Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Fair Fashion - My Letter To The CEO of ASDA

Today I wrote to Andy Clarke the CEO of ASDA (actually the wording of my letter was taken from the Action Aid website) but I thought you might be interested to see what I wrote.

Dear Andy Clarke

I am writing as I support ActionAid’s Who Pays? Campaign to make fashion fair and am deeply concerned about the level of workers’ pay in garments factories producing clothes for Asda George in Asia. Women working in your factories are being paid wages which keep them trapped in poverty and mean that they are unable to cover basic living costs for their families such as food, clothing and education.

This is scandalous given that the cost of bringing workers wages up to a decent level would be as little as an extra 2p on a £4 t-shirt. I would be willing to pay this tiny amount if it meant lifting workers out of poverty and I think Asda should too.

Earlier this year, M&S promised to pay all its workers in South Asia a living wage by 2015 and agreed to pay suppliers more in order to cover this cost. Shouldn’t Asda now be matching M&S’s commitment?

In your new role as CEO of Asda you have the opportunity to make your mark and improve the lives of thousands of poor workers. You could make Asda an ethical fashion leader by committing to the following now:

- Setting a deadline for paying Asda workers in Asia a living wage
- Agreeing to pay suppliers more to cover the cost of wage increases
- Doing all you can to promote workers’ rights to freedom of association in factories

I look forward to your response.


I generally try and buy vintage and second hand clothes, ethical fashion and more expensive investment clothes when I can afford it, so don't really shop much at ASDA anyway but, I have in the past bought a few items and childrens clothes from ASDA. I was quite shocked to find out that ASDA pays the people who make its clothes so little. Wouldn't it be great if ASDA could lead the way in stylish ethical and sustainable fashion, I would consider buying clothes there then.

What do you think? Do you shop at Asda and would you be prepared to pay a tiny bit more to make fashion fair?

You can write the same letter asking him to pay a living wage to garments makers in Asia or use your own wording here.


jenna said...

I'd definitely pay a little more! Admire M&S' ethics but why not now? Why wait til 2015?!

Laura Connell said...

I love this post and that you took the time to take action. Amnesty International knows letter writing is the most effective way to change policy. I wrote a post in same spirit a little while ago. Fashion is fun; it must also be responsible, however.