Last updated: August 2016
Fashion Campaigns to Support
We list 6 current fashion campaigns that are fighting for a sustainable fashion industry that no longer mistreats its workers or pollutes the planet.
1. Cotton Pledge
For decades the Government of Uzbekistan has been forcing its citizens, both children and adults, to work in the annual cotton harvest. As a result of sustained campaign pressure on the issue of child labour, 2014 saw the burden of labour shifted onto adults, with ‘masses’ of teachers and medical professionals forced into the cotton fields.
Having engaged companies on the issue since 2008, the Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN) introduced the ‘Cotton Pledge Against Child and Adult Forced Labour in Uzbek Cotton’ in 2011. To date, over 160 companies have signed the pledge.
However, the RSN decided in 2014 that it was time to find out how companies were actually implementing the Cotton Pledge throughout their supply chains. It asked companies what efforts they were making to actually implement this pledge, including communicating their policy to all parts of its supply chain including spinners and mills, and auditing them for compliance. The results were published in the ‘Cotton Sourcing Snapshot’ which can be downloaded here.
2. Out of Fashion campaign
Rainforest Action Network’s (RAN) ‘Out of Fashion’ campaign pinpointed several high-end fashion brands which it said must do more to ensure they weren’t making clothes from unsustainable wood pulp. Clothes that we wear everyday are made from fabrics that destroy the forests.
Rainforest Action Network explains:
"Trees from both the forest and the plantations are cut down and go through an incredibly toxic process to create what is known as dissolving pulp, a white fluffy material that gets spun into threads and woven into cloth."
Sign the petition here.
3. Fair Wear Foundation
The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is an independent, non-profit organisation that works with companies and factories to improve labour conditions for garment workers. FWF members have to agree to work towards implementation of the FWF Code of Labour Practices and to having all their factories independently monitored. The FWF code comprises eight labour standards based on ILO Conventions and the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights.
FWF conducts annual brand performance checks for each member company and publishes them online. The FWF label signifies that a company is making efforts to improve working conditions and has at least 90% of its factories under monitoring.
4. Detox Campaign
Over 60,000 people have signed Greenpeace’s Detox Outdoor Manifesto. The campaign is calling on all clothing companies to eliminate all hazardous chemicals by 2020. The outdoor campaign is part of Greenpeace's wider Detox campaign which began in 2011.
Thousands of people have also contacted brands to ask ‘Do you use PFCs?’, and have voted for which products Greenpeace should test for PFCs. In January 2016, the test results will be published.
For more information about PFCs read our report: 'Toxic outdoor clothing'.
5. Clean Clothes Campaign
The Clean Clothes Campaign is dedicated to improving the working conditions for workers in the global garment industry. They are currently working alongside workers, trade unions, consumers and campaigners to call for the living wage for all garment factory workers.
Sign the Clean Clothes Campaign petition calling for all garment workers to receive a living wage.
They are calling for:
- Clothing brands and companies to set concrete, measurable steps throughout their supply chain to ensure garment workers get paid a living wage.
- National governments in garment producing countries to make sure minimum wages are set at living wage standards.
- European governments to implement regulation to ensure companies are responsible for the impact they have on the lives of workers in their supply chain.
Find out more about the campaign in our article: 'Living Wage Struggle'.
6. Change Your Shoes!
In 2015, 18 human rights, workers’ rights and environmental organisations across Europe, India, and China launched ‘Change Your Shoes’, a global campaign aimed to address the systemic workers’ rights abuses plaguing the shoe industry.
The campaign is calling for shoe workers to be paid a living wage and for companies who sell shoes in the EU to be forced to publish all information on their supply chain, including the use of toxic chemicals and working conditions.
Get the app
The campaign has launched a Change Your Shoes smartphone app. It informs you about the shoe industry, sets out the demands for change and allows you to record your steps in support of the petition. Download for free from Google Play or the Apple Store.
See our ethical shopping guide to shoes.