Educating About Ethics, Without Lecturing

A common hesitation that I hear from brands when approaching any kind of copy or content about their brand is that they'd love to share about their ethics and values, but they don't want their audience to feel like they're being lectured. No one wants to be guilted into making better choices, and education is the most important first step to changing the "why" behind someone's purchase, so here are some ways you can educate your audience without lecturing. 

1. Give Them Grace

I can't tell you how many of my friends have said, "don't judge me for shopping at H&M," or, "do you mind if I run into this store, please don't hate me for shopping here." My response, after a giggle, is that no one is perfect and ethical consumption is not just about buying from ethical brands. It has a lot to do with intention. If I purchase a shirt from H&M because it's the style and fit that I've been looking for and I know I will get hundreds of uses out of the shirt, that is more effective for the environment and my closet than buying from a brand I'm not super familiar with and only wearing the piece once. 

2. Ask Questions

For people outside of the ethical space, sometimes it's easier to shop fast fashion and ignore it's impact, than face the facts. A very subtle way to spark interest and make someone pay attention is to simply ask a question... "Did you know this brand was part of a factory collapse that killed almost 1,200 people?" "Did you know this brand has been known to employ child labor?" "Did you know that chemical dyes used in clothing can contaminate the water that communities use for survival?" Bringing the reality of fast fashion to the forefront in a simple question is a great way to spark conversation and open the door for education without lecturing or scolding anyone.

3. Lead With Your Why

Whether you're an ethical brand speaking to consumers, or an ethical consumer trying to educate your friends, it's much easier to stand behind someone's cause when you know their heart behind it. Honestly speaking your truth, and your why, makes it easier for someone to relate to what you're speaking and even take an interest in it. 

So the next time you're trying to write a blog post, think of an Instagram Story graphic, or write a caption, just be authentic, ask the important questions, and lead with your heart.


RISE Creative was founded on the idea that small businesses, social enterprises, and non-profits don't always have the capacity to hire full-time staff to join in the efforts towards their incredible missions. We create extremely personalized ethical branding and digital marketing packages that fit your company's needs. Get your free consultation here.

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