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Primark named as least ethical clothes shop

109 replies

givemewine · 05/11/2007 13:44

here

Just interested in views on what we as consumers can do. Fairtrade clothes are limited and expensive, and some of us can only afford Primark/George etc. Yet it seems there's a terrible cost for those producing the clothes. any thoughts?

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Marina · 05/11/2007 13:48

I guess all that can be done is if you can afford to shop elsewhere, then do so whenever you can
If Primark are named least ethical, then are there budget retailers that fare a bit better?
M & S are not cheap and I see they also come out of this survey badly

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FioFio · 05/11/2007 13:49

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mumfor1standfinaltime · 05/11/2007 13:49

No mention of Gap in the article either.

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FioFio · 05/11/2007 13:50

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givemewine · 05/11/2007 13:51

I am surprised about M&S too. I was under the impression they had got v ethical lately, stocking organic cotton, fairtrade clothes/food etc, but seems this stuff is only for show?

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TheQueenOfQuotes · 05/11/2007 13:52

oh well thankfully the shop I rely on most, although still dire according to that article, comes top - Matalan

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FioFio · 05/11/2007 13:53

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FioFio · 05/11/2007 13:55

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Skyler · 05/11/2007 13:56

I am not overly surprised that Primark are so bad as cheap clothes have to have some sort of a 'cost' along the way, but for none of the high street retailers to be able to be recommended is rather .
I don't know what the answer is really. Will watch this thread with interest.
I did get some fairtrade socks from Tesco but that is a bit of a pathetic gesture really

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seeker · 05/11/2007 13:58

To quote my favourite film character "I think I'm going to have a heart attack and die of not-surprise"

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binkleandflip · 05/11/2007 14:01

lol seeker, my sentiments exactly!

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hoarsewhisperer · 05/11/2007 14:28

what a surprise...not. If you sell things at 2 pounds a go you need to be able to produce them cheaply. Now...let's think where would that be??? other side of the world??

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BurrrrrrrrrrningNbg · 05/11/2007 14:32

Its terrible really but its all very well people suggesting we go for fairtrade etc.
Its just not going to happen is it.

I have had 2 biggish splurges at Primark in the last 2 weeks and I've just been through every item I have bought and all are from Madrid.

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Tortington · 05/11/2007 14:48

i'm not surpised, when one can buy clothing cheaper for new than in a second hand shop - then its probably at teh expense of a 6 year old indian boy who will die when he is 30 becuase of fumes from the dye of that lovely red top that cost only £2

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hifi · 05/11/2007 14:48

i have worked for one of these companys in the past, we did everything possible to ensure a code of practice was put in place, clean drinking water on site, regular breaks, at least minimum pay etc. the problem arises when the companys you have a contract with then sub contract your order, then that company subcontracts, this can go on and on. it very difficult to control all these factories in developing countries.

we also have to keep in mind where the average daily wage in a country is a dollar,we then cant be shocked that some people are only earning this amount for producing clothes.

on previous occasions when action has been taken against sub contractors whole villages are then out of work, with no prospect of any other, its very difficult to know whats the right thing to do.

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mummymagic · 05/11/2007 14:51

I know, I used to sort of rationalise that at least Primark were making less profit than say, Nike on the same t-shirt (ie t-shirt is sold at £2.50 or £25).

Tbh I can't justify it anymore, am really trying to buy most/all clothes second-hand (or fairtrade - but even then, I bought M&S fairtrade cotton vests... but then realised it's probably only the cotton that is fairtrade I think - they probably still use cheap labour )

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morningglory · 05/11/2007 14:54

Just because something says "Made inXXX", it doesn't necessarily mean that. It could mean that most of the work was done in a sweatshop in China and the last stitch was done in XXX. Perfectly legal.

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lemonaidtreasonandplot · 05/11/2007 15:04

Buy second-hand. Your money isn't going to the companies with unethical practices (if you buy second-hand from charity shops you can even make sure it goes somewhere positively ethical) and it's more environmentally friendly, too.

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givemewine · 05/11/2007 15:06

It is really difficult when there's such a long chain of sub contractors etc involved in the process, to know where the company is doing its best or could be doing more. I guess it's the same as buying fairtrade coffee etc - 10 yrs ago you couldn't find fairtrade stuff in tescos but now it's widespread, and so companies are becoming forced to be more responsible. If we all did this with clothes too, it mioght make a difference. Hard tho when clothes are so expensive.
I've bought a lot off ebay lately and think that's a great way of doing it if possible - recycling as well as ethical in the sense that clothes are being reused, even if they were made by primark in the first place. iyswim.

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givemewine · 05/11/2007 15:07

lemonaid, great minds.....

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BurrrrrrrrrrningNbg · 05/11/2007 15:08

I wasnt aware of that MP.
Thats suprised me a bit.

Is there anywhere you can see a list of the most "ethical" stores then?

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ruddynorah · 05/11/2007 15:13

the ratings are over the last 5 years. so actually a lot of these companies may be doing a lot better now, particularly m&s who's big thing at the moment is 'plan A because there is no plan B' (yes i work there) hence they are the biggest buyer in the world of fairtrade cotton, recycling hangers, reducing use of pollting dyes, only using sustainable fisheries etc etc. i expect primark may have only recently started using spanish suppliers where as earlier in the 5 years counted they may have use bangladesh, india, etc.

plan A

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morningglory · 05/11/2007 15:17

I agree that the way to go is buy secondhand. Also, what about just buying less, and better quality?

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lemonaidtreasonandplot · 05/11/2007 15:19

(and persuading DS not to cover them in yogurt...)

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hanaflower · 05/11/2007 15:31

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