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The outrage that followed the discovery of several ‘forced labour’ labels sewn into clothes at budget clothing shop Primark has brought the issue of the ethics of the supply chain back into the headlines. Some called for UK retailers to boycott firms or even entire countries that allow unacceptable working practices. But other believe boycotts do more harm than good and that a better solution is to maintain commercial links while demanding suppliers work towards higher standards. Is virtuous shopping really a case of guilt-ridden consumers in the West showing off their consciences rather than helping exploited producers?
professor of fashion & textile design & technology, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London; editor and co-author, The Sustainable Fashion Handbook; author, Eco Chic the Fashion Paradox
director of policy and public affairs, Fairtrade Foundation
director for food and sustainability, British Retail Consortium
freelance journalist; producer and reporter for Sweden’s public service radio
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Tuesday 9 December 2014
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