• Asos is to host an event in London today (27 March) to discuss ways of tackling modern slavery in the global supply chain.
  • The event aims to identify and address shared risks in key sourcing regions. 
  • The UK-based online fashion retailer hopes attendees - including its third-party brands - will commit to increase transparency and build capability to tackle the issue. 
Asos is seeking a commitment from attendees to increase transparency and build capability to tackle modern slavery

Asos is seeking a commitment from attendees to increase transparency and build capability to tackle modern slavery

Asos is to share modern slavery risks in key sourcing regions at a meeting in London today (27 March) and seek a commitment from third-party brands to increase transparency and build capability to tackle modern slavery in the global supply chain.

The UK-based online fashion retailer will co-host an event with Baroness Lola Young, Co-Chair All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion, at the House of Lords to identify and address shared risks in the apparel sector.

Set to be attended by senior representatives from Asos third-party brands including Missguided, BooHoo, New Look, French Connection, Lipsy, Perry Ellis and Jack Wills, as well as industry colleagues such as Selfridges, Burberry and Debenhams, the meeting will see Asos share modern slavery risks in key sourcing regions and seek a commitment from attendees to increase transparency and build capability to tackle the issue.

Speakers at the event include Asos CEO Nick Beighton, Baroness Lola Young, River Island CEO Ben Lewis, and Klara Skrivankova, senior private sector advisor at Anti-Slavery International.

"A lack of transparency in the supply chain can lead to issues like poor working conditions business and genuine business risk," explains Beighton. "It's only by working together, sharing experiences and committing to common goals that we can truly tackle modern slavery."

The House of Lords meeting comes in the same week Asos releases its second Modern Slavery Statement in-line with UK legislation and five weeks after it hosted an event with the British High Commission in Mauritius, which brought together local and international stakeholders to discuss the challenges in managing labour migration and agree a common framework for improving worker protection in Mauritius and beyond.

The retailer's Modern Slavery Statement and the commitments contained within form a key component of its Ethical Trade Strategy, which has been set up to help the brand tackle human rights impacts in its global supply chain and empower workers to realise and understand their fundamental rights. A key component of the strategy is an ambition to drive a systemic shift in the way Asos third-party brands approach ethical trade and sustainability.

"Exploitative, forced and child labour is bigger than any single company so it's hugely encouraging to see competitive businesses recognising the role they can play in addressing the labour abuses that are sadly still so prevalent in fashion manufacturing around the world," adds Baroness Young.