The rise of the compassionate consumer

20 December 2010

20 December 2010
As we enter the busiest shopping week of the year in the rich North, development professionals may want to consider the new union of consumerism and conscience.

Initiatives which offer shoppers the opportunity of saving lives while treating themselves to luxury items are seeing modern philanthropists being morphed into post-modern consumers, according to Lisa Ann Richey, Professor in international development studies at Riskilde University, Denmark.

Speaking at IDS, Professor Richey said schemes such as Project Red - in which sales-related marketing is linked directly to donations to development funds - are 'the logical manifestation of the post-modern consumer striving for salvation and status'.

Product Red, she says, is a co-branding exercise focussing on compassionate consumption as a vector of funding international aid.

Listen to the entirety of Professor Richey's seminar, based on her new book Brand Aid - Shopping Well to Save the World.