ASOS Commits To Tackling Modern Slavery At House Of Lords

A pledge will be signed by those committed to taking active steps to eradicate modern slavery in their supply chains.

ASOS is co-hosting an event at the House of Lords this week with Baroness Lola Young with the aim of identifying and address risks within the clothing sector.

Young – the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion – along with third-party brands of the e-tailer will review the progress that has been made since last year when the event outlined shared risks in the clothing sector.

Senior representatives from brands and retailers including Missguided, New Look, French Connection, Lipsy, Perry Ellis, Jack Wills, Selfridges, Burberry and Debenhams are set to attend.

ASOS, alongside these representatives, will review modern slavery risks in key sourcing regions and seek a commitment from attendees to increase transparency and build capability to tackle the issue.

In the past twelve months, ASOS has, among other initiatives, co-delivered Modern Slavery workshops for third-party brands in collaboration with Anti-Slavery International.

They also launched an online training resource, produced in conjunction with the London College of Fashion, to help the labels it stocks meet modern slavery legislation requirements.

Speakers at the event alongside Young include Asos CEO Nick Beighton, River Island CEO Ben Lewis and Klara Skrivankova, senior private sector advisor at Anti-Slavery International.

“A lack of transparency in the supply chain can lead to issues like poor working conditions and genuine business risk," Beighton said ahead of the event. 

"It’s only by working together, sharing experiences and committing to common goals that we can truly tackle modern slavery.”

The online retailer has been at the forefront of ethical fashion at a time when brands' reputations have been tarnished when it comes to sustainability, carbon footprints and hidden truths. 

In 2018, Asos banned the sale of mohair, silk, cashmere and feathers across its entire platform, launched a sustainable fashion training programme, introduced 100% electric vehicles in congestion zones to help make London’s air cleaner and invited 90 of its best-selling brands to take part in an ethical trading conference to discuss purchasing practices, transparency and raw materials.

“By doing this, they show that there is space for pre-competitive collaboration when it comes to ensuring human rights due diligence," Young said.

“I very much hope that other brands will follow suit.”

The group's published statement on how they plan to abolish modern slavery can be found on their website

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