Case Study

Noir/Illuminati II (B): Greenwash and anorexic models

17 pages
September 2009
Reference: IMD-3-1910

Peter could not believe his eyes. He was just sifting through comments posted on the Inhabitat website following the London and New York Fashion Weeks. While the articles themselves were very supportive of his strategy and Rikke Wienmann’s collections, the postings on the website’s readers’ comments were direct attacks on his sustainability rationale, basically labeling it “greenwash,” and very critical of his choice of models, too skinny by today’s standards and concerns for anorexia. With the violent heartburn receding, he tried to understand what the implications of such rash customer perceptions could be for the brand and its positioning. Maybe this was just an isolated incident from disgruntled British and American customers, overexposed to the issues and hence over-sensitive to them. But maybe it also reflected a turning point in the Corporate Social Responsibility movement. Were people really starting to feel that way? Were they starting to question these CSR labels and how much they really did for people in Africa? Was this the beginning of the dreaded backlash against the new green political correctness? Was CSR now also spreading to issues such as people’s weights? The responses from the fashion editor and other readers were encouraging, but it was time maybe to prepare for similar questioning of the underlying philosophy of the company. It was time for sure to shed more light on Illuminati II’s contributions to Ugandan’s farmers…

Learning Objective

Developing a brand, building CSR into an offering, fair-trade concepts, certified organic productions, managing growth in the fashion business, corporate communication, financing fast growth, product positioning, managing a communication crisis.

Keywords
Corporate Social Responsibility, Ethics, Fashion, Funding Growth, Venturing, Brand Building, Fair Trade, Organic Production, Positioning, Retail Concept, Anorexia
Settings
Europe
Noir Illuminati II Holding, Manufacturing, Textile, Consumer Goods, Apparel and Fashion
2007-2009
Type
Field Research
Copyright
© 2009
Available Languages
English
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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