Fashion’s Dirty Secret

If you missed Dispatches, C4, on Monday its worth catching up with it. The episode, called Fashion’s Dirty Secret, showed workers producing clothes for the High Street in sweatshop conditions, not in India or Bangladesh, but in the UK. It’s not a total shock that places like this still exist in the UK, but I didn’t expect them to be making High Street clothes. An undercover reporter took a job in a factory in Leicester for three months, during which time he was paid £2.50 an hour to make clothes for Bhs, New Look and Peacocks, among others. He wasn’t given safety equipment and was put under huge pressure to finish orders. Most of the workers are illegal immigrants, so I guess its this or leave the UK.

The big retailers said the factory was not up to their ethical standards, and they weren’t aware that their suppliers had outsourced the work. How frustrating! Its the retailers responsibility to know the output that each supplier can provide in a certain time span, if they are putting pressure on the suppliers then they should know it will be subcontracted – but they turn a blind eye. I wonder what happened to all the people working there?

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