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Tell Boohoo and Amazon to pay a living wage

Tell Boohoo and Amazon to pay a living wage

Online fast fashion is a growing market. Consumers buying super fast trends in high volumes as seen on instagram and youtube means factories are under huge pressures to produce fast orders at low costs. This often impacts on human rights, including the right to a living wage. 

Boohoo and Amazon are some of the biggest players in online fashion, but in our recent survey – Tailored Wages UK 2019 – both brands failed to show they had any policy for ensuring workers who make the clothes they sell are paid enough to live with dignity and support a family.

We are calling on Boohoo and Amazon to recognise publicly that workers who make their clothes should be paid a living wage wherever they are in the world, and to put this commitment into their supplier policies.

Will you sign the petition? 

Action Update: Winter 2018

Action Update: Winter 2018

Find our what Labour Behind the Label have been up to in our bi-annual Action Update.

 

This issue looks at the potential for devastation as the Bangladesh Transition Accord, protecting the safety of Bangladeshi garment workers, is in peril due to a High Court injunction to remove it, jeopardising the safety of millions of workers. Remaining in Bangladesh, we look at the desperate action workers are taking, including going on hunger strike, to demand an increase to the minimum wage. There is information on the UK’s home-grown sweatshop factories in Leicester, as well as our Black Friday action in the face of H&M’s failed promise to pay a living wage. We also celebrate the success of our Invisible Threads fundraising Art Auction, which raised an amazing £2,800.

Read it here: Action Update Winter 2018

Action Update: Summer 2018

Action Update: Summer 2018

Find our what Labour Behind the Label have been up to in our bi-annual Action Update.

 

This issue marks five years since the devastating Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, and this issue takes a look at which brands have yet to sign the Transition Accord for Bangladeshi workers safety, and marks campaign success as Next, Sainsburys and Debenhams sign up to protect their workers. We are celebrating a transparency campaign win as fast-fashion clothing giant Primark caves to pressure and discloses their supplier list. There is information on H&M’s forgotten promise to pay a living wage to their garment workers, a message to the England football team as they return home from a strong World Cup performance, and a celebration for the acquittal of Cambodian workers rights activist Tola Moeun.

Read it here: Action Update Summer 2018

Report: Adidas and Nike pay record-breaking amounts to footballers, but deny decent wages to women stitching their shirts

Report: Adidas and Nike pay record-breaking amounts to footballers, but deny decent wages to women stitching their shirts

Report: Adidas and Nike pay record-breaking amounts to footballers, but deny decent wages to women stitching their shirts

While millions of people are getting ready to cheer their favorite teams during the Football World Cup, a report by Éthique sur l’étiquette and Clean Clothes Campaign, ‘Foul Play’, reveals that adidas and Nike, major sponsors of the global event, pay poverty wages to the thousands of women in their supply chain that sew the football shirts and shoes of players and supporters.

Download the report here >>

Published June 2018.

IKEA refuses to join Bangladesh Accord

IKEA refuses to join Bangladesh Accord

On 1 June 2018 the Transition Accord will take effect, working to make garment factories in Bangladesh safer. It will continue the work of its predecessor, which was established shortly after the deadly Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, to inspect factories and monitor renovations in a credible and transparent way. The new Accord has a range of new features, including the fact that it now welcomes producers of home textiles and fabric and knit accessories, next to garment factories. This means that more companies can join and more workers can be protected. However, IKEA, the largest home furnishing company in the world, has refused to bring the home textile factories it sources from in Bangladesh under the purview of the Accord.    

The 2018 Transition Accord is now signed by 175 garment and home textile companies, including some of the main companies sourcing from Bangladesh such as Primark, H&M, C&A and Aldi. This covers more than 1,300 factories and approximately two million workers. As the initial Bangladesh Accord was signed by over 220 garment companies, it means that there are still many companies sourcing from Bangladesh that have refused to take responsibility for the safety of the workers producing their garments, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Sean John Apparel and Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Other garment companies have never even signed the first Accord, either creating their own, less credible and binding alternative or sticking to completely voluntary measures. These companies, which include VF Corporation (The North Face), GAP, Walmart and many others, should soon take responsibility for worker safety as well and join the Accord. Companies can and should still join after the start of the 2018 Accord, as it is never too late to start protecting workers’ lives.   

One of the new features of the 2018 Accord is that it also covers factories producing home textiles and fabric and knit accessories. In March therefore Future in Our Hands (FIOH), the organization that hosts Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) in Norway, reached out to the country’s three main producers of home textile. While the two domestic companies Kid Interiør and Princess Gruppen answered favourably and signed the Accord, globally operating retail giant IKEA, originating from Sweden, refused to do so. 

