In the News

Fair Trade Fashion Takes Off in Europe

Women's Wear Daily

By Ellen Groves

PARIS - Ethical fashion is broadening its scope as major European

retailers respond to heightened consumer concerns about apparel

manufacturing that damages the environment or violates human rights.

British giant Marks & Spencer began selling its own fair trade-certified

cotton line in March, which guarantees higher prices for cotton

producers. High Street chain Topshop's initial one-month trial of

ethical brand People Tree was so successful at its Oxford Street

An Ugly Side of Free Trade: Sweatshops in Jordan

The New York Times

By Steven Greenhouse and Michael Barbaro

Propelled by a free trade agreement with the United States, apparel manufacturing is booming in Jordan, its exports to America soaring twentyfold in the last five years.

But some foreign workers in Jordanian factories that produce garments for Target, Wal-Mart and other American retailers are complaining of dismal conditions - of 20-hour days, of not being paid for months and of being hit by supervisors and jailed when they complain.

SPECIAL REPORT: The price of sparkle is child slavery

The Observer (England)

Swarovski crystal beads, real and fake, are big business in India. But the children who stitch them into clothing suffer in appalling conditions, writes Dan McDougall

By Dan McDougall

A DECREPIT iron fan creaks in the corner of the windowless room, offering sparse relief from the rising humidity. The air is thick with the foul smell of old cooking oil and burning ghee floating up from the street kitchens and hissing braziers on the south Delhi street below.

Exploitation in Liberia

The Analyst

The International Labor Rights Fund filed a lawsuit against the Firestone Plantations Company (FPCO) in a Californian court on behalf of the employees alleging conditions of slavery on the plantations. Firestone received the lawsuit with a pinch of salt, contending that the conditions on the plantations were much better than conditions elsewhere in Liberia. But the plaintiffs' counsels remained dogged, arguing that US and international labor standards do view what is obtaining in Liberia as labor violation and they vow to prosecute Firestone.

Target: Wal-Mart Lite


By Kari Lydersen

Shopping in a Target store, you know you’re not in Wal-Mart. But the differences may be mostly skin deep.

Targets are spaciously laid out and full of attractive displays and promotions. While many people associate Wal-Mart with low-income, rural communities perhaps dominated by a prison or power plant, life-size photos throughout Target stores remind you that their customers are a lively, beautiful cast of multi-cultural hipsters.

Cocoa suppliers won't be named

The Patriot-News

Excerpt from article:

The Hershey Co. won't have to disclose its cocoa suppliers, shareholders overwhelmingly voted yesterday.

Global Exchange, a nonprofit human rights organization based in San Francisco, wanted Hershey to disclose the suppliers to determine if the company might be exposed to some risk because it purchased cocoa from companies that have been named in a federal lawsuit over child slavery conditions on West African cocoa farms.