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image of A woke brand? An analysis of Nike and the limits of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the fashion-industrial complex

Abstract

In an era marked by heightened social consciousness and impacted by Black Lives Matter (BLM), fashion brands worldwide endeavour to position themselves as socially responsible. This study scrutinizes Nike, a global leader in the fashion-industrial complex, and its ‘woke’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. By conducting a detailed case study of Nike’s ‘woke’ CSR initiatives and analysing social media user comments, the research seeks to unveil the tensions and constraints of ‘woke’ CSR. The study investigates the social media discourse surrounding Nike’s image, focusing on racial consciousness and concludes that the brand’s ‘woke’ CSR initiatives are not transformative; they merely perform wokeness. The analysis uncovered three common themes in the social media data: (1) the commodification of BLM, (2) commodity activism and (3) woke-washing. By examining the limits of Nike’s ‘woke’ CSR practices within the fashion-industrial complex, this study provides insights into the challenges and opportunities for brands seeking to meet socially conscious consumers’ evolving expectations.

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/content/journals/10.1386/fspc_00256_1
2024-05-03
2024-07-13
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