The genius of TBS in the 80s was that by attracting customers by providing new and innovative products that not only felt good but provided nice benefits, the average customer was reeled in by those things first; the education about ethical consumerism happened as part of the process. It was the perfect combination: buy something that you like and feel good about buying it.
Today, when more so-called ethical companies get bought out by the not-so-ethical ones, it is getting harder to decide whether something labeled as "fair trade" or "not tested on animals" really means what you think it means. Add to that the premium price you often pay for such products, and one day soon you might find that consumers increasingly characterised by apathy rather than activism.
There may very well be a backlash in the wings for many big corporations who either buy takeaway ethics to go (like L'Oreal just did) or develop special "Fair Trade" brands in house to cash in on the lucrative ethical-consumer market. Unless the products are actually better than the alternatives, people might not care.
Further reading: Compassionate shopping guide (by Naturewatch).