Industry News Archives

Ethical Trading in practice – from worker to wearer

From worker to Wearer: No Sweatshop, No Photoshop Emma Watson, Stella McCartney and will.I.Am have been walking the green carpet, shining a spotlight on highly fashionable and ethically conscious clothing. This exposure has rippled throughout social media, combatting notions that sustainable clothes are unimaginative and full of ‘vanilla-flavoured minimalism’, whilst showcasing the importance of transparency […]

Ethical Apparel Africa: proving that manufacturing can be done ethically AND commercially

The apparel industry is the world’s largest employer of women but has a pervasive reputation for worker mistreatment and exploitation. The global industry is now turning its attention to the African continent, widely considered ‘the next frontier’ of apparel manufacturing due to competitive costs and favourable trade agreements. In West Africa there are many factories […]

BRE working on ethical labour supply chain standard

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) is to launch a standard to help businesses tackle risks around modern slavery and other ethical labour issues in their supply chains. The standard, being put together by the BRE with Nigel McKay, a former procurement head at HS2 and Lendlease, is aimed at companies of all sizes and would […]

Are you ready for the Modern Slavery Act?

The Modern Slavery Act is now in force. Directors of companies turning over more than £36 million should be aware that they are required to provide a slavery and human trafficking statement at the end of every financial year. In this statement they need to set out the steps they have taken to ensure that […]

Firms face “major consequences” due to lack of supply chain visibility

Supply Management writes on supply chain visibility: A significant number of organisations are at risk of severe disruption to their supply chains because they are not aware of who their key suppliers are, according to a report. Seventy two per cent of the organisations surveyed by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) and Zurich Insurance Group […]

Sweatshop conditions in the UK

Helen Spencer 30 April 2015: As recently reported in the Daily Mail and shown on Channel 4 Dispatches programme last Monday, Sports Direct is one of the UK’s biggest sports chains with sales of £2.7billion and pre-tax profits have increased to £207million. But for all this financial success, it has been branded a ‘sweatshop’ with […]

Sustainability and Transparency in the Retail Supply Chain

Helen Spencer 17 April 2015. As reported in JustStyle recently and on H&M’s website, the Swedish retailer is beefing up its sustainability efforts to include their yarn and fabric mills to their vendor list and working hard towards fair living wages. This move needs to come quickly as retailers are facing criticism from customers as […]

Simplify your supply chain – if you can

Sally Brunt and Helen Spencer write….. Marks and Spencer’s Executive Director of Food, Steve Rowe’s comment in Retail Week last week “Supply chain integrity should be a retail priority” raises a question. We know how important the integrity and transparency of a food supply chain is to the consumer. But how important is the integrity […]

Diageo giving a mixed message

Indications that Diageo would be putting suppliers onto 90-day payment terms and Premier Foods’ own “pay-and-stay” arrangements would have made many, if not all, of the affected suppliers affected nervous. We’ve seen this with some fashion retailers, especially after they’ve been bought by institutional investors whose motives don’t always include supply chain security. MCL has […]

Labour rights violations found in Uniqlo supply chain

From Ethical Consumer we hear that there are apparently ethical challenges for Uniqlo with their supply chain: Long working hours and low basic wages Excessive overtime High risk and unsafe working environment Harsh management style and punishment system Unrepresented workers The full story is on the Ethical Consumer website (at where Uniqlo’s statement didn’t seem […]