Publications from the Clean Clothes Campaign
Reflection on decent work in global supply chains on the agenda of the 105th session of the International Labour Conference
CCC reflects on the outcome of the Committee on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains at the International Labour Conference in June 2016.
At the occasion of the 105th Session of the International Labour Conference in June 2016, Clean Clothes Campaign emphasizes the need of an institutional framework for remedy and prevention that can be scaled up and an enforcement framework.
During August 24 to September 1, 2015, the Clean Clothes Campaign, International Labor Rights Forum, Maquila Solidarity Network, and Worker Rights Consortium reviewed the Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) posted on the website of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (“the Accord”). Our report focused on H&M’s strategic suppliers, studying each of the 32 Accord CAPs available for these factories. Between January 11 and 16, 2016, the four NGO witness signatories to the Accord conducted a new review of CAPs for the same 32 H&M strategic suppliers. In this update of May 2, 2016, the four Accord witness signatories, have again reviewed the most recent corrective action plans and progress reports for the same set of 32 factories checked before. For the first time, the latest corrective action plans for 22 additional H&M strategic supplier factories were included as well.
Clean Clothes Campaign presented this position paper on transparency to the European Commission on 25th April 2016 during the conference on responsible management of the supply chain in the garment sector. The garment industry has complex chains of production and responsibility, with many actors at different levels playing a part in production. Poor transparency in supply chains of European companies and lack of data have long been a barrier to improvement of human rights and working conditions. There is a clear need to elaborate on this soft legislation in the UNGPs to make it clearer what transparency (“show”) looks like for companies and governments.
Following the collapse of the Rana Plaza building on 24th April 2013 a significant number of campaigns were undertaken to ensure the survivors and the families of the workers killed receive just and fair compensation, and to ensure that future building safety accidents would be prevented. These campaigns contributed to several initiatives including the Rana Plaza Arrangement (set up to provide compensation) and the Bangladesh Fire and Building safety Accord (set up to improve building safety). They also resulted in promises to improve the legal climate regarding Freedom of Association. This report, published by the Clean Clothes Campaign and the International Labor Rights Forum on the eve of the third anniversary of the tragedy in April 2016, provides an update on the key developments and outcomes in each of these three areas.
Following the collapse of the Rana Plaza building on 24th April 2013 a significant number of campaigns were undertaken to ensure the survivors and the families of the workers killed receive just and fair compensation, and to ensure that future building safety accidents would be prevented. These campaigns contributed to several initiatives including the Rana Plaza Arrangement (set up to provide compensation) and the Bangladesh Fire and Building safety Accord (set up to improve building safety). They also resulted in promises to improve the legal climate regarding Freedom of Association. This summary, published by the Clean Clothes Campaign on the eve of the third anniversary of the tragedy in April 2016, provides an update on the key developments and outcomes in each of these three areas.
Fairtrade International published its new Fairtrade Textile Standard on 22 March 2016. Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) raised concerns and gave detailed input during the Standard’s development and remains critical today. In this position paper from March 2016 CCC states that in order to improve working conditions, a sector-wide approach is needed and corporate behaviour has to change, not only some selected supply chains.
In this paper from March 2016 Clean Clothes Campaign explains its position on human rights due diligence as explained in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP).
This memo from January 2016 is an update to the analysis of H&M key supplier factories' compliance with the Bangladesh Accord from September 2015.
A digest of interviews, background and campaign information from the Clean Clothes Campaign network from October 2015.
An Evaluation of H&M Compliance with Safety Action Plans for Strategic Suppliers in Bangladesh by the Clean Clothes Campaign International Labor Rights Forum, Maquila Solidarity Network and Worker Rights Consortium from September 2015.
This report was conducted by Campagna Abiti Puliti, the Italian section of the Clean Clothes Campaign. It is a survey on pay conditions in the clothing and footwear sector in Italy to see whether in Italy too there is a real living wage problem. This report sets out the findings of the survey, which was conducted from April 2013 to August 2014 by members of the campaign and a team of Italian researchers represented by Devi Sacchetto, Veronica Redini and Davide Bubbico. The report was published in 2014.
