Day 16 – 6 items challenge

This blog is a day late because I’ve been away for a couple of days but as I’ve pledged to blog every other day I want to try and stick to this as far as possible.

Going away and only having one outfit to wear for both evenings was a bit strange. I couldn’t help thinking that it would have been nice to have an alternative with me, but the fact that I didn’t have a choice wasn’t the end of the world and we still had a lovely time.

Having said that it wasn’t the end of the world for me not to have a change of clothing, for two days, it could be the end of life for some garment workers living in countries like Cambodia, India and Bangladesh who are producing fashion clothing for stores throughout the UK but are working in factories where the health and safety of the workers is often below required standards.

Factory Managers are placed upon immense pressure by the fashion industry to produce goods, neglecting health and safety standards as a result, as well as offering pay which is below the Living Wage.

Since mid January, around 10,000 workers from seven Cambodian factories have gone on strike, demanding higher wages and improved working conditions. The mass action heralds a turning point in the wage situation in Cambodia as the industry prepares to increase its minimum wage.   The wave of protests started when workers from H&M supplier Gladpeer Garment held a rally last Monday, after factory management refused to raise their wage and reinstate two fired union members.

This is the ideal opportunity for international buyers such as H&M to live up to their promises and call for a significant increase. The unreasonably low wages have resulted in strikes, which has been leading to late orders. This is bad for factory owners, bad for national industry, and bad for buyers. It makes a great deal of sense for the minimum wage to be boosted to a living wage level, which will benefit all parties.

If you have been following my blog you will be aware that I am taking part in the 6 items challenge to raise awareness of the exploitation of garment workers.

Thank you to all those who have donated so far. If you would like to donate to Labour behind the Label who work with Clean Clothes Campaign partners across Europe to strengthen global action on behalf of garment workers, please go to my fundraising page at http://www.everydayhero.co.uk/julie_morton.

These are some of things that your donations could be used for:

–          To help LBtL be ready to respond to urgent appeals from workers overseas who may be experiencing harassment or worse from their employers.

–         To help pay for research and report writing such as the Let’s Clean Up Fashion report; a benchmark of what companies are doing and a lever to make them progress.

–          To help LBtL fund a speaker tour, bringing the real voices of workers to UK companies and consumers and spreading the message of equality and improved rights.

–          To help LBtL run workshops for students and tutors, bringing much needed introductions to industry ethics into the curriculum.

–          To enable thousands of supporters to take action on companies through LBtL’s action cards; applying pressure for change.

No gift is too small. Thanks again for your kindness and generosity and for taking the time to read this.

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