It is great to know that the fashion industry is beginning to change and whilst there is still some way to go, there are some very positive measures being put in place by some leading companies to ensure that their clothing is produced ethically.
Tesco for example where many of us might pick up a few summer clothes whilst shopping for our groceries or even shop for clothes online have a fairly comprehensive ethical policy in place. Whilst Tesco might not imediatley spring to mind when thinking about ethical fashion, they are founding members of the the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) and work to ensure that suppliers to meet the standards set out under the ETI Base Code and ensure their workers the rights within it by working with suppliers to build long term relationships and working closely with suppliers to ensure responsible sourcing.
Where suppliers have not yet met base code standards in less developed markets, Tesco works with them investing in people and resources to help them reach the required standards. They have over 50 Ethical Champions across our UK and international businesses, many of whom hold Technical roles within their category, and as such are ideally placed to take a strategic view of supplier management and on-going development.
Tesco has started working with five other UK retailers with an interest in the
garments sector to pilot a model approach to helping suppliers build better,
more efficient and profitable businesses which provide better jobs for workers.
Tesco are also in the process of establishing a new skills training business in Bangladesh to improve working conditions, productivity and efficiency in ready-made garment (RMG) factories, a major opportunity given that many operate at relatively low
efficiency compared to those in other countries.
Tesco have also brought clothes recycling into the mainstream with a recycled range a few years ago in a collaboration with ethical fashion pinoeers From Somewhere. The collection consisted of 6 pieces made of end of line Tesco’s stock. Last year they also collaborated with eco label Goodone.
Image – Fairtrade cotton vests from Tesco