More than half of Britain's consumers would rather buy ethically produced clothing, according to the latest research from market information company TNS Worldpanel Fashion.

Moreover, 76% felt an end to child labour and sweatshops was a very important driver of ethical production, closely followed by offering producers a fair price (60%) and damage caused to the environment (50%).

TNS research manager Brenda Gobine said it was obvious people were more worried about workers being treated fairly than about elements such as organic manufacturing.

Gobine told just-style "only time will tell" if the ethical clothing trend will continue.

But the report also revealed that 58% of under-25s didn't care how clothes were produced - nearly twice the percentage of those aged over 55.

Price could be a factor for younger generations, Gobine said, but added that if more younger stores sold ethical clothes, more younger people would be likely to buy them.

59% of women felt ethical production of clothes was important to them, and 41% of men thought the same.

Meanwhile, 27% of people would pay more for ethically produced clothing but 53% admitted they would choose ethical if they didn't have to pay more.

Marks & Spencer (M&S) was rated the most ethical retailer by consumers, scoring 3.27 on a scale of 1 - 5. Value fashion retailers were given the lowest score, indicating a link in consumers' minds between price, quality and ethical responsibility, TNS said.

Gobine suggested shoppers would feel ethical clothing was "safe" if it could be bought at more quality retailers such as M&S. "It's a safe environment," she told-just-style.

Supermarkets significantly out-performed competitors with Tesco's clothing ranking ahead of some major fashion retailers in the scale of perceived ethically responsible production.

Gobine pointed out that supermarkets are allocating more room for ethical goods and said: "Consumers will be more open-minded if they are already selling ethical food lines."