Ethics in the 21st century

Fashion has always been a form of expression and creativity, defining who we are and who we want to be by wearing the right clothes, on important occasions but also in everyday life.

However, its dark side has long since emerged, bringing to light all those “bad” practices widespread against nature and workers.

In recent years, a movement and a promotion process has developed which claims a more ethical and sustainable fashion, paying particular attention:


But what does “Ethics” mean?


It is a word that is often used, especially recently, more often than not approached the word sustainability.

Sustainability concerns the environmental, economic and social sphere, in an interconnected and interdependent way.

It is a long-term approach, adopted by companies, to the sustainable development of product design, their production and related consumption.

With decree 152/2006 the definition of sustainability has become a normative provision:

“Development suitable to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to respond to them is defined as sustainable.”

With Ethics, however, we refer more to the concepts of good and bad.

Ethics is both, a set of values ​​and norms that regulate the practical behavior of man in relation to others and a criterion that allows man to judge his own and others’ behaviors distinguishing the good, right and lawful ones, from those considered bad, unjust and wrongful.


Applied ethics


The concept of ethics has been at the center of great reflections since ancient times, just think of the great Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the great Chinese thinker Confucius, promoter of this principle in the East.

Towards the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century there was a need for ethical reflection to offer useful suggestions for solving the new moral problems due to the great transformations that the developments of scientific research and technology have produced in societies Westerners.

New questions have arisen that question the more or less negative consequences of technological development on the relationships between man and the natural environment and theories have been developed that put a limit on irresponsible conduct towards the limited resources available to the Earth.

In the last century, ethics has also led to the complex discussion of the intertwining of morality and economic decisions within the organization of companies engaged in productive activities.

In this historical period, therefore, there is not only a profound and persistent economic crisis, but also a social crisis, where inequalities reign, individualism at the expense of social relations, failing that sense of belonging to a community, which it is not the national / local one but the whole world.

It can be concluded by stating that the growing attention that companies are giving to the theme of sustainability, has brought to light the need and duty to seek a common good, rediscovering a sense of responsibility that man has towards the planet in which he lives and towards the people he relates to.

A sense of responsibility that appeals not only to present generations but also to future ones.

Alongside the sense of responsibility, there is another guiding principle, that of participation, as sustainability and the pursuit of the good involve everyone without distinction, citizens, the public and private sectors.

Applied ethics will be the core of next insight
Economia e sostenibilità, verso una nuova etica? Matteo Mascia, coordinatore del progetto Etica e politiche ambientali, Fondazione Lanza.


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