UK: Action Plan demands ethical sourcing

A UK government minister is looking to drive better working conditions for garment workers in Asia and Africa.


Speaking at a sustainable clothing conference at London Fashion Week, International Development Minister Gareth Thomas said the government wanted responsibly and ethically produced clothing to be the norm in the UK.


Thomas said: "London Fashion Week is an exciting time for British fashion, but it's important to remember the people across the world involved in making our clothes.


"Garment production has provided many jobs in poorer countries, but the industry continues to struggle with abuse and exploitation of workers.


"The Department for International Development will soon be inviting proposals to our 'RAGS' fund  - giving businesses, unions and NGOs the opportunity to drive better working conditions in export garment production in Asia and Africa."


The conference is being held one year on from the launch of the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP).


New signatories to the plan include the British Retail Consortium, Ethical Fashion Forum, Forum for the Future, Levis Strauss, MADE-BY, Cotton Made in Africa, RSPCA, and Society of Dyers and Colourists.


The SCAP has been set up to battle the environmental and ethical impacts of 'throwaway' fashion.