Oxfam reveals ‘naughty and nice’ retailers

clothes Oxfam Australia has published its annual list of ‘naughty or nice’ fashion brands to help shoppers make ethical purchases this Christmas.

Since the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2013, numerous clothing companies have pledged to improve workers’ safety by updating their codes of conduct and improving transparency.

To make it onto Oxfam’s ‘nice’ list, a company has to publish at least 70 per cent of their factory names and locations. This enables organisations like Oxfam to investigate whether clothing is made under safe and fair conditions.

Oxfam Australia chief executive Dr Helen Szoke said increased transparency can help expose safety concerns and prevent a repeat of the Rana Plaza disaster.

“As consumers, we want to feel reassured that when we purchase our special Christmas party outfit or socks, jocks and pyjamas to put under the tree, we are choosing from brands that lead the way on transparent, ethical practices,” she said.

“Without knowing where our clothes are coming from, we cannot be sure even basic human rights are being respected.

“Oxfam is urging Australians to show that ethical production matters by asking their favourite brands that remain on the ‘naughty’ list to behave better and make the switch to the nice list.”

A number of brands joined the ‘nice’ list for the first time this year, including Specialty Fashion Group and Big W. Other organisations on the list include H&M, GAP, JeansWest, Forever New and The PAS group.

Many Uniting Church members have called for greater protection of workers’ rights by participating in the Justice and International Mission (JIM) unit’s letter-writing campaigns.

Synod social justice officer Denisse Sandoval said the release of the factory lists is a welcome step, but more needs to be done to ensure workers receive a fair and decent wage.

“Just how nice are these ‘nice’ companies being? It is great to know that some companies are sharing their factory list, however we also need to know what those companies are actively doing to ensure that workers are not being exploited. For example, are workers being paid a living wage?” she said.

“I’d also like to know what these companies are doing to ensure workers are not being trafficked into those jobs at the factories they utilise. For example, allegations of human trafficking in the garment labour sector are common in south India, which is where some of the brands named on the ‘nice’ list source some of their products.”

While six companies have made the switch onto the ‘nice list’, seven leading fashion retailers in Australia continue to hide where their clothes are made.

The Just Group, which includes Peter Alexander and Just Jeans, has not released information about their factories. They also did not sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord, opting instead for the weaker Alliance on Worker Safety.

Another company which refused to sign the accord is Best and Less. They have made some progress by publishing a Code of Conduct and set of policies for their suppliers; however, without publishing the locations where their clothes are sewn, external organisations are unable to check if any of their commitments are put into practice.

Other brands on the ‘naughty’ list include Uniqlo, Topshop, Zara, Gorman and Dangerfield.

Click here to see the full list.

Share Button



Comments are closed.