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70,000 consumers demand transparency from Primark, Armani & Urban Outfitters


By Vivian Hendriksz

9 Jan 2018

London - 70,000 people are calling upon 5 major fashion retailers - Armani, Primark, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Walmart - to go transparent by publicly sharing which factories produce their apparel.

70,000 consumers have signed a petition calling on the brands to make transparency part of their New Year's resolutions following the #GoTransparent campaign led by a coalition consisting of Human Rights Watch, Clean Clothes Campaign and the International Labor Rights Forum. The campaign specifically targeted the five brands, which range from mass-market retailer Primark to luxury brand Giorgio Armani, as they are considered to be among the most secretive concerning their supply chain data.

Armani, Primark, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Walmart urged to signed pledge and become more transparent

In order to highlight the number of consumers calling on the five brands to make a change in their supply chain, activists from the coalition are set to hand deliver golden boxes of the petition's 70,000 signatures to Primark, Armani, and Urban Outfitters stores major European cities. Other targeted brands will also be given boxes with the signatures throughout the month of January.

"Any brand that refuses to share information about their supply chain should be a huge red flag for consumers," said Ben Vanpeperstraete, Lobby and Advocacy Coordinator of Clean Clothes Campaign. "What are these brands hiding? Do they even know where their clothes are coming from? If brands are taking the necessary steps to prevent labor abuses in their supply chains, then they should eagerly want to share detailed information about the factories and workers who make their clothes with the public."

The five brands targeted in the campaign also reportedly refused to sign the "Apparel and Footwear Supply Chain Transparency Pledge", which calls for a minimum global standard of transparency for the garment sector. So far, 17 brands, including Asos, Clarks, Next and New Look, have signed the pledge and committed to publicly sharing information about the factories they source from, including addresses and numbers of workers.

Vanpeperstraete added the coalition reached out to Primark, Armani, Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 and Walmart in the past, but have not received any additional responses from the five brands. FashionUnited contacted Primark, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters and Armani concerning the petition and their stance on transparency, but only received a reply from the Irish value retailer prior to publication.

"We regularly share transparent and detailed information on our supply chain as part of our voluntary commitments to a number of organisations, for example the Bangladesh Accord and the International Labour Organisations’ Better Work programme," said a Primark spokesperson to FashionUnited. "We take the issue of transparency seriously, and recognise that there is always more work to be done in ensuring our products are made with respect for workers’ rights and the environment, as well as how we communicate our work in this area."

Photo: Courtesy of coalition