Home > Contemporary Theory and Issues in PR, Fashion > Corporate Social Responsibility in PR is just window dressing.

Corporate Social Responsibility in PR is just window dressing.

Is Corporate Social Responsibility merely window dressing

After our visit from Dr. Ed Sykes at the Science Media Centre, the battle of the debates continued.

This time the statement was:  “Attempts to align companies or brands with good causes are mere window dressing- companies should stick to the business of making money”

In the red corner, Divya, Jyoti and Nandita were arguing against this statement and the red corner – Jayne, Kat and Karolina argued for the statement.

The red team argued aptly that CSR within a business does no harm – of course it’s good for the company, and that it builds brand reputation, however when bringing to light Nike, and it’s sustainability efforts, the blue team argued that it defeated the object if you cannot even pay your employees a respectable salary. And with that in mind, I came to a conclusion that CSR was merely window dressing. Why take sweets away from one child to give to another?

On the other hand, here’s something a little off the mark and highly ethical for fashion. Tom’s Shoes.


Tom’s Shoes, founded in 2006 in California by Blake Mycoskie is a shoe company with a not for profit subsidiary. For every shoe purchased, a pair is donated to a child in need. Over 300,000 shoes have been donated to a child in need under the One for One movement. They also have a ‘One day without shoes’ movement, where participants will walk around barefoot. 

The shoes are distributed by shoe drops, with the help from 501 non profit organisations, they successfuly distribute the shoes all year round. Volunteers are encouraged to join and drop!

So my point is, companies can submit to Corporate Social Responsbility, but what is the point if it’s merely for profit, and branding? There needs to be an underlying message behind the whole company ethos, like Tom’s Shoes where the inspiration for the shoes are the Argentine Alpargeta style tradtionally worn by farmers. Otherwise, if the message is contradictory to the companies missions, the transparency of the caompany will be questioned and suspicions will rise, and with the advent of Social Media, transparency and ethical practices have been made public by the people.

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