Issue 025 / Super Bowl Ads, Ethical Laziness & Meghan Markle’s Jeans

Reconsidered is a bi-weekly newsletter curating thought-provoking content on corporate social responsibility, sustainability and social impact. Click here to subscribe. 

This Week's Five Links

Your Laziness Is Saving the PlanetPacific Standard
According to a recent study, couch potatoes and Netflix bingers are inadvertently helping the U.S. battle climate change. In 2012, America’s love for the great indoors led to 1,700 trillion BTUs of energy savings, or 1.8 percent of the nation’s energy use. An increase in activities that don’t require travel or going to commercial buildings — think telecommuting or enjoying a quiet night in — led to the reduction. The study didn’t take into account the energy needed to power the Internet, and also underscores the need for more energy-efficient homes. Still, we’ve got to celebrate wins where we can.

Fact-Checking Matt Damon's Clean Water Promise In A Super Bowl AdNPR
Stella Artois used its $5M Super Bowl spot to introduce a limited edition chalice and showcase its clean water partnership with (oh, Matt Damon was there too). In the ad, Damon exhorts viewers, "If just 1 percent of you watching this buys [a chalice], we can give clean water to 1 million people.” But how true is that really? NPR investigates and finds a load of oversimplification.

Condé Nast’s Code of Conduct is Here. Is it Enough?The Fashion Law
Following sexual harassment allegations against longtime collaborators Mario Testino and Bruce Weber, the Condé Nast publishing house has released a code of conduct for all who work with its brands. While a momentous step for the media industry, this analysis from The Fashion Law argues that the code isn't all that groundbreaking, since most of the provisions reflect existing laws.

Don’t Boycott Bad Companies, Spend More With Good OnesFast Company
To boycott or buycott, that is the question for socially conscious consumers. And according to a recent poll from Weber Shandwick, all signs point to buycott. Around 83% of people surveyed said “it’s more important than ever for consumer activists to show support for companies by buying from them.” And the impact can be powerful. After Patagonia took a stand with its “The President Stole Your Land” campaign and blacked out its website, the company’s external web sales increased six-fold.

The Embedding Project 
Are you a change agent looking to shake things up within your company? You'll love The Embedding Project — a powerful set of open-source resources to help you identify and start to play with the levers for change in your organization. Get ready to geek out big-time. 🤓

Couch potatoes of America, stand up and take a bow. You are helping the nation conserve energy.
— Your Laziness is Saving the Planet (Pacific Standard)

Spotlight On: Meghan Markle’s Jeans


During Meghan Markle’s first visit to Wales, the princess-to-be sported a pair of Dina skinny fit high waist jeans from home-grown Welsh brand Hiut Denim Co. Within hours, the small business was inundated with orders and is now sitting on a significant backlog (each jean is made-to-order, or else they would have sold out).

It’s proof of the power of celebrity to boost ethical brands, as demonstrated by Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge and Emma Watson's @the_press_tour Instagram account. Even more, it's a good reminder of the way clothing can be used to communicate — in this case, Markle's support for Welsh industry.

Royal endorsement aside, Hiut is a pretty rad company. Their made-to-order jeans are made in their on-site factory from Italian artisan denim. They encourage customers to join their “elite" No Wash Club by abstaining from washing their jeans for six months. And they have an artfully written mission to bring ethical manufacturing back to Wales. The story is powerful:

Cardigan is a small town of 4,000 good people. 400 of them used to make jeans. They made 35,000 pairs a week. For three decades.

Then one day the factory closed. It left town. But all that skill and knowhow remained. Without any way of showing the world what they could do.

That’s why we have started The Hiut Denim Company. To bring manufacturing back home. To use all that skill on our doorstep. And to breathe new life into our town.

If it's true that "you are what you wear", Markle's fashion choice reflects well. 

Reconsidered is curated by Jessica Marati Radparvar, with support from contributor Ysabel Yates. If you enjoyed reading this newsletter, please consider sharing it!