UK: Retailers urged to take action to end sweatshops
Campaigners are using the start of London Fashion Week to step up calls for high street retailers to take more action to end poverty pay for overseas workers.
A new report released today (16 September) by Labour Behind the Label, compares and ranks efforts by retailers to end workers' poverty.
The group and the authors of the report 'Let's Clean Up Fashion' say wages across the board are too low to allow workers even basic living standards - the ability to feed, clothe and shelter a family.
The study also condemns 11 other companies for not making enough effort to work towards a decent wage: Arcadia, Asda/George, Aurora, Burberry, H&M, Levi Strauss, Matalan, New Look, Primark, Sainsbury and Tesco.
Authors were particularly critical of Gap, which received a top grade in the group's previous Let's Clean Up Fashion reports. They cite its recent decision to drop plans to work towards a living wage and to monitor payment only of a minimum wage, a figure which leaves workers struggling at the bottom of the poverty scale.
But the group says none of the 29 UK high street brands surveyed yet pays workers a living wage.
Research last December by Labour Behind the Label found Indian workers producing for Debenhams, Next and M&S were paid just GBP60 (US$94.8) a month - below half a living wage of GBP126 (US$199) needed to live a decent quality of life.
Authors also point to the trend for firms to take steps to increase wages, but to fail to ensure workers can join trade unions and fight to maintain and improve their pay - a vital step, if work is to be sustainable.
"Many companies fail to admit that their buying practices and the prices they pay to suppliers are to blame for the poverty facing those who make our clothes," said Sam Maher from Labour Behind the Label.
Uncertainty is perhaps the biggest challenge facing the apparel industry in 2012. The economic situation in Europe and the US, swings in commodity prices, labour shortages and rising costs, especially...
Morrisons has confirmed that it has appointed former Peacocks managing director Tim Bettley as director of clothing....
The buyer of collapsed retailer Peacocks has revealed that he hopes to re-open up to 75 stores and is in the process of re-employing 60 staff made redundant by administrators at the retailer's Cardiff...
Top stories on just-style this week included our report on a shooting at an apparel factory in Cambodia, a report on the future of Colombian export, and a strike at the Bangladesh head office of threa...
Scottish retailer Edinburgh Woollen Mill has won the race to buy collapsed UK discount fashion retailer Peacocks, it was revealed today (22 February), with the sale protecting 6,000 jobs but also lead...
UK department store retailer Debenhams has launched a new fast fashion range called Kate Thomas, which consists of just 20 pieces and will be updated every three weeks....
UK clothing industry sales are forecast to increase 4.2% during 2012, with growth largely attributable to the London Olympics, according to research from Keynote....
A Pakistani billionaire has emerged as a surprise contender to buy UK discount fashion retailer Peacocks, according to media reports, as administrators near their deadline to secure a rescue bid for t...
- PSF 2014: No one size fits all in apparel sourcing
- PSF 2014: Shifting focus from cost to consumer
- Garment manufacturers eye Myanmar outsourcing
- Bangladesh industry development moving backwards
- Teen retail being rocked by fast fashion headwinds
- Adidas China supplier in discussions over strike
- Gap issues mirror widespread industry challenges
- Bangladesh PM asks clothing buyers to pay more
- H&M "pushing the process" on sustainable fashion
- Adidas plans mobile phone hotline at all suppliers
- Ethiopia – the emerging textile and clothing industry
- Antimicrobial fibres, fabrics and apparel: innovative weapons against infection
- Trade and trade policy: clothing imports, consumer expenditure and trends in five emerging markets: Brazil, Colombia, India, Kazakhstan and Peru, 4th quarter 2013
- Sustainable Textiles for Apparel: Fact, Fiction and Future Prospects
- Jeans in Italy