Hughes style here) German billionaire brothers? Or that Tom's of Maine is owned by Colgate and sold at Walmart?
Personally, I always think every corporation is in it to make money, and any kind of "aura" they have otherwise is just a function of marketing. Nice to know that that pretty much applies across the board.
The book is also so well written that it's a pleasure to read. I was hooked from the first chapter, with its novelistic description of the Tom of Tom's of Maine.
Ethical Chic explores the ideas of corporate social responsibility and how we, as consumers, can try to objectively rule whether a particular company is, or is not ethically responsible. I have heard of all of the companies in this book before, but I most enjoyed the chapters on Tom's of Maine, Timberland, and Trader Joe's because I have not studied these companies as in-depth before. I enjoyed the American Apparel section in that it went into more detail on a company I've only heard `bad things' about.
I found the book to be presented very objectively and found the evaluations to be fairly researched. After finishing the book, I somewhat wished the author had chosen different case study companies. Starbucks and Apple are beaten to death with so many books strictly dedicated to the respective companies. Perhaps in a future edition we'll see the author explore a few of the companies that were cut from this edition that are not as widely published and known about.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hi! I see the author describes herself as a "prize-winning", "award winning" and "Internationally acclaimed" author but I can't find any evidence of this. Read morePublished 16 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Very boring. The author has a "holier than thou" tone to her voice, as though she's far too good to ever use any of these companies. Read morePublished 4 months ago by J. Weigel
Consumers “want an affordable, reliable product manufactured by a company that doesn’t pollute, saves energy, treats its workers well, and doesn’t hurt animals—oh, and that makes... Read morePublished on November 29, 2013 by Jeffrey Swystun
The author not only shares some valuable insights into the specific companies reviewed, but also does a solid job of exploring the difficulties of trying to be a socially conscious... Read morePublished on October 28, 2013 by Brian
Fran Hawthorne's Ethical Chic takes a hard look at something most of us haven't thought about in years -- whether the companies with reputations for being good for the environment,... Read morePublished on July 31, 2013 by Jerry Polner
Ethical Chic is a well-executed examination of several companies commonly considered "socially responsible." Ms. Read morePublished on July 10, 2013 by Darcy
This book could be a pamphlet handed out at a health food store or a short website put together by a progressive group. Read morePublished on July 5, 2013 by Evan the Dweezil
This book explores CSR in a few different companies. It really tries to give a fair assessment however tenuous it may be to break down. Read morePublished on May 27, 2013 by Samantha Keen
Ethical Chic, Fran Hawthorne
Fran Hawthorne has been a writer or editor at `Fortune', `Institutional Investor', `BusinessWeek' and other publications. Read more