Clean Clothes Campaign and MAP Foundation launched an in-depth study into the working conditions of migrants from Myanmar (Burma) working in the Thai apparel industry. The report documents how workers are not only denied the right to collective bargaining and minimum social security; it also shows they are denied the legal minimum wage which is tantamount to wage theft. The report was published in 2014.
The Clean Clothes Campaign and the Asia Floor Wage Alliance believe that being paid less than a living wage is a violation of an individual’s human rights. This report looks at the low wages being paid across six of the major garment producing countries in Asia – Cambodia, China, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. It also looks at the responsibilities of both state and global apparel brands and their suppliers in addressing poverty wages and the steps that must be taken immediately if the garment industry is to provide a decent life for those working within it. The report was published in 2014.
This is an in depth research report on the situation facing garment workers in 10 countries, busting the myth that "Made in Europe" means better wages and conditions. The report was made in 2014.
An in depth look at the practices and policies the 50 largest clothing brands operating in Europe are taking to implement a living wage from March 2014.
This report from October 2013 shows how six months after history's deadliest apparel industry disaster, workers continue to fight for compensation. This report by the Clean Clothes Campaign and the International Labor Rights Forum looks in detail at the Rana Plaza and Tazreen Fashion disasters and where the battle for compensation stands six months after the Rana Plaza disaster.
This provides an overview of the July 2013 report from CCC and partners War on Want, SACOM and IHLO that highlights that three years after the voluntary ban on sandblasting by global clothing brands the practice continues in China, putting workers at risk of the deadly lung disease silicosis.
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) alongside with War on Want, SACOM and IHLO in July 2013 releases this research which shows that the practice of sandblasting - used in order to give jeans a worn or ‘distressed’ look - is still widespread in China despite most Western brands banning the practice three years ago because of its link to silicosis, a deadly lung disease that has already caused the deaths of many garment workers.
The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) in March 2013 published a report analysing two recent factory fires in the export-oriented garment industry in Bangladesh and Pakistan in which more than 400 lives were lost. ‘Fatal fashion’ is an urgent call upon governments, suppliers, brands, retailers, audit firms and certification bodies for a fundamental game-change to protect and respect workers’ rights.
The safety record of the Bangladesh garment industry is one of the worst in the world. This briefing from November 2012 aims to give an overview of what action needs to be taken by the different actors involved in order to improve the safety of garment factories in Bangladesh, what has been achieved so far both in preventing future tragedies and compensating the victims of previous incidents and what more could and should be done by the brands, retailers and employers to ensure that the workers of Bangladesh are not risking their lives for the sake of cheap fashion.
This presentation from June 2013 outlines working conditions in Bangladesh, the series of factory fires and collapses that occurred since 2005 with special attention to the Rana Plaza collapse, the worst industrial disaster in the garment industry. Lastly it covers the content of The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh which aims to make garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces.
Better Factories Cambodia (BFC) is a monitoring program initiated by the ILO. It seeks to promote decent working conditions in the Cambodian garment industry. This report by Clean Clothes Campaign and Community Legal Education Center from August 2012 assesses the achievements and limitations of the BFC project. It concludes that while the program has its strengths, working conditions are still very poor. The report formulates recommendations around six areas where the BFC program could be improved.
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the human rights of workers to form or join trade unions and to bargain collectively
Respect for the human rights of workers is fundamental to the human rights and business debate. With this paper from November 2012, we reaffirm the centrality of industrial relations to both the exercise of due diligence and the remediation of adverse human rights impacts within the framework of the UN Guiding Principles. This paper sets out what it means for a business enterprise to respect the rights of workers to join or form a trade union and the right to bargain collectively. Written by the International Trade Union Confederation, IndustriALL Global Union, the Clean Clothes Campaign and UNI Global Union.
