Amazon and ASOS quizzed by lawmakers over ‘quick vogue’ sustainability

Amazon and ASOS quizzed by lawmakers over ‘quick vogue’ sustainability


Lawmakers within the U.Okay. have questioned on-line “quick vogue” retailers concerning the impression of their manufacturing processes on employees and the atmosphere.

Mary Creagh, chair of the U.Okay. authorities’s Environmental Audit Committee, wrote to 5 online-only vogue retailers — together with international companies Amazon and ASOS — to request info on areas together with workers wages, the life-cycle of the clothes bought, and steps being taken to cut back the environmental and social impression of their companies.

The committee mentioned it was contemplating coverage suggestions on decreasing the hurt attributable to low-cost garment manufacturing, and would issue within the retailers’ responses when delivering these suggestions to fellow lawmakers.

Printed Friday, letters to Amazon and ASOS requested the retailers how that they had ensured that each one garment employees are paid the minimal wage; whether or not they educated suppliers on the price of U.Okay. labour; and what recycled supplies have been used of their merchandise.

Retailers got a deadline of November 15 to answer the letters, with MPs suggesting they might ask sure corporations to offer proof in parliament.

In a press release on Friday, Creagh mentioned proof the committee had heard on October 30 from business consultants “raised alarm bells concerning the quick rising online-only retail sector.”

“Low high quality £5 ($6.51) attire aimed toward younger individuals are mentioned to be made by employees on illegally low wages and are discarded nearly immediately, inflicting mountains of non-recycled waste to pile up,” she mentioned.

“We will probably be calling a few of these on-line retailers in entrance of the Committee to reply questions, however within the meantime, my letters encourage them to withstand the social and environmental penalties of their enterprise fashions. We wish to know that they’re totally compliant with employment legislation, that clothes have a good life-span, and that revenue isn’t put earlier than environmental injury.”

Stella Claxton, senior lecturer in vogue administration, advertising and marketing and communication at Nottingham Trent College, mentioned the UK vogue business in its present type was “not that environmentally sustainable.”

“Coupled with that we now have a state of affairs the place chasing low costs has led to international provide chains on the lookout for cheaper manufacturing, which is generally in creating international locations,” she mentioned. “Fascinated about how consumption in Asia goes to rise within the subsequent few years and the way UK manufacturers wish to service these markets. Though it’s a UK downside, it’s a international downside as nicely.”

Additional proof raised concern that suppliers in creating international locations outsourced to sweatshops or weren’t paying employees the minimal wage. “Sweatshop” is a time period for a office that has very poor, socially unacceptable working circumstances.

Amazon declined to touch upon the difficulty. In an e mail to CNBC, an ASOS spokesperson mentioned: “ASOS is trying ahead to co-operating with the committee.”

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