The IKEA Way vs The Accord

In communication with representatives of FIOH and CCC Norway, IKEA claimed that the company’s own code of conduct, ‘the IKEA Way’ (IWAY), is sufficient to ensure safety at the company’s suppliers. In a meeting last Monday in Norway, IKEA reassured representatives of both organizations that there are several ways to reach the goal of factory safety. Clean Clothes Campaign is however convinced that there actually is only one credible way towards safe factories in Bangladesh – and it is not IKEA’s way. 

The Accord offers the only road towards safer factories in a country in which voluntary corporate social auditing systems has in the past failed to prevent the thousands of deaths of the Rana Plaza and Tazreen factory catastrophes. In response to that, the Accord is a collective scheme, that is a legally binding agreement between a great number of brands and trade unions and contains extensive enforcement mechanisms. IWAY is no different from previous voluntary corporate auditing schemes: it is IKEA’s code of conduct, which is accountable to only the company itself. It lacks the transparency that makes the Accord credible and accountable; while the Accord publishes inspection and progress reports as well as lists of factories that have been terminated from the programme, IKEA makes none of this information public. This makes it impossible for outsiders to check whether IWAY is actually making factories safer. Moreover, while the Accord inspects all factories that signatory companies source from or sourced from in the recent past, IKEA only carries out audits in its main suppliers, expecting them to in turn check on their subcontractors. This suggests that IKEA wants to deflect responsibility from these suppliers and strongly decreases their possibility to oversee the process and be knowledgeable about working conditions in those factories.  

IKEA claims to have has five main suppliers in Bangladesh. Research by FIOH reveals that only one of these suppliers in Bangladesh is covered by the Accord, meaning workers in the remaining factories are still at risk. 

What can you do?

Tell IKEA you want to see them respect their workers and sign the Bangladesh Accord. You could do this by:

New report shares good practice for advancing workers’ rights in the shoe industry

New report shares good practice for advancing workers’ rights in the shoe industry

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”3755″ img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]Press release: Tuesday 19 December 2017

New report shares good practice for advancing workers’ rights in the shoe industry

Campaigners hope to encourage progress on workers’ rights with a new review of better practice in the shoe industry.

“How To Do Better: an exploration of better practices within the footwear industry” is published today by Labour Behind the Label and the Change Your Shoes campaign.

The campaign hopes the cases and recommendations will encourage companies, federations, policy makers and other stakeholders  to learn from the work being done by others, and that this review will allow greater cooperation between workers, civil society organisations and brands in moving forward on human rights due diligence.

The practices are assessed according to how they improved five key areas of widespread human rights violations in the shoe industry: improving working conditions, occupational health and safety, freedom of association, environmental issues and transparency and traceability across the whole supply chain.

“There are plenty of ways in which companies pursue an ethical ethos, and through our research we can see how different weight is given by different companies to ensuring ecological, organic, certified materials, or fair conditions and social compliance, in production and in countries with a high risk of human rights abuses or low environmental standards. We have sought to find different practices which present an integrated approach and are transparent enough to reveal more than a simple commitment to ‘ethical’ production”, say Dominique Muller and Anna Paluszek, the authors of the report.

The report aims to share good practice, case studies and results for others to follow, and to share with all stakeholders examples of sustainable alternatives within the shoe industry. It is not designed to be used as a shopping guide nor does it attempt to rank or rate brands.

The report presents some cases of brands (including Ethletic, Veja, Sole Rebels, Nisolo, Po Zu, Pentland, !Think and Van Lier) who work towards a more sustainable supply chain and end product, as defined by a focus on ethical and fair production, collaboration with civil society organisations and Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives and/or ecological materials grown without harm for people, animals, and the environment.

There are examples of initiatives of tripartite collaboration between main footwear industry actors such as the Fair Wear Foundation, and enforceable binding agreements on freedom of association. Numerous labels and certification systems exist, private and public, which monitor conditions in the footwear industry. The report presents initiatives addressing endemic issues in the footwear industry in a collaborative and holistic way (including Austrian Ecolabel, Bluesign, IVN).

The main finding of the report is a need for increased credibility – for brands, large or small, to make credible claims to support environmental and/or ethical standards. It is imperative that these brands always include both ecological and social criteria.

“Changes are needed to ensure meaningful due diligence by companies. Without behaviour that supports change on the ground by producers – such as increased lead times, fairer pricing systems ensuring fair working conditions and living wages – there will be little improvement for the vast majority of workers and their families”, says Stefan Grasgruber-Kerl of Change your Shoes.

Read the full report and Executive Summary

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