“Consumers by definition, include us all. They are the largest economic group, affecting and affected by almost every public and private economic decision. Yet they are the only important group... whose views are often not heard.” John F. Kennedy, March 15th 1962

Decisions made by big brands can affect us all. For example:  Global fashion brands treating our public waterways like their private sewers, acting as if it is somehow “normal” to flush toxic and hormone-disrupting chemicals into our rivers when their suppliers are manufacturing our clothes. 

They don’t have to, of course, it’s a business decision to ignore the alternatives, but their decision to operate in this state of apparent madness impacts upon many people’s lives, including yours.

Consumers have rights (and power)

Today, on the 50th anniversary of World Consumer Rights day, we remember the rights that we have as citizens, affected as we are by the occasional brilliance and regular madness that results from the choices made by big businesses. We also remember our power – when we act collectively, when we make our voice heard – to challenge their unjust behaviour, and our ability to change it for the better.

In 2011, Greenpeace launched the Detox campaign, which challenged global fashion brands to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from their supply chain and products. Since launch, six brands – PumaNikeAdidasH&MLi-Ning and C&A – have all signed up to “Detox”, and their decisions to clean-up their acts was influenced in large part by the collective actions of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Some people signed the petitions, others wrote letters to CEOs, some sported the Detox tattoo, while others plastered the brands’ Facebook pages with comments. Over 600 people even helped set the record for the largest coordinated striptease outside the brands’ stores.

These were people just like you, who did not want to sit in silence and watch as corporations more concerned with profit margins than people or planet trashed our rivers with hazardous chemicals. We joined together – consumers, activists, supporters and affected communities – to call on these brands to change. And change they did.

So, 50 years after JFK’s iconic speech I urge you to watch the latest Detox video and share it with your friends to remind them of the mightiness of #PeoplePower, and to send a clear message to all brands that we won’t stop speaking out until they commit to Detox and then begin turning their words into actions.  

It’s fun, it’s cheeky, and if enough people watch and share it then it will help make a real difference in lives of people all around the world.

What all brands know, and all brands fear, is that they are nothing without their consumers.

So make your voice heard.

Tommy Crawford is the Strategic Communications Manager on the Detox Campaign. You can follow him on twitter at: @theecowarrior

To star in our next video check out our new instagram competition

Click here to find out more about the ongoing Detox campaign