General Article Let's clean up fashion 2011

Topic Selected: Human Rights
This article is 9 years old. Click here to view the latest articles for this topic.

By Anna McMullen and Sam Maher

In a global economy still reeling from the near-collapse of the banks, it is often those least able who are asked to pay the cost. The fashion industry is a prime example of this trend.

As many UK high street retailers continue to post increased profits, the real value of wages being paid to the millions of women and men employed in the industry is falling. This means that many struggle to feed, clothe and shelter their families. The state of affairs is all the more sobering because the majority of these retailers have committed to a living wage for workers in their supply chain. In fact, many have been running projects to this end for several years but, as the real situation on the ground shows, these commitments are not delivering results fast enough.

Many brands and retailers argue that the only way to reverse this trend is for governments to make sure that minimum wages more accurately reflect the needs of their citizens. We agree. Yet the very ...

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