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Smug Shopping? Call it "Label Ethical"

Feeling a bit guilty about blowing a significant portion of the rent on a designer handbag? 

In last month's issue of New York Moves, Bethany Seabolt offers the perfect rationale.  Her article, "The F-Word," chastises New Yorkers for setting a bad example when it comes to buying -- and bragging about -- counterfeit goods.  After describing harm to designers, the criminal element, and lost tax revenues, she concludes:

These tourists are wandering Canal Street so that they can mimic the images that our City sends out.  My impulse is to help high-end retailers develop an ad campaign along the lines of "If you can't afford us, we don't want you," but somehow I think that's not the image they're going for.  Seriously though, New York women can set the trend for this solution just as we do for so many other things.  I propose the buzzphrase Label Ethical.  We'll all say, "Oh, nice bag.  Is it label ethical?"  Remember, clothes may make the man, but the woman makes the handbag. 

So that bag isn't a splurge -- it's a symbol of City-centric urban pride, fashionable superiority, ethical sensitivity and social activism all wrapped up in one.  From that point of view, it's positively a bargain.


I actually think it's an excellent marketing device. Usually, people who take a moral stand wind up paying a price for it, WITHOUT having a designer handbag to show for it. This really is a bargain! Moral victory AND accessories! Heck, they're not just marketing moral victories, they're marketing moral superiority! I think they could go a long way towards succeeding with this approach - and it's one with which I actually concur.

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