Despite a decade of campaigning, the fashion industry is still the least ethical of all retail sectors in Britain. Many clothing companies are falling way short when it comes to ethical and environmental responsibility, while workers' rights frequently feature low down on their agenda, if at all.
Consumers need to increasingly ask whether manufacturers use harmful chemicals or GM cotton in their garments, as well as consider the detrimental impact manufacturing may have on animal welfare. Recent campaigns have proven that it is possible to make companies change their unethical practices and that retailers do respond to consumer demands and bow to external pressure.
What is needed is a constant public reminder that cheap, unethical clothes are no longer the trend and that people want garments that are free of any hidden human and environmental cost.
Here are five campaigns you can get involved in to help clean up high street fashion:
Cheap clothes come at a high price. Join the Clean Clothes Campaign in sending a message to bargain basement retailers demanding a living wage for their workers.
Sign the Cotton Campaign petition to put an end to forced child labour and primitive living conditions in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan.
Join the Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops campaign to get the issue of sweatshops on the parliamentary agenda by writing to your MP.
Pressure luxury retailers to ban the practice of sandblasting their denim, which is killing workers at their factories in Turkey.
The production of one gold ring leaves 20 tonnes of mine waste. Sign the No Dirty Gold pledge to end destructive gold mining practices which are harming the environment, local communities and the workers who mine it.
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