Fairwear visits shops of shame – 27 November

As part of its campaign to persuade retailers and manufacturers to sign up the Homeworkers Code of Practice, Fairwear sent letters earlier this month to four well-known companies which had refused so far to sign, warning them they were being targeted – Ojay, Satch, Scanlan & Theodore, and Witchery. Of these, only Witchery had done the right thing by the deadline, so a small but very disconcerting action was mounted at lunchtime yesterday (Saturday) outside branches in Little Collins Street in the City …
At Satch - campaigner in window modelling anti-sweatshop sack-dress
From a Fairwear flyer:

There are about 330,000 homeworkers/outworkers making clothes in homes and garages across Australia … predominantly women, and earning on average about 2$ -$5 an hour, often working 12 -16 hour days … without holiday pay, sick pay, super or workers comp…

The fashion industry alone is worth around $10 billion a year.

The Homeworkers Code of Practice is a voluntary agreement which manufacturers, suppliers and retailers can sign. The Code makes companies responsible for the conditions through the supply chain under which they make clothing…

Retailers sign Part 1 – committing to regularly providing a list of companies that supply them .. guaranteeing to cancel contracts or stop working with companies that are involved in exploitative practices…

Manufacturers and suppliers sign part 2 – and have to provide proof that they and their contractors are providing legal wages and conditions to homeworkers in Australia – they may then become accredited and entitled to use the No Sweatshop label.

Fairwear now has a convenient credit card sized guide to the Code and a list of companies which have signed as of 27 Oct 04 – this can also be downloaded from the website, along with detailed information: http://www.fairwear.org.au

Contacts: fairwear@fairwear.org.au Ph 03 9251 5270 Fax 03 9654 2136

[Info correct at time of original posting.]

Staff viewing protest

Possibly wishing the company had signed?

Outside, the impact on the store and people passing by was impressive. A grand total of four campaigners – and one photographer – drew two carloads of police, and a steady stream of shoppers stopped to take leaflets and wallet cards – not to mention the groups that collected on the other side of the street to watch:

Outside the store - police, Fairwear campaigners and public

Satch was the main recipient of attention, but Ojay in Australia on Collins, and Scanlan & Theodore further down the street both found they had new models in their windows:

At Ojay - campaigner in window dressed in sack with anti-sweatshop message

Campaigner hold 'Shop of Shame' placard outside Scanlan & Theodore store

Witchery did sign, and were given due credit:

Outside Witchery - campaigner with placard reading 'Shop of Integrity'

Outside Witchery – campaigner with placard reading ‘Shop of Integrity’