just-style authors and correspondents
Ben Cooper is a freelance journalist based in London, specialising in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, policy issues and sustainability. He holds MAs from Cambridge University and the University of London, respectively in Social and Political Sciences and Social Policy.
He joined the just-drinks editorial team in 2000 and today works as features editor across both just-drinks and just-food, while also writing for just-style.
In addition to his regular features, Ben has written numerous in-depth management briefings on issues such as alcohol policy, sponsorship, the Fairtrade market, the use of food colourings and environmental issues facing the clothing industry. He also writes regularly for Ethical Corporation magazine which specialises in the corporate social responsibility field.
He lives in London where he also works as a professional singer.
Articles by Ben Cooper
Working conditions in the supply chain and environmental concerns may have been the primary CSR hotspots for the clothing sector in recent years, but this year has brought into clear relief the level of public concern over the commercialisation and sexualisation of children.
The sustainability field is often accused of spawning 'talking shops' and that is a tag no new initiative wants. The emphasis on its three clear goals, even in its earliest communications, underlines that the Sustainable Apparel Coalition is not intended to be a 'forum' for discussion but a coalition for action.
Over the past decade and more, industry associations and individual companies have launched numerous initiatives with the aim of addressing and reducing the environmental and social impacts of clothing manufacture. However, this year the clothing industry's collective effort witnessed what many hope will be a game-changing development with the formation of a new multi-stakeholder partnership.
This year is turning out to be a significant one with regard to the corporate responsibility profile of the global clothing industry, as Ben Cooper outlines in his overview of just-style's August management briefing.
Corporate sustainability is seen by sceptics as too often being 'more talk than action'. Ben Eavis, head of corporate responsibility at Sainsbury’s, spoke with Ben Cooper about how the various steering groups, reporting processes and stakeholder discussions at Sainsbury's facilitate action rather being an end in their own right.
H&M has a solid reputation for social and environmental responsibility, and launched a new sustainability strategy last year aimed at further embedding ethical tenets into every area of the company. But corporate social responsibility manager Ingrid Schullström believes there is potential to communicate more directly to consumers how sustainability is informing the way it does business.
Recessions are difficult times for most retailers but Marks & Spencer (M&S) arguably has a harder time than most. Not only does it endure the leaner pickings all retailers suffer, but it does so under the glare of the media spotlight. That said, one area where it looks set to stay well ahead of the game is in the sustainability stakes, as Mike Barry, head of sustainable business at M&S, tells just-style.
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