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August 6, 2015

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In a responsible fashion

It was heartening that workers’ welfare and rights were a core focus of the ‘Ethical Fashion 2020, a new vision for transparency?’ roundtable at the House of Lords on 29 June. For the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), it was an opportunity to share our experiences of the global garment sector and learn from others.

ETI is an alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs, and count some of the world’s best-known fashion brands and retailers among our members. Transparency is a major watchword right now, and rightly so, following major disasters such as the Rana Plaza collapse or the horsemeat scandal. But we also believe transparency is part of a greater picture.

We encourage all businesses to not
only understand their supply chains, but also their responsibilities to those who work within them. The most important reference point is the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human
 Rights; everyone should know what these are, and how they support the journey towards responsible business. And don’t underestimate the power of collaboration. Global supply chains may be complex, but when companies work together and with others, there is every chance of success at improving conditions for workers.

If you’d like to know more about ETI’s work, visit: www.ethicaltrade.org

Peter McAllister is executive director, Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)

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