UK: Garment factories' ethical standards worse than manufacturers in China, Bangladesh & Burma, says New Look's CEO

Author: Philip Aldrich, The Times (UK), Published on: 14 August 2017

“British factory stands ‘worse than Asia,’” 9 Aug 2017

Many of Britain’s clothing factories have worse ethical standards than manufacturers in China, Bangladesh and Burma, [Anders Kristiansen, chief executive of New Look] one of UK’s biggest fashion retailers has claimed. [He] said the “vast majority” of factories in Britain underpay staff and fail health and safety standards, and that much of the competition is deliberately turning a blind eye… “We had 118 UK suppliers just three years ago, now we have 12. I don’t want to be a part of it. Our competitors don’t see it the same way. They know about the problem but don’t want to fix it,” [Kristiansen said.] New Look has been increasing production in Burma but the bulk of its supply comes from China and Bangladesh…

[Kristiansen’s] comments follow a Channel 4 Dispatches exposé of standards at factories in Leicester and came as New Look posted poor figures for the three months to June 24 that caused its bonds to crash to fresh lows… [Nevertheless, the retailer continues to expand globally, in particular in China, and build a bigger online business. However, Kristiansen underlined that] New Look would not be buying British until UK factories cleaned up their act: “We want to be 100 per cent ethical in what we do.” [requires subscription] 

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Related companies: New Look