Recently I blogged about Fairtrade T Shirts for sale at low prices and pondered whether they could possibly be the product of Fairtrade cotton being used to make garments in sweatshops. Well I did a little delving and this is what I found... Dear [Ginger],
Firstly, from Sainbury's:
Thank you for your email. I understand you are interested to know our policy on how our Fairtrade t-shirts are made. I appreciate the chance to outline our position in this area.
All our Fairtrade t-shirts are made in an accredited factory in Bangladesh. The factory has to be approved by the Fairtrade foundation to ensure it trades to the highest standards.
The yarn is from India from accredited Fairtrade farms, which means the farmers are paid a better wage for the cotton grown. The funds raised from the Fairtrade foundation are used to subsidise and improve the farmer’s lives and villages through supporting schools. This implements clean water and generally enforces a better standard of living for the community.
Thank you for your email.
You may be interested to know that all of our suppliers are expected to meet our Global Sourcing Principles, and to encourage their own suppliers to implement them. This requires our suppliers to comply with national laws and to work towards the international labour laws contained in the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code.
Our Global Sourcing Principles promote the right to freedom of association, requiring that workers are free to join lawful trade unions or workers' associations, and the payment of national minimum wage. Any new suppliers who we conduct business with have to pass our audits on key issues such as underage labour, pay, working hours and health and safety.
So yay! Nice to know.
On a related matter, I notice that Sainsbury's now print their receipts double-sided which strikes me as a neat and simple way of saving paper. So change can happen.