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UK's River Island signs transparency pledge

Feb '20
Pic: Clean Clothes Campaign
Pic: Clean Clothes Campaign
UK garment brand River Island, the first out of five brands targeted in a new campaign push led by Clean Clothes Campaign and Human Rights Watch to publish their supplier list, recently signed the transparency pledge. River Island is committing to disclose its supply chain information as per the minimum standards laid down in the pledge by end of March 2020.

After over three years of extensive outreach to apparel companies by the coalition members, River Island is the 40th company to sign the pledge. Many other companies have shied away from signing but have in response to the outreach nevertheless taken considerable steps to become more transparent.

It is now time for the other four targets of the campaign, American Eagle Outfitter, Armani, Carrefour and Urban Outfitters, to take the same step, Clean Clothes Campaign said in a press release.

The transparency pledge sets a floor of what information garment companies should as a minimum disclose to the world about the factories they are manufacturing in. The standard was launched in 2017 by a coalition of nine trade unions and labour rights organisations and has been further elaborated on in two reports in 2017 and 2019.

River Island has committed to uploading a list of its approved factories by end of March and updating this list every six months.

With River Island signing on, now six UK garment and footwear companies have signed the pledge. Besides River Island, the UK signatories are ASOS, Clark’s, New Look, Next and Pentland brands. However, considering the amount of garment and footwear brands headquartered in the UK, the industry should be doing better, the press release said.

Many UK brands, including Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Arcadia (Topshop), are close to meeting the Pledge standard and could easily take the last step. Other UK companies, including Sports Direct, Boohoo, and Missguided have thus far refused to disclose any factory information.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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