The easy etiquette dodge about “not talking politics” is out — consumers are pushing companies to take a stand.
In the process, they’re pushing fashion — and other business sectors from airlines to sports leagues — into often new and unfamiliar territory that ties together politics, purpose and the consumer dollars and cents that still power the corporate world.
Where fashion and politics meet, the social media megaphone is at full blare, the stakes are high and companies can run afoul of not just shoppers and their own employees, but the governments that set the rules for commerce.
H&M, Adidas, Nike and Burberry are among the companies acutely aware of the dynamic, stuck between their desire to avoid forced labor and cotton produced in Xinjiang, China, and Beijing-backed boycotts and reprisals — setting up a direct conflict between promises to consumers and hopes of expanding in China.
But that is just the latest — and very…