Trutex, the UK’s largest specialist school wear brand, produce uniforms and sportswear for thousands of schools across the UK and worldwide. Yet Trutex is failing to provide any information at all on where its uniforms are made. This needs to change.
Uniforms come at a high cost
Many parents’ household budgets have taken a big hit this autumn buying new uniforms for our children, as Trutex continues to make mass profits from families with no choice. Each year it is estimated that families spend around £1 billion on back to school equipment – about half of this on uniforms. Despite calls from parents, unions and others, there is nothing to prevent schools from having exclusive contracts with uniform companies – this drives up the costs and increases the monopolies of companies like Trutex.
But its not just the expense. Uniform monopolies also leave parents in an ethical bind, forced to buy from brands that lack transparency. Trutex’s website offers vague promises of a commitment to ethical production and assurances that its production sites are well managed and safe. Yet unlike many other brands who have published lists of where their factories are located, Trutex remain silent and provide absolutely no evidence that what they say is true.
The norm throughout the global garment industry is poverty pay, unsafe working conditions, and illegal levels of overtime in order for workers to cover their basic living costs. Trutex claim on their website that all their products ‘are manufactured in safe working conditions,’ in factories that demonstrate a strong ‘ethical’ position, yet without proof, these are just words designed to make parents feel good about buying Trutex uniforms. Until they release their supplier list we all have no way of checking their claims.
Why do we need to know where our uniforms come from?
Garment and shoe supply chains are hugely complex and brands often hide where their clothes are made. What we do know for a fact however is that unsafe working conditions, extremely low wages and suppression of unions are found in many factories and workshops. More publicly available information on the supply chains of major companies can go a long way towards improving human rights. What you know you can change. In the last few years as transparency in supplier factories worldwide has increased, respect and protection for worker rights has become more possible.
Sign the petition
We need your help to make sure that our school uniforms come from good factories. You can sign the petition today to ask Trutex to publish its factory list.