AMSTERDAM – A campaign led by Human Rights Watch, Clean Clothes Campaign, and International Labor Rights Forum is calling on Armani, Primark, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Walmart to publicly disclose the factories that produce their clothes. The NGOs have used online activism to encourage people to deliver golden boxes of signatures to luxury brand Armani and cost-cutter Primark in major European cities. Other targeted brands can also expect to find signatures left on their doorsteps in the campaign, which now has 70,000 participants.
The #GoTransparent campaign has already launched a minimum global standard of transparency for the garment sector – the ‘Apparel And Footwear Supply Chain Transparency Pledge’ – and convinced seventeen brands to commit to publish information about the factories they source from, including addresses and numbers of workers.
Armani, Primark, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Walmart are now being specifically targeted because they are considered to be among the most secretive about their supply chain data.
The information provided as part of the Transparency Pledge’ is – it is claimed – vital for workers and activists to be able to alert brands to labour rights violations in their supply chains. It is also hoped that transparency in supply chains will help prevent such gestures as needed after the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh in 2013, when workers had to re-enter the ruins of the building to search for brand labels.
Several brands in 2017 chose to make the move from no transparency at all to full compliance with the ‘Transparency Pledge’ including ASICS, ASOS, Clarks, New Look, Next and the Pentland Brands.
Ben Vanpeperstraete of Clean Clothes Campaign said: “Any brand that refuses to share information about their supply chain should be a huge red flag for consumers. What are these brands hiding? Do they even know where their clothes are coming from? If brands are taking the necessary steps to prevent labour abuses in their supply chains, then they should eagerly want to share detailed information about the factories and workers who make their clothes with the public.”