The FINANCIAL — Consumers typically associate the food, technology, and fashion industries with corporate social
responsibility, according to a study by Clutch, a leading B2B research, ratings, and reviews firm.
People expect food-related industries, like grocery retailers (70%) and restaurants (62%), to commit to
corporate social responsibility, followed by the technology (70%) and fashion (65%) industries.
Since these industries produce things consumers use daily, experts say it’s no surprise that consumers
expect a higher level of social responsibility from them.
“With food, you’re putting those things in your body,” said Jen Bemisderfer, managing director of RH
Strategic, a public relations agency in Seattle. “With clothing, you’re wearing it on your body or next
to your body. It might seem that technology wouldn’t fit along these lines, but we treat smartphones
today as an extension of ourselves.”
Consumers expect businesses in these industries to act in different ways depending on how they’re
naturally positioned to support the wellbeing of individuals, local communities, and the global
Technology Users Expect Privacy and Data Protection
Among people that expect the technology industry to commit to corporate social responsibility, 72% of
those people say technology companies should focus on data and privacy.
Michael Gargiulo, CEO of VPN.com, said businesses need to improve security and protect their
customers’ data. Businesses also need to be transparent about security breaches when they happen so
people are informed. People primarily want grocery retailers (67%) and restaurants (71%) to address
local food insecurity by feeding those in need.
People Want to Know How the Fashion Industry Sources Its Materials
People want to know how the fashion industry manufactures its products and more than half of people
(58%) want the fashion industry to use ethically-sourced materials.
Overall, the report suggests that consumers place greater emphasis on how businesses support
individuals, local populations, and the global community.
“In recent years, we have seen increasing interest from consumers in understanding how and where
their products are sourced and in supporting companies that use business for positive social change,”
said Beth Gerstein, co-founder and co-CEO of Brilliant Earth.
Clutch’s 2019 PR and Corporate Social Responsibility Survey included 420 U.S. consumers who made
a purchase within the last six months.