This piece of news is old, but I believe its relevance is even stronger. Most high-street fashion companies are still not respecting basic human rights because current labour practices are still far worse than what you and I can ever ever imagine.
Sometime last year, Bangaladeshi garment workers went on strike because they were severely underpaid. Child labourers also joined the demonstrators but here’s how they ended up on the streets.
‘Many of the rioting workers are employed by plants which make ready-to-wear garments for sale in western high street stores.
“We worked for them,” shouted one striking worker. “They are doing business and making money, but not paying us.”
An estimated three million workers, mostly women, are employed in the Bangladeshi garments industry. The lower paid workers earn a minimum monthly salary of 1,660 taka, equivalent to less than £18. They have demanded an increase to 5,000 taka. Owners said last week they could pay no more than 3,000 taka a month.’
It’s difficult to differentiate the companies who are making an effort from those who are paying lip service, or worse, being serial offenders. This website is a good place to start. I know it’s extremely difficult to resist pieces from Zara, or H&M because they’re that cheap. I’m guilty as charged. But we’ve got to start somewhere so that fashion brands will wake up and change their business strategies to a more sustainable one.