Monday, 26 November 2007

Child laboured cotton

The Swedish fashion giant H&M together with the Swedish home textiles designer, Borås Väveri, uses cotton that has been hand picked by child labour in Uzbekistan.

According to the BBC program that was aired in Sweden yesterday, schools are closed down in Uzbekistan when the cotton is in season to be harvested and schoolchildren are transported out to the cotton fields to work for much less money than they officially are said to earn. The cotton is then bought by Pakistani contractors who manufacture fabric for the two Swedish companies.

So far H&M has stated that they can only put pressure on their own suppliers as they make their agreements with their contractors and if they are supplied with under contractors using child labour and they can not do much about it and are not considering a boycott of Uzbeki cotton. Well if not earlier, than at last this statement has put me off H&M and their clothes!

The second firm, Borås Väveri has announced that they will stop using Uzbek cotton since the news got out about it yesterday. So this was teo companies in Sweden, I just wonder if there are any Finnish fashion companies that also use cotton hand picked by Uzbeki children?

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