Monday, February 4, 2013

Slave for Cotton or Slave of Fashion!!!

"H&M's purpose is to offer their customers fashion and quality at the best price. H&M states numerous of times that quality is more than making sure that products meet or exceed their customers expectations. H&M is constantly working to better their products by manufacturing under good working conditions, and with limited impact on the environment. H&M takes responsibility for how their operations affect people and the environment which is key for their profit and growth."

What is the meaning of such a mission if it set on the cost of some unethical code of conduct!!
H&M, which has almost 200 UK stores and 2,500 worldwide, is now one of several high street names that will be targeted by Anti-Slavery International's cotton campaign, which calls on well-known brands to stop buying clothing from suppliers that source cotton from Uzbekistan. "Unless H&M implements the practical steps set out by the cotton campaign, it is near impossible for us to be confident that H&M's goods are truly free from state-sponsored forced labour," a spokeswoman for the charity said. "By implementing these steps, we can be confident that H&M is doing everything it can to support an end to the use of forced labour."
One of Britain's most popular fashion chains is under pressure to sever its links with clothing suppliers that buy cotton from Uzbekistan, where large quantities are harvested using child labour.
H&M, the giant fashion chain which uses football star David Beckham and singer Lana Del Rey in its advertising campaigns, has signed a pledge to "not knowingly" source cotton from the central Asian country in response to concern from human rights groups. will it make any sense!!!???
Uzbekistan, one of the world's largest exporters of cotton, forces adults and children as young as nine to pick cotton under what the charity Anti-Slavery International describes as "appalling conditions". However, it is difficult to trace Uzbek cotton back to its source. Much of it ends up in Bangladesh and China. As a result, many fashion chains cannot guarantee that their clothing is free of Uzbek cotton.

Every year, more than a million men, women, and children in Uzbekistan are forced by their government to work in the state-run industry harvesting cotton. Activists who speak out are tortured and detained.
And how does the government of Uzbekistan continue to get away with these crimes? Cotton purchasing companies like Daewoo International buy up Uzbek slave-grown cotton and sell it -- sometimes using layers of middlemen to further separate brands from the slave-grown cotton -- to multinational clothing retailers that are willing to turn a blind eye to the source of their cotton. That means retailers like H&M, the world's second largest clothing retailer, have tremendous power to stop this modern day slavery, by refusing to buy cotton from Daewoo.

Than whats the irony!!!???

H&M made a public pledge not to buy Uzbeki cotton, but yet it continued to purchase from Daewoo, a company directly profiting from slavery in Uzbekistan -- a fact activists from the global Cotton Campaign recently discovered. It's clear that without major changes to its supply chain monitoring system, H&M could "accidentally" purchase tainted cotton again.
 he global economy is full of human rights violations, but the Uzbek cotton industry is unique. The industry is run by the country's authoritarian regime, and local authorities have to force people to work to meet production quotas. Schools are often closed during plantings and harvests so children can be forced into the fields. None of the profits are returned to farmers or local communities.
There aren’t many corporations that are willing to do business with Uzbekistan, but the Korean conglomerate Daewoo International runs three large cotton processing facilities there. Daewoo processes cotton all over the world and sells clothing to apparel companies, and it’s difficult to know which Daewoo products are slave-grown and which aren’t. So human rights activists have called on companies to boycott Daewoo entirely.
If we can get H&M to ensure that slave-grown cotton is permanently out of its supply chain, the impact could ripple across the entire retail industry. Daewoo -- which buys from Uzbekistan because it thinks it's immune to public pressure --  will see that another one of its former customers is putting up walls to prevent any slave-grown cotton from getting into its supply chain. We've heard rumors that Daewoo is considering packing up and leaving Uzbekistan because it keeps losing customers, so H&M's actions could come at just the right moment to push Daewoo out of the slave-grown cotton industry for good.

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