ASOS fights to tackle modern slavery

Fashion retailer ASOS have returned to the House of Lords this week to co-host a modern slavery forum with Baroness Lola Young, Co-Chair All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion. The retailer has called for third-party brands to join the fight against modern slavery by increasing transparency and actively monitoring supply chains.

The move comes one year after ASOS first presented at the House of Lords on shared risks in the clothing sector. This week’s address with review the progress made over the past 12 months and encourage those in attendance to pledge to fight modern slavery through meaningful practices. The pledge will encourage companies to take active steps to eliminate modern slavery from their supply chains through collaboration, awareness raising, training and  publishing and building modern slavery statements, as well as participating in annual sessions to discuss progress.

According to a press release from the retailer, the five-point ASOS pledge asks brands to commit to:

  1. mapping and assessing modern slavery risks;

  2. working collaboratively with others to develop tools and resources to raise awareness of risks;

  3. training relevant employees about modern slavery risks within their businesses and supply chains;

  4. publishing and continuously building on their Modern Slavery statements;

  5. participating in an annual session to demonstrate progress made.

Third party brands t Dr Martens, Missguided, New Look and River Island have all signed the pledge.  

“With a growing legislative focus on modern slavery, there’s never been a better time to act together to drive systemic change in the industry. That’s why we’re calling on those present to join us in signing our pledge to tackle modern slavery and move beyond commitment to more concrete action and collaboration,” said Nick Beighton, CEO of ASOS.

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Sonja Duncan