BRC has been working with Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Chair of the APPG for Textiles and Fashion to raise the issue of unethical labour practices taking place in some garment factories.
In addition to our joint open letter which we have sent to the Home Secretary calling for statutory licensing for garment factories, Lisa Cameron has also raised the issue with the Business Secretary, Alok Sharma MP yesterday in Parliament during Business Questions. The Secretary of State has agreed to meet with us to discuss our proposal for a 'Fit to Trade' licensing scheme further.
Lisa Cameron has also tabled a Early Day Motion (EDM) in Parliament which notes:
That this House recognises that workers in some UK garment factories are suffering under exploitative labour practices, underpayment of legal minimum wages and unsafe working conditions; acknowledges the need to take urgent action to protect such workers from exploitation and ensure that factory owners are meeting all legal obligations; notes that taking action would prevent rogue factories from undercutting compliant businesses and would encourage retailers to source more clothing from the UK, supporting the development of an ethical, world-leading UK fashion industry; and therefore calls on the Government to implement the British Retail Consortium's proposal for a Fit to Trade licensing scheme for all garment factories in the UK.
EDMs are used to put on record the views of individual MPs or to draw attention to specific events or campaigns. We will use the parliamentary summer recess to drum up support from backbench MPs for the EDM to demonstrate the level of support for this campaign and to add pressure to the Government.