Let’s Clean Up Fashion
Anti poverty campaigners from War on Want and Labour Behind the Label have launched a report, Let’s Clean up Fashion, after checking the sourcing policies of 23 national retailers in the UK.
The report claims that most sweatshops are paying workers only half of what they need to live to cover basic expenses, including education and medicine.
Only three national retailers accepted the need for a significant improvement in pay and had “apparent genuine plans” to do so: Gap, New Look and Next. Kudos to them.
Twelve retailers did not respond – Bhs, Diesel, House of Fraser, Kookai, Matalan, Mk One, Moss Bros, Mothercare, Peacocks/Bon Marche, River Island, Rohan Designs and Ted Baker.
Sir Terry Leahy, Chief Executive of Tesco, was paid £4.6 million in salary and share bonuses in 2007 – enough to pay the annual wages of more than 25,000 Bangladeshi garment workers who supply Tesco.
Fashion brands have the money and power to do the right thing by the people who enable them to profit. How many more stories of exploitation will we have to hear before the industry takes responsibility and cleans up?