Ethical Chic by Fran Hawthorne

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Hawthorne's research provides clear, rational insights into our ethical choices, empowering us to be savvy shoppers.


In this age of social activism, pinpoint marketing, and immediate information, consumers demand everything from the coffee, computer, or toothpaste they buy: 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 them feel cool when they use it. All companies would love to have that kind of reputation, and a handful seem to have achieved it. But do they deserve their haloes? What does it take to become so admired? Can a company make a profit doing so? And how can consumers avoid being tricked by phony marketing? In Ethical Chic, award-winning author Fran Hawthorne takes her investigative-journalism skills--honed from more than two decades as a business journalist—to analyze six favorites: Apple, Starbucks, Trader Joe's, American Apparel, Timberland, and Tom's of Maine.

About Fran Hawthorne

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Award-winning journalist Fran Hawthorne has been a writer or editor at For­tune, BusinessWeek, Institutional Investor, and other publications. She is the author of four other books, including Inside the FDA, Pension Dumping, and The Overloaded Liberal. She lives with her family in New York City.
Published June 19, 2012 by Beacon Press. 209 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Ethical Chic
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1


Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on May 15 2012

Hawthorne's research provides clear, rational insights into our ethical choices, empowering us to be savvy shoppers.

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Below average
Reviewed by John Mulligan on Sep 27 2012

The problem is that Hawthorne spends too much time recounting company history...and not enough time exploring the ethical issues behind the brands.

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Library Journal

Reviewed by LJ REVIEWS on May 01 2012 more comprehensive, examining each company’s record on environmental impact, human rights, working conditions, cost of the product to the consumer, and relationship with corporate owners.

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The Book Lady's Blog

Reviewed by Rebecca Joines Schinsky on Apr 20 2012

There are no earth-shattering revelations here, and the writing is dry at times, but there are some fascinating bits,

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