London Fashion Week: ‘Don't mention the garment workers'

12 September 2014 - 9:15am
Press release

Protesters today are taking action to mark the opening of London Fashion week with the message “Don't mention the garment workers”.

Activists are highlighting an event which, they say, promotes the creativity of the UK's fashion industry, but is silent over the millions of workers who produce clothes for high street chains, often working long hours on poverty pay in unsafe conditions.

The demonstration, organised by the anti-poverty charity War on Want, is taking place in view of London Fashion Week's opening nearby at Somerset House.

Just before the catwalk shows begin, campaigners are sending the message to London Fashion Week “Don't Mention The Garment Workers”.

War on Want senior campaigner Owen Espley said: “London Fashion Week is a glittering showcase for the fashion industry. But fashion's dark side is kept in the shadows.

“The British Fashion Council would rather we all forget about those who often work long hours, on poverty pay, in unsafe conditions to produce the clothes we love.

“We can love fashion, but hate sweatshops and want a fashion week that lives up to its responsibility to all the workers who make the fashion we buy. The time has come for London Fashion Week to mention the garment workers.”

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • All major UK brands who are members of the Ethical Trading Initiative have signed a pledge to pay workers a living wage. None currently does so.

  • London Fashion Week is promoting itself as big business, stating that orders estimated at £100 million will be placed  during  the event. This is enough to pay a month's wages for 2.4 million Bangladeshi garment workers who earn a mere £42 each month.

  • The minimum wage for clothing factory staff in Bangladesh – where brands such as Primark and Next source clothes – is only £42 a month.
  • The protest comes only days after Primark's parent company, Associated British Foods, announced over £600 million operating profit for the fashion chain in the year to 13 September.

  • It also follows hard on the heels of Next reporting £324 million profit in the six months to the end of July.

  • In addition, the demonstration will raise concerns over garment workers in developing countries toiling up to 14 hours a day, large numbers of them suffering physical and verbal abuse, besides living in slum housing.

CONTACT

War on Want media officer Paul Collins

(+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

A Living Wage for Workers

The right to be paid a living wage is a basic entitlement of all working people the world over, whether they work in the public or private sectors, in the global South or North.

Latest news

MPs across parties call for suspension of arms sales to Israel

24 May 2018 - 10:00am

A cross-party group of MPs have called for a suspension of arms sales to Israel in an Early Day Motion tabled on 23 May 2018.

MPs from across political parties have expressed dismay over the UK Government’s response to Israel’s killing of unarmed protesters in Gaza, with particular questions on the legality of UK arms sales to Israel.

Read more

Reaction: UK abstention from UN Gaza vote makes a mockery of commitment to international law

19 May 2018 - 9:00am

Trusting that Israel can fairly and neutrally investigate its own war crimes is an insult to any common sense definition of justice, and makes a mockery of the UK’s stated commitment to international law, human rights, and accountability

Read more

Join the conversation

RT : The Global Campaign strongly condemns the police firing on citizens protesting against the Vedant… https://t.co/nGfv3Jc5OK 5 hours 7 min ago
Anti-abortion laws deny women the most fundamental human right - the right to choose. Congrats to the women of… https://t.co/RRsZbJKZ5t 6 hours 19 min ago
defender S’fiso Ngcobo, leader of Abahlali base Mjondolo, was killed this week. Every day they put the… https://t.co/eNKpxyOwAT 10 hours 40 min ago