- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Japanese retailer Uniqlo has published a list of its 146 core supplier factories, which spans across seven countries in Asia, following pressure from campaign group War on Want, which exposed the fashion brand’s abuse of Chinese garment workers uncovered by Hong Kong-based partner Student and Scholars against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM).
The report by War on Want revealed that Uniqlo’s Chinese factories showed serious labour rights abuses taking place across all factories including forced overtime, dangerous working conditions, hours of up to 20 hours, and a culture of verbal abuse and bullying.
In an attempt to take greater responsibility Uniqlo has published its core partner factory list, which covers factories across Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam that it describes as contributing to the “major garments” of its collections.
The list reveals the name of the factory and the addresses, something that War on Want called for as without access to the names and locations of these factories it was impossible for workers and unions to reach out to one another to raise concerns across the supply chain.
Thulsi Narayanasamy, War on Want senior programmes officer said: “This win is shared by workers who spoke out and organised to resist Uniqlo’s exploitation in factories, unions that supported them and our partner SACOM in Hong Kong that spearheaded a coalition of international solidarity.
“This is a lesson for Uniqlo. They might have an international network of factories, but garment workers have an international network of people who stand in solidarity with them and have shown that they are prepared to act in support of them.”
Uniqlo noted that the release was part of its “commitment to environment and human rights issues”, and for the purpose of “increasing the transparency” of its supply chain.