We hope you all had a wonderful and uplifting Christmas and New Year, and that the holidays were refreshing and stimulating in all sorts of ways. Some of you may already feel, however, that some of the spirit of Christmas wanes a little too quickly, and that ethical resolutions for a better world are soon dropped. Well, have a look at the project’s working paper, which is now available from this blog.

Download Working Paper

This working paper sets out some of the outcomes of the project, including connections and collaborations between participants in the project (both practitioners and academics from various fields), leading to valuable new directions for future research and scholarship.

working pronounced \ˈwər-kiŋ\
adj. assumed or adopted to permit or facilitate further work or activity

paper pronounced \ˈpā-pər\
n. (1) a formal written composition often designed for publication
(2) a paper container or wrapper

(Source: Merriam-Webster)

Have your say: Tell us what you think of the project and its conclusions.

Are there experiences, feelings or practices we have missed? Are there new questions or questions we need to ask again? What do you think are the real priorities for scholars, researchers, teachers and policymakers in working with ethical consumption?

Check out this story from iabuk.net, an internet advertising feed – if you think they have a point, then you should be blogging about how you will be making ethical decisions this Christmas…

Social media influences Xmas spending

Some 28 per cent of US consumers claim social media has influenced their Christmas shopping decisions this year, according to digital analyst comScore.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

The research, which covers the period between December 4th and 7th 2009, indicates that 13 per cent of respondents read a consumer product review on a social media portal that had an affect on their festive purchasing.

Some 11 per cent suggested that an expert product review influenced what they bought, while seven per cent revealed they have followed a fan page on Facebook to take advantage of deals on offer.

Microblogging website Twitter has also had an impact on this year’s Christmas shopping trends, with five per cent of respondents saying they have followed a company on the service in order to get their hands on special offers.

Figures from comScore also indicate that e-commerce spending is up year on year.

The first 36 days of the November to December 2009 holiday season has seen nearly $16 billion (£9.81 billion) spent online – a three per cent increase on the same period in 2008.

Meanwhile, the week ending December 6th saw $4.6 billion spent on the web, which was a larger figure than any individual spending week last year.

In the UK, it has been predicted that Monday December 7th will have been the busiest online shopping day on record once results have been published.”

A few of Andy Hamilton’s ideas for lo-cost and thoughtful gifts:

Hope he washed that bottle before giving it to someone else.

Magician Derren Brown has clearly managed to read our working paper before it has been launched! Either that, or he has been following the development of the ‘Not Just for Christmas’ project closely. Perhaps he followed last year’s project Advent Calendar (which is still worth a read, by the way).

Those of you who followed the project last will certainly agree with his point: [Christmas] is certainly as good a time as any other to rise to the challenge of leading a kinder, lovelier life – one that stretches far beyond the encouraged sentimentality of the holiday period.

Well Derren, you are cordially invited to our study day on 19th December, when we will be presenting some of the project’s findings and guest speakers Jo Littler and Alec Badenoch will be helping us raise a glass to sustainable change that is ‘not just for christmas’.

Guilt free presents?

4 December, 2009

The Guardian has found a perfect ‘ethical’ Christmas present ‘just for her’ – a £188 Aura Que handbag. Great, it’s made from banana yarn, but you know, we’re not sure that the Guardian is really getting the point. Hammocks for ‘eco-enthusiasts’ (who-they?) seems to be a rather mixed message too. Perhaps they should come along to our Study Day

Some interesting ideas for everyday living, really, with a few Christmas Tree alternatives thrown in. (Well, alternatives to dead or plastic, rather than to Christmas trees…)

BBC journalists seem very unhappy with the message of Joel Waldfogel and others that perhaps the gift market is a bit too much – buried in the story is an interesting idea that the revenue from unused gift vouchers be diverted to charity…

Sunday Supplement

21 December, 2008

If you’re the sort of person to read the Sunday papers with your web browser open, you might be catching up with blogs about Christmas this final Sunday before the big day. In which case, have a glance at today’s Advent Calendar entry for an historical perspective on free trade, fair trade, and FairTrade. What relationship do we have with distant others in consuming?

This afternoon sees the start of Christmas panic weekend – offices are closing, works lunches are about to be served, and the early afternoon shops are starting to brim with suited men and women looking for some way of making the last weekend before Christmas just a little bit easier. We Brits go for ethical Christmas gifts quite a bit now, but wherever you’re from the approach you can take to buying ethical gifts should be the same. Here are a few random tips and items that we have collected for you to think about today:

1) Bring your own bags.

2) Stay Christmassy! (we’re talking about having ethical fun)

3) Appreciate the value of giving different gifts, or gifts with a twist – Children and adults both like new toys too!

4) Be discerning. Take a little time to think and appreciate what you can learn about ethical retailers, about the ideas and suggestions of others, and your real wishes for Christmas cheer.

5) Don’t Panic! If you can’t manage 100% ethical christmas this year don’t let it mean you stop trying. What can you do after Christmas? Have you found ethical birthday presents too? Have you seen ethical ideas you can use every day? Can you make ethical consumption a regular thing and not just for Christmas?

Where does your Christmas Tree come from and do you care?

Today’s Advent Calendar entry – 19th December – will make you consider just that, as well as how we interact with our own government’s ethical legislation…

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