Within global garment supply chains, the capital flows from investors back and forth between brands, to agents, to factory owners and management, crossing borders on its way, and never reaching the people working in the factories. Factory workers who manage to organise can sometimes get remedy through pressure on their factory management, but commonly pressure is needed on the brands and companies, the investors and governments in the countries where the power lies.
Brands have long since the boom of the industry outsourced their production, and with it their legal responsibility for the people making their clothes. When violations occur, they claim innocence, and sometimes provide a fund, or partly remedy. However, human rights can’t be divided, and can only exist in connection to each other. Clean Clothes Campaign follows international standards such as the United Nations Guiding Principles and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance on Garments stating that brands have the responsibility to make sure that all labour rights are respected and full remedy is provided when these rights are violated. Even though the importance of supply chain responsibility has been widely accepted, this hasn’t materialised in legal responsibility for brands and companies. Until people buying clothes make decent labour conditions and issue for brands, brands will shirk their responsibilities and workers will pay the cost.
What we do
The Clean Clothes Campaign network started with a group of women workers in the Philippines fighting to get their wages. A group of women in The Netherlands organised in solidarity and their collective actions (in front of C&A shops and in the Philippines) led to a victory for the women. Since those actions in 1989, we have collectively taken up factory-level labour violations on request of workers in dozens of cases across Central America and Mexico, Asia, and Southern Africa. This results in supporting workers and their organisations in more effectively engaging with brands and employers to secure remedies to labour rights violations as well as securing space for workers to safely organise and thereby strengthening workers’ collective power.
Our global alliance extends to more than 200 non-government organisations and trade unions in 40 countries with special interest for women’s rights, consumer advocacy and poverty reduction. It connects the energy, knowledge, care and power of people as citizens, workers, consumers and activists to make sure that all workers can exercise their human rights.
‘In a global economy it is not only investment and profits that travel across geographical boundaries, but also worker solidarity,’ says Sri Lankan FTZ&GSEU General Secretary Anton Marcus
Since 1989, the Clean Clothes Campaign network has been growing to represent groups and organisations in over 40 countries. National coalitions strive to have a representation of unions and various other groups, connecting people, policies and actions throughout sectors. By creating regional coalitions, this knowledge and leverage is expanded across regions. This strategy makes it possible to organise activists, lobbyists and consumers around a case of violations in a certain country, and link them to the workers organising in their own location. By connecting the dots of the global supply chain, we put pressure on where the power and money lies.
Latest news on direct solidarity
Results: 18 Items
August 6, 2020
We congratulate the union at the Huabo Times factory in Myanmar for signing an agreement with the factory management after more than two months of fighting against union discrimination.
July 23, 2020
Today, 72 Uyghur rights groups are joined by over 100 civil society organisations and labour unions from around the world in calling on apparel brands and retailers to stop using forced labour in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“Uyghur Region”), known to local people as East Turkistan, and end their complicity in the Chinese government’s human rights abuses.
July 22, 2020
In a significant step for the Myanmar labour movement, workers at the Rui-Ning factory, producing for Inditex (Zara), Mango, Bestseller and Swiss brand Tally Weijl, are celebrating the signing of an agreement between the union, factory management and Inditex, regarding worker reinstatement and re-hiring following union busting.
July 1, 2020
Lockdown breaches, exploitation, and modern slavery in fast-fashion giant Boohoo’s supply chain in Leicester
Workers reports reveal serious breaches of UK lockdown measures, failure to protect workers from COVID-19 and furlough fraud. Whilst many brands’ profits have taken a hit during the COVID-19 crisis, a surge in online shopping during the lockdown has boosted Boohoo shares by 22%. Earlier this month, Boohoo agreed to buy online businesses of Warehouse and Oasis for £5.25m.