Sandblasting has become the key method for finishing most modern jeans requiring that ‘worn-out’ look. Under the sandblasting process the denim is smoothed, shaped and cleaned by forcing abrasive particles across it at high speeds. The process is fast and cheap and demand for pre-worn denim has led to a massive rise in its use. But this fashion comes at a price: the health and even the lives of sandblasting workers. The Deadly Denim report from March 2012 describes the true cost of these blue jeans.
Sandblasting has become the key method for finishing most modern jeans requiring that ‘worn-out’ look. Under the sandblasting process the denim is smoothed, shaped and cleaned by forcing abrasive particles across it at high speeds. The process is fast and cheap and demand for pre-worn denim has led to a massive rise in its use. But this fashion comes at a price: the health and even the lives of sandblasting workers.
Road Map to an Asia Floor Wage: 10 steps brands and retailers can take toward implementing a minimum living wage
This document from May 2011 outlines 10 recommendations for global buyers (brands and retailers) that will help achieve the Asia Floor Wage (AFW). The proposed recommendations should not be considered individually and should instead be combined to form a road map. There is no magic bullet regarding the implementation of the AFW, but it should be the result of serious engagement of several (if not all) of this document‟s recommendations.
Migrant workers are becoming an increasingly important part of the workforce within the global garment industry. These workers are in a particularly vulnerable position in terms of workplace exploitation – in addition to low pay and long working hours, they often experience debt bondage, threats of violence and deportation - and they face specific barriers to voicing and demanding their rights as workers. This CCC Discussion Paper from 2009 shares research that will help raise awareness of the experiences of migrant workers in the garment industry and provides an input to ongoing discussions on how the CCC network and others can move forward to support respect for migrant workers’ rights.
All garment workers in Asia need a wage increase. But often, when workers struggle to improve their wages and conditions in one country, companies relocate to another country, where wages and conditions are lower. So workers are afraid to fight for better wages, because they might lose their jobs. This report from 2009 outlines the proposal for a basic wage for all workers in Asia.
Read “Cashing In” the CCC’s report from 2009 on five top global retailers: Carrefour, Walmart, Tesco, Aldi, and Lidl, that sheds light on the poor working conditions where these discounters produce their clothes and takes the companies to task for failing to take sufficient action to address these problems. Addressing purchasing practices is one of the key issues included in the CCC’s recommendations for the retailers.
The Structural Crisis of Labour Flexibility: Strategies and Prospects for Transnational Labour Organising in the Garment and Sportswear Industries
This paper from May 2008 is part of an ongoing evaluation and strategising process through which the CCC's aims and activities can be accessed, reviewed, redefined and adapted. The central question here is what strategies, tools, campaigns would help to achieve our objectives? The paper first discusses why poor working conditions are so persistent in the global garment industry, despite fifteen years of codes of conduct. The second section discusses three main strategies the CCC has employed over the last 15 year to improve working conditions. It includes an overview of how the debate on codes of conduct, monitoring and verification has evolved. Finally, the third section discusses the three broad strategies that might increase the impact of voluntary, private instruments on working conditions. It discusses three different contexts in which voluntary initiatives can contribute to improve working conditions.
Four major steps garment companies can take to ensure their products are made under humane conditions. In this guide from 2008 the Clean Clothes Campaign offers guidelines on what companies can do to better assess, implement, and verify compliance with labour standards in their supply chains, and eliminate abuses where and when they arise.
This report from 2005 researches the weaknesses of social auditing. Social audits to check working conditions in production facilities emerged in the mid-1990s after a number of high profile companies were widely scrutinized for substandard working conditions in their supply chains. At that time, a growing number of companies-for example Nike, Gap, Levi Strauss, and C&A-had adopted codes of conduct that in essence were pledges to prevent exploitation and abuse of workers producing their goods. Labour advocates soon challenged these companies to demonstrate conformity to the standards they had adopted. Calls for independent, civil society based forms of workplace assessments were made.
