Paying for a bus ticket and expecting to fly

A report published by the Human Rights Watch has highlighted the link between purchasing practices and labour abuses in the fashion industry. The researchers interviews garment suppliers, social compliance auditors, industry experts and workers, coming to the conclusion that low purchasing prices and ‘fast fashion’ culture are some of the key issues contributing to the rampant labor rights violations in the industry.

Issues such as “poor forecasting, unfair penalties, and poor payment terms” were also highlighted as contributing factors, with the report emphasising that these issues may directly undermine efforts being made by brands to avoid violations. Brands are oftern “[squeezing] suppliers so hard financially that the suppliers face powerful incentives... to engage in abusive labor practices and in risky contracting with unauthorized suppliers as a way of cutting costs…”.

The report recommends that brands publish a policy on responsible purchasing practices and ensure that this is embedded across “all internal departments through standard operating procedures, trainings, key performance indicators, and incentives tied to measures on social and labor compliance in factories”

For more information see the full report at

Sonja DuncanComment