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21 Jan 2019

Cambodia: Report on brick industry reveals use of garment fabrics to fuel kilns; some companies commit to investigate and take action

The Blood Bricks project looks into  modern slavery and debt bondage in the brick-making industry in Cambodia. In 2018, the labour ministry of Cambodia committed to investigate labour-related issues in the brick-making industry as a response to the report. Our story on the issue of modern slavery and debt bondage is linked here.

The research is ran by Royal Holloway, University of London and is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council and the Department for International Development (ESRC-DFID) Development Frontiers Research Fund.

The full report is linked below, with excerpts of its discussion of the link between waste management in the garment sector, and the health and environment impacts. 

Because the report also noted that "labels found and photographed among garment fragments on brick kilns that were burning them" included labels of some international brands, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the mentioned companies to respond.

Marks & Spencer and J.Crew conducted investigations. Pull & Bear has commenced an investigation. Walmart & George at ASDA committed to investigate further. Their responses are linked below. Old Navy has not responded yet.

Company Responses

Walmart View Response
Old Navy (part of Gap)

No Response

J.Crew View Response
Marks & Spencer View Response
Pull & Bear (part of Inditex) View Response