28th June 2018
New foreign clothing and textiles investment collapses in Vietnam
Mary Creagh, Chair of the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee revealed on October 5 she had sent a social accountability questionnaire to the country’s ten leading clothing retailers , asking:.
1. Are all the garment workers producing the clothes you sell paid a living wage? What
steps have you taken to ensure that child labour is not used in your supply chain?
2. What is the average life cycle of the garments you sell?
3. What steps are you taking to reduce the environmental and social impact of the
products you sell? Do you audit this? How do you measure progress towards reducing the
environmental impact of the products you sell?
4. What recycled materials, if any, do you use in your products? What could the
Government do to encourage greater use of recycled materials in clothing production?
5. Is your company taking action to reduce the risk of microplastics being washed into the
ocean? If so, what actions have you taken?
6. Are you taking any action to encourage reuse, repair and/or recycling of clothing? What
do you recommend your customers do to dispose of your products responsibly?
7. Do you incinerate unsold or returned stock? What percentage of your sales are online?
What do you do with e-commerce returns?
The request went to: Marks and Spencer, Primark, Next, Arcadia, Asda, Tk Maxx and HomeSense, Tesco, JD Sports Fashion, Debenhams and Sports Direct International. Ms Creagh said retailers “have a responsibility to minimise their environmental footprint and make sure the workers in their supply chains are paid a living wage. We want to hear what they are doing to make their industry more sustainable.”
She has requested replies by October 12.
At the same time, the Committee released evidence it has already received in the inquiry from experts, campaigners, and social accountability innovators that: