UK factories ‘worse’ on ethics than Chinese suppliers

New Look continues to work with Chinese suppliers, where the firm has consistently found ethical standards in factories to be higher – Photo credit – Pixabay

 

Anders Kristiansen, the Boss of UK clothing firm New Look, has slammed the ethical standards of many British clothing suppliers.

 

In an interview, given to The Times, Kristiansen questioned why attention on ethics in the clothing supply chain has been focused on factories in countries such as Bangladesh, when standards are so poor in the UK.

As evidence, she cited examples of suppliers subcontracting work to British companies that do not pay their employees the legal minimum wage. 

New Look has apparently removed work from tens of British firms as a result of a number of audits which showed failings at their suppliers.

“The vast majority of all UK factories have issues with health and safety and salaries,” she told The Times.

By contrast, New Look continues to work with Chinese suppliers, where the firm has consistently found ethical standards in factories to be higher.

The interview might perhaps come as a surprise to British consumers, as many clothing firms have promoted the benefits of manufacturing in the UK in recent years.

These include parts of the Arcadia Group, Burberry, and a whole range of clothing at Marks and Spencer called ‘Best of British.’

Of course, there is nothing to suggest that ethical conditions are lacking at any of the suppliers used by these firms.

Rupert Reid

Pilot and Senior Broadcast Journalist at Panda Radio. You can find him on Twitter @rupertreid

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