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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Only 1/4 of 'money savers' would boycott child labour

In a poll on the site 'Money Saving Expert' only around a 1/4 of money savers said they would boycott a cheap clothing retailer if it was shown they used child labour to manufacture their products

I'd rather not have it than knowingly ignore the truth of where it came from.

Taken from the Labour Behind the Label website, info on high street stores and how they fair:
We wrote to all the major high street retailers and all members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). On the basis of the information gathered for this report, we put the companies into five groups, based on how well they were able to respond to the questions we asked.
These companies make no information available to consumers on their websites, and did not respond to our enquiries in any meaningful way. We are concerned that this lack of transparency indicates a lack of engagement. Includes: Bhs*, Diesel, House
of Fraser, Kookai, Mothercare, Marshalls, Monsoon Accessorize, Moss Bros, Peacocks/Bon Marche*, River Island, Ted Baker.
2.Dragging their feet
Responses from this group indicate scant effort to tackle workers' rights issues. They have not participated in collaborative efforts to develop best practice, in particular the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), and it shows from their responses. Includes: Arcadia (Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, etc), French Connection, Jigsaw/Kew, Laura Ashley, Matalan, Mosaic Group (Oasis, Karen
Millen, etc), Primark, Principles.
3.Resting on their laurels
While these companies have previously taken some steps to address working conditions, including joining the ETI, their responses and case histories suggest that they are more interested in ticking the right boxes to stave off criticism than they are in achieving actual results for their workers. By and large they don't seem to accept the seriousness of problems regarding wages and freedom of association. Includes: Asda, Debenhams, Sainsbury's, Madison Hosiery, Pentland.
4.Could do better
These companies gave us mixed responses, which indicated some consideration and decent steps in some areas, but didn't deal substantively with others or were too vague to be sure about. Includes: John Lewis, H&M, Levi Strauss & Co, M&S, New Look, Tesco, TK Maxx, Zara.
5.Pulling ahead
From their responses and case studies, these companies are further along than others. While they still have a long way to go, they seem to be engaging more seriously with the issues we raised. Includes: Gap, Next.

For a guide to ethical clothing check out Labour Behind the Label


birdychirp said...

I found that utterly startling and made me very sad. All this guff about it being better than the alternatives (not a reason to SUPPORT it) and part of a free market way of ending poverty (even if you are a capitalist, in what sense is the market free?!!) its wrong diddly wrong wrong WRONG!

Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

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