History of Responsible Consumerism

Below is a list of successful responsible consumerism campaigns.  Please email us at theresponsibleconsumer1@gmail.com if we missed any campaigns.

Successful boycotts that have created change

Successful change cause by an ethical consumer demand




  • In 2001 the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), launched a series of boycotts of major food retailers to signed on to the Fair Food Program agreement to improve farm conditions for Florida farm workers.  The following companies signed onto the Fair Food Program:
    • 2015 – Ahold
    • 2015 – The Fresh Market
    • 2014 – Walmart
    • 2012 – Chipotle Mexican Grill
    • 2012 – Trader Joe’s
    • 2010 – Sodexo
    • 2010 – Aramark
    • 2009 – Compass Group
    • 2009 – Bon Appétit Management Company
    • 2008 – Subway
    • 2008 – Whole Foods Market
    • 2008 – Burger King
    • 2007 – McDonalds
    • 2005 – Yum! Brands (Taco Bell)






  • Due to a series of PETA campaigns and boycotts major wool retailers, such as John Lewis Partnership Gap Inc, H&M, NEXT, Adidas, Abercrombie & Fitch, Liz Claiborne, Timberland, HUGO BOSS and Perry Ellis International ban any Australian wool that practices the cruel “mulesing
  • After a series of Greenpeace campaigns, Nestlé, McDonald’s, Kraft, Unilever and other corporate giants promised to cut its contracts with palm oil plantations involved in deforestation.
  • Due to the United Students Against Sweatshops campaign that led to 96 US colleges severing their contracts with Fruit of the Loom, parent company of Russell Athletic, due to closing a Honduran Factory because it unionize, Fruit of the Loom re-opened the Honduran factory, gave all 1,200 employees their jobs back, awarded them $2.5 million in compensation and restored all union rights.


  • Due to Greenpeace campaign and boycotts, Kimberly who owns brands such as Kleenex, Scott, and Cottonelle, will stop sourcing old growth forests for their paper products and will increase recycle paper sourcing.



  • Following campaigns by Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade (CAFT) Snow+Rock and Inditex Group, which owned fashion chain Zara, announced they would no longer be selling real fur garments.


  • Due to the Dogwood Alliance and ForestEthics campaigns, Staples and Office Depot pledged to achieve an average of 30% post consumer recycled content across all paper products, phase out purchases of paper products from endangered forests, create an environmental affairs division and to report annually on its environmental results.
  • In response to a three-year Animal Aid campaignFocus pledged to end the sale of all animals, including fish, in its stores throughout the UK.
  • Marine campaign group Oceana’s boycott of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd led to the company installing Advanced Wastewater Purification technology (AWP) on all its ships.


  • In 2003 Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace organized nonviolence protests that included a sex strike. Their actions led to peace in Liberia after a 14‑year civil war and the election of the country’s first female head of state.
    • Read more about other sex strikes at this link.


  • Due to a four year boycott run by the National Anti-Hunt Campaign (NAHC),  John Lewis’ ended its staff pheasant shoots and closed company’s Shooting Club.


  • Due to the “Mitsubishi: Don’t Buy It” CampaignMitsubishi pulled out of an industrial salt project in Mexico for environmental reasons. The project to extract salt from sea water in evaporation ponds was to be located in a World Heritage Site – the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve. Potentially covering 116 square miles, it threatened a breeding ground for whales and other endangered species.


  • Over 2 decades of boycotts against Nike has caused Nike to admit to the injustices and sweatshop conditions in their supply chain and to implement many different measures to monitor and reduce these injustices with mix results but overall improvements.




  • Series of boycotts of Coors for discrimination hiring practices against women, Hispanics, Black people, LGBTQ and pro union people.  These boycotts produce several victories preventing Coors from discriminating against anyone, allowing workers to vote for union representation and same-sex partner benefits.




  • Montgomery bus boycott wins forcing the Alabama and Montgomery laws requiring segregated buses to be unconstitutional



  • Captain Charles Boycott was a land owner in Ireland who tried to evict tenants who couldn’t pay his high rent.  The tenants organized and his employees stopped working, local businesses wouldn’t take his money, and even the postman wouldn’t deliver his mail which eventually forced Captain Boycott to move away, making his name synonymous with modern boycotts.
  • American boycott of British goods successfully repealed all the harsh taxes of the Townshend Acts except the tea tax which eventually lead to the American Revolution.


Please email us at theresponsibleconsumer1@gmail.com if we missed any campaigns.