CSR should correspond with the business concept


Picture_2Something interesting caught my attention as I was reading the morning paper. In a supplement to Politiken about Trends I read two articles about CSR in the fashion industry. Two Danish designers with two different takes on CSR. Malene Birger is ambassador for Unicef, and if you buy clothes from this brand you’re also helping kids with HIV/AIDS in Africa. Peter Ingwarsen, founder and designer for another Danish label, Noir Illuminati II have another take on CSR. He’s integrating CSR in the business concept. Illuminati is in fact a separate business which is producing and selling high quality cotton from Uganda. Uganda has a long tradition for producing cotton of very high quality. The idea is that Illuminati delivers fabric and piecegoods to Noir and other high fashion brands. The thing I find interesting is the hole idea about integrating social responsibility in the business concept. Previously on this blog we have written about CSR and the search of social responsibility in other ways than donating a tree to Africa (not that this isn’t a very good thing to be doing). But in the case of Noir Illuminati II the socially responsible actions becomes much more authentic and thereby the credibility is heightened of Noir as a brand. In my opinion more companies should be thinking about integrating CSR in their business concepts and/or do social responsible actions that actually correspond with the business concept in general. To give an example: Danish companies that rely on knowledge should be interested in helping students from universities and other education institutions. This would be a very authentic way of showing that they are taking a part in Denmark as a knowledge producing society.