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The human cost of fast fashion is still too high

Author: Keren Adams, The Sydney Morning Herald, Published on: 30 April 2018

23 April 2018

...Rana Plaza is often described as the garment industry's "worst industrial accident", but the industry practices that led to it were far from accidental.

...A safer fashion industry ultimately requires workers to be able to freely organise and to take complaints up the chain to retailers.... Australian consumers also need to understand where their clothes are made so they can use their purchasing power to encourage ethical sourcing.

Neither of these things can happen, however, if retailers refuse to provide information on where they are sourcing their clothing from.

...Five years on, many Australian retailers still won't reveal the names and locations of their suppliers.

...Australian government will shortly introduce legislation establishing a new supply chain reporting regime...Unfortunately, the government's current proposals fall short of what would be required to make the regime truly effective. As things stand, companies will not be required to undertake additional investigations to better assess the risks of abuse. Nor will they face financial penalties if they fail to report or provide misleading information. 

Without these two key ingredients, it is hard to see how the new law will compel companies currently turning a blind eye to abuses to lift their game...

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