By Alan Bean
Have you heard of Conscious Capitalism yet? If not, you soon will.
This article by Harvard student Lucia Hulsether describes the philosophy, originally popularized by the photogenic Blake Mycoskie, CEO of TOM’S shoes (pictured below). Her primary interest isn’t in the nuts and bolts of Conscious Capitalism, nor is she offering a critique of the philosophy; she wants to understand why this marketing strategy is so appealing for consumers.
Her basic answer is that it feels good. We want to be on the side of the angels, and we want to shop till we drop. Being told that we can do both at the same time sounds too good to be true.
If you are looking for a positive take on Conscious Capitalism, this rapturous piece from the Harvard Business Review should fit the bill.
If you are in the market for an excellent book on the theology of economics (or the economics of theology) Joerg Rieger’s No Rising Tide is a great place to start.
But if you just want to know why so many people shop at places like Whole Foods, TOM”S shoes, Trader Joe’s and the Container Store (all proud proponents of Conscious Capitalism), Lucia Hulsether’s article is an illuminating place to begin.
Here they are, smiling and crying, the words catching in their throats as they place tiny shoes to the feet of tiny children. Seven strangers, the YouTube video tells us—a recycling truck driver, a retired nurse, a special education teacher, a college student—all astonished to be invited on a special mission: to deliver free pairs of TOMS shoes to needy children in Honduras. (more…)