Clean Clothes Campaign

The Clean Clothes campaign, otherwise known as CCC, is a campaign dedicated to improving the working conditions of fashion production workers in developing countries. Alongside campaigning for fair human rights for garment production workers. CCC also focuses on teaching consumers  about the garment production industry and ways in which they can make changes to benefit the lives of the production workers. CCC also supports workers in developing countries as they fight for their human rights and for safer working conditions. The CCC consists of a range of organisations across 16 European countries. The organisations all have different perspectives and issues that they are advocating, most common being women’s rights, poverty reduction, and consumer advocacy. Balsiger explains that the CCC is Europe’s main network that supports the anti-sweatshop movement. (Balsiger 2). The anti-sweatshop movement is a campaign which is designed to improve the conditions of workers in sweatshops and has been running since the early 19th century.

The Clean Clothes campaign has a list of principles which they believe all garment production workers should be entitled to. The list is as follows…

  • All workers—regardless of sex, age, country of origin, legal status, employment status or location, or any other basis—have a right to good and safe working conditions, where they can exercise their fundamental rights to associate freely and bargain collectively, and earn a living wage, which allows them to live in dignity.
  • Workers have a right to know about their rights (under national and international law and agreements, as well as under voluntary initiatives and agreements). They are entitled to education and training in relation to these rights.
  • The public has a right to know where and how their garments and sports shoes are produced.
  • Workers themselves can and should take the lead in their own organising and empowerment.
  • Workers can best assess their needs and the risks they take when asserting their rights. Public campaigns and other initiatives to take action in cases of rights violations and the development of strategies to address these issues must be done in consultation with workers or their representatives.
  • The public can and should take action to see that workers’ rights are respected. However, the CCC does not generally endorse or promote boycotts as a tool for action.
  • In order to achieve and maintain workers’ rights, the gender issues underlying or facilitating rights violations must be addressed.
  • National governments and international authorities have an obligation to implement legislation and sanction any failure to do so. Binding legislation should exist that meets the standards set out in ILO conventions; They also should implement ethical procurement policies.
  • The garment and sports shoe industries (including factory owners, agents, manufacturing companies, brand name garment corporations, retailers, and others) have a responsibility to ensure that good labour practices are the norm at all levels of the industry. Given the current structure of the industry, brand name garment companies and retailers must use their position of power to ensure good labour standards are met.
  • Brand name garment companies and retailers should adopt a code of labour practice that follows the standards outlined in the CCC model code, commit to implementing these standards throughout the garment production subcontracting chain, and participate in credible, transparent and participatory multi-stakeholder verification initiatives in order to develop, guide and oversee code implementation activities.
  • Brand name garment companies and retailers should actively pursue social dialogue with trade union organisations, and sign international framework agreements to facilitate such dialogue.
  • Companies must be transparent about conditions in, and the structure of, their supply networks and regarding actions undertaken to uphold good labour standards.
  • Trade unions and NGOs should cooperate nationally, regionally and globally to improve conditions in the garment and sports shoe industries and facilitate worker empowerment, without resorting to protectionism. Such cooperation should be based on mutual respect  for each other’s different roles and methods, open and active communication, participatory consensus building  and constructive criticism.

 

WORKS CITED:

Balsiger, Philip; Johnston, Dr. Hank. The Fight for Ethical Fashion : The Origins and Interactions of the Clean Clothes Campaign. Farnham: Taylor and Francis, 2016. Ebook Library. Web. 29 May. 2016.

“What We Believe In”. Clean Clothes Campaign. N.p., 2016. Web. 30 May 2016.

“Who We Are”. Clean Clothes Campaign. N.p., 2016. Web. 29 May 2016.

 

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