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  • © Human Rights Watch
  • © Human Rights Watch

Clothing Brands’ Business Practices Fuel Factory Abuses

Time and Cost-Cutting Pressures Are Incentives for Labor Abuses

Wednesday 24 April 2019


***ANIMATED INFOGRAPHICS WIlL ALSO BE AVAILABLE SOON TO DOWNLOAD AND USE, VIA THIS LINK. ***


(London, April 24, 2019) – Clothing and footwear brands should end business practices that provide incentives for factory labor abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 66-page report, “‘Paying for a Bus Ticket and Expecting to Fly’: How Apparel Brand Purchasing Practices Drive Labor Abuses,” identifies key practices by clothing companies that fuel abusive cost-cutting methods by factories that harm workers. Many global brands tout their commitment to ensuring rights-respecting workplaces in the factories that produce their goods, but undercut their efforts with relentless pressure on suppliers to drive down prices or produce faster, Human Rights Watch found. Many suppliers respond to those pressures with abusive cost-cutting methods that harm workers. One factory owner ruefully summarized the problem, saying that brands are “paying for a bus ticket and expecting to fly.” “Apparel brands that drive their suppliers to cut costs in ways that harm workers are always a whisker away from human rights disaster,” said Aruna Kashyap, senior counsel in the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch. “Clothing brands need to monitor and rectify their business practices so they don’t encourage the very factory-level abuses they say they are trying to stamp out.”

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