This article is an attempt to look at consumption from an ethical point of view. It highlihts social and ecological consequences of ethical consumption that indispensably accompany the consumption process, which was already discerned in 1970s. In this context the notions of both ethical consumption and ethical consument are formulated. According to such approach the ethical consumer, having taken full moral responsibility for the amount and quality of goods and services which he consumes is able to minimize the side effects which are perceived as a result of an imperfect market mechanism. The ethical premises form the basis for the environmentalism of consumption. The ecological movements, in turn, represented a contribution to the development of the contemporary consumer movement referred to as ethical consumerism. Ethical consumers, considering consumption in terms of ethics, are trying to make consumer decisions taking into account the way in which commodities are manufactured, distributed, used and utilized. The spread of the idea of ethical consumer among societies of developed countries allowed not only the development of a certain kind of ecological consciousness but also contributed to a greater sensitivity to the problem that is inseparably connected with consumption.
Anna Wildowicz-Giegel, Uniwersytet w Bialymstoku, Wydzial Ekonomii i Zarzdzania, ul. Warszawska 63, 15-062 Bialystok, Poland
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