Document Type



This article makes a case for a theoretical departure from dominant approaches to trademark law. It explains and then connects information capitalism to new governance through the heuristic of brand citizenship. Through these suggested analytical lenses, it examines a case study of ‘Big Fashion,’ which has become a highly concentrated industry focused almost solely on maximizing shareholder profit without regard to consumer, environment, or labor impact. It then concludes with some suggestions regarding the functions of brand citizenship in increasingly globalized markets where downward pressure on prices translates into greater global public “bads” often imposed upon the most vulnerable. For consumers to ‘look good’ in both the aesthetic and ethical senses, brand citizenship demands greater attention to the distance currently existing between these consumers and other stakeholders in the process of value creation in marks and brands.


Published as part of a symposium entitled Brand New World: Distinguishing Oneself in the Global Flow, a slightly different version of this sociolegal approach to trademark law is also forthcoming in the Sage Handbook of Intellectual Property (2014).