Blog: Leonie BarriePressure for supply chain clean-up

Leonie Barrie | 26 November 2012

Pressure on fashion brands and retailers to clean up their supply chains resurfaced again last week with new evidence that they are continuing to sell clothing contaminated with toxic chemicals.

Research from environmental pressure group Greenpeace International tested 141 clothing items and claims to expose links between manufacturing plants using hazardous chemicals and their presence in consumer products. The highest concentrations were said to be found in clothing from Zara, Metersbonwe, Levi's, C&A, Mango, Calvin Klein, Jack & Jones and Marks & Spencer.

A number of major clothing brands have also been accused of "fuelling modern-day slavery" through their failure to address child and forced labour in their supply chains.

A report released by the Not For Sale campaign grades companies on the extent to which they have traced their suppliers and established systems throughout their supply chains to prevent and address the issue. Firms including Lacoste and Skechers received the lowest grades.

And around 250 garment workers from India's main production centres attended a trial-like event staged last week in a bid to draw attention to pay and working conditions in factories that make clothes for Western brands and retailers. A panel of international judges surveyed the evidence, which included input from H&M and Adidas.

As Xi Jinping assumes the leadership of China's ruling Communist Party and prepares to get down to business, Mike Flanagan pens him an open letter offering up a few home truths about China's textile and garment industry.

Likewise, a number of issues affecting clothing, textile and footwear trade are facing the re-elected US Administration, including the fiscal cliff and talks to expand the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.



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