Ethics can be defined as “moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity.” The concept is also defined by some scholars as “rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad” In my opinion, being ethical for an individual means to be fully acknowledged by its withholder to be judged and evaluated. I believe ethical nature for each person is shaped as they go through various life experiences and face different circumstances. The decision-making abilities and their actions and behaviors in those certain circumstances lead to the modeling that certain individual’s specific moral compass. It may be a byproduct of personal beliefs, religious conviction and experience or understanding of the situation and factors responsible for a specific situation. Henceforth, it would be safe to declare that one’s ethical conduct is a result of self-reflection. Through an in-depth evaluation of an individual’s moral strengths and weaknesses, a person can ensure personal integrity hence it serves as a parameter to ensure social consciousness and ethical conduct of every person.
In that lieu, one of the ethical dilemmas I came across recently, was highlighted in a documentary called “The True Cost”. The documentary gives an overview of how ethical dimensions revolve around the economic, social and political problems that we observe in our society today along with the grave outputs of our obsession with fast-moving fashion trends. The film features on the immense corporate greed, and it’s downtrodden results for the environment. The director, Andrew Morgan, portrays an accurate picture of what a mere $15 or 20$ shirt may have underlying. The author gives a detailed analysis of going in the depth of the real story, i.e., the low-cost manufacturers of these garments. For this purpose, Mr. Morgan goes to the clothing sweatshops of Cambodia and Bangladesh up to the cotton grounds in India. He then interlinks the deteriorating environmental and well-being catastrophes owing to extensive pesticide use to get better yields. The documentary then goes to describe the most tragic incident in the history of garment industries which was about the breakdown of 8 floored Rana Plaza building in 2013. The accident caused more than 1,000 bereavements who suffered only due to the political agenda of the industry owners. The proprietors defended themselves by saying they must force their workers if they were being forced by their retailers for greater productivity at lower costs which was an ethical dilemma for them.
The documentary also went forward to highlight the massive land waste fills in Haiti owing to the discarded clothes who came out of fashion. Millions of threw away clothes now filled landfills destroying the local apparel business, killing the economy.
Accompanying the story line along with the footages of Black Friday bargain hunting insurgencies and the famous outfit haul videos — “The True Cost” aims to wake people up from their sleep of ignorance, making them aware of what the real cost behind their clothing fascinations and shopping sprees may be. The issues raised by the documentary further assert how almost all the social, political and economic problems faced all over the world are due to unjust spread of resources and distribution of wealth. The statement of Pope highlighting ‘idolatry of money as a foundational cause of the ethics problem” holds true all over the world henceforth, suggesting the need for a moral and ethical dilemma in the legislating bodies and governing systems.
The documentary showed at the end how the situation was being dealt internationally, as the companies have set some guidelines for corporate social responsibility to cater to with interior as well as outside forces at work. This code of conduct is based on the universal ideologies that show the core ethics of the business. Increasing globalization means innovation in all areas of commerce, hence the ways of conducting businesses have improved as well. Therefore the textile industry is making improvements in its CSR strategy as per the improving standards.