'Conscious collection' H&M leaves seamstresses unconscious

published 24-03-2013 23:00, last modified 18-04-2013 14:15
Amsterdam – Clean Clothes Campaign launches a spoof campaign called 'Unconscious Collapses'. The campaign targets H&M's launch of the new 'Conscious Collection', criticising the working conditions in Asian garment factories. In Cambodia alone, more than 2900 workers have collapsed since 2010, several hundred of them at H&M suppliers.

Spoof advertisements Clean Clothes Campaign targets poverty wages H&M

The spoof shows Vanessa Paradis, model for H&M, sitting in a leafy garden, surrounded by garment workers, with the text 'H&M Unconscious Collapsed, start paying a living wage.'

H&M is, alongside Gap, Levis and Zara, one of the main buyers of the booming Cambodian garment industry. Due to the low wage and consequently low calorie intake, many workers in H&M factories are malnourished.

Last week, local unions in Cambodia negotiated the new minimum wage and called for a wage hike of 89 USD, to 150 USD a month. On 21st of March, the Ministry of Social Affairs announced the new minimum wage to be 75 USD, starting May 1st 2013. According to the Asia Floor Wage Alliance, a worker and her family in Cambodia need a monthly living wage of 274 USD to cover basic needs, so almost four times the amount of the newly announced minimum wage. In addition, the minimum wage looses purchasing power due to annual inflation.

Christa Luginbühl from Clean Clothes Campaign says, “H&M claims that their clothes are made with responsibility for people and environment, but hundreds of overworked and malnourished workers faint during their daily work. A fashion collection cannot be “conscious“, “sustainable” or “responsible” if a producer denies garment workers the basic human right for a living wage.”

H&M's turnover in  2012 was almost 17 billion Euros with a profit of more than 2 billion Euros. “It is the company`s duty to pay a fair share to the workers who make their clothes and guarantee that they have a living wage to cover basic needs, such as food. H&M, as an industry leader, could trigger a change in the sector by committing to a living wage”, says Christa Luginbühl.

H&M has the buyer power to  improve the working conditions and livelihood of thousands of garment workers. The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) calls on consumers to join the petition and increase the pressure on H&M and other fashion brands to pay a living wage.

More information:

The spoof on facebook -  http://www.facebook.com/cleanclothescampaign#

Take action – sign the call for a Living Wage here: http://livingwage.cleanclothes.org/#act

Read more about the Living Wage: http://livingwage.cleanclothes.org/a-living-wage/

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