Paper written for CCC Round Table on Purchasing Practices, May 2005. This paper discusses the main elements related to purchasing practices and their relation to the CCC’s campaign activities. It's based on experiences from the Play Fair campaign concerning purchasing practices. The paper concludes with questions for further discussion. The Play Fair campaign was the first public campaign in which purchasing practices emerged as an important element. This was certainly important as both a learning experience and as a way of getting the topic discussed. However, it is important to raise some questions about how far campaigners should go down this road.
This 128-page publication published by the CCC International Secretariat in 2005 includes feature articles on important themes relating to gender and labour rights and 17 profiles of women involved in different ways in the movement for garment workers' rights.
On 30 November 2004 the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) was officially launched. Under the aegis of some of Europe’s largest retailers, this initiative sets out to audit and monitor the social performance of their suppliers world-wide by utilising one common system. Since the BSCI aims to become a major monitoring initiative, which has already attracted several of Europe’s largest retailers, there is a great need for more background information. This document is a first attempt at supplying this essential information.
In the six-month up to the Olympics Games in Athens August 2004, the Play Fair alliance approached sportswear companies, the World Federation of Sporting Goods Industries (WFSGI), and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with a number of recommendations and suggestions to improve working conditions in the global sportswear Industry. This report from June 2005 gives an overview of how Asics, Fila, Kappa, Lotto, Mizuno, Puma and Umbro responded to the Play Fair 2004 campaign.
Based on research interviews conducted in July 2004, it shows how workers’ lives are affected by current practices in the industry and gives a sense of what the personal impact could be if the industry made a concerted effort to respect human rights. It does this by presenting an in-depth look at the lives of workers in just one factory, the PT Tae Hwa Indonesia factory (hereafter “Tae Hwa”) in Tangerang in West Java.
This paper has been written as an input for the seminar “Campaigning strategies on informal labour in the global garment industry,” organized by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), the International Restructuring Education Network Europe (IRENE), and the Evangelische Akademie Meissen in 2004.
Clean Clothes Communities projects are aimed at local and regional authorities which adopt a resolution in order to ensure that only work wear made under good labour conditions is purchased. That means formulating an ethical procurement policy and developing a plan of action so that within a specified period of time buying "clean" uniforms becomes a reality. This is a Reader from February 2004.
The following is a glossary of commonly used terms in the current field of monitoring and verification of codes of labor practice in the garment and sportswear industries. The aim of this terminology guide from August 2003 is to clearly define key concepts in order to harmonize terminology and thereby better facilitate debate and improve the quality of work being done in relation to monitoring and verification.
Despite some small steps forward, poverty and fear still dominate the lives of Nike and Adidas workers in Indonesia, March 2002.
Report on labor conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa. Clean Clothes Campaign, 2001.
A publication about the CCCs Urgent Appeal Action Network.
as approved in february 1998
Bulletins about factory closures from 2007, written to inform the CCCs network and to encourage debate on key issues related to our work.
Developing and circulating appeals for urgent action (called “urgent appeals” for short) is one way that the CCC supports garment workers in specific cases where their rights have been violated. A CCC urgent appeal contains a request from workers or their organizations that people take action to demonstrate support for workers’ demands in a situation where their rights are not being respected.
Joint letter from March 2015 to the EU regarding the flagship initiative for the responsible management of the supply chain in the garment sector.
The Fair, Green & Global alliance presents clear insights into the many shapes and forms of policy influencing according to ten factors that lead to success, including recommendations for policy support measures in this 2014 report. The Fair, Green & Global alliance consists of Clean Clothes Campaign, Both ENDS, ActionAid, Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands), SOMO and the Transnational Institute.
This document sets out sector-wide solutions for the sports shoe and apparel industry in Indonesia. These solutions are put forward by Oxfam Australia, the Clean Clothes Campaign and a network of labour rights groups worldwide (which include consumer groups) who remain concerned about continued and pervasive labour rights violations in the supply chain1 of major buyers (retailers and brands) in Indonesia. Written by Oxfam Australia and Clean Clothes Campaign, 2009.
A series of factsheets on various countries and the state of the garment industry there.
Some of our brochures have been translated into various other languages.