Exploitation in clothing supply chains is more common than you might think
Thousands of you responded to our recent call to urge Super Retail, owner of brands such as Rebel and Ray's Outdoors, to help put an end to forced labour in Uzbekistan's cotton industry.
They haven't responded as yet, so it's clear we need to push them even harder. If you haven’t already, please download this letter, sign it and send it to Super Retail at the enclosed address.
As the world's largest cotton exporter, Uzbekistan forces adults and children to pick cotton each harvest season. Conditions are appalling, and anyone who objects is threatened, beaten and/or faced with detention.
Millions are forced to work and miss out on education and wages, and in some cases suffer injuries and illness from cotton production work.
You might be unwittingly contributing to this scandal through the clothes you buy. Exploitation in clothing supply chains is more common than you might think, and it's up to the stores we buy from to ensure they are sourcing products ethically.
In 2013, hundreds of Australians asked Bernie Brookes, former Myer CEO, to keep Uzbek cotton out of Myer's supply chains. Your voices were heard, and Myer told all their suppliers to stop using cotton from Uzbekistan – they showed a commitment to eradicating forced and child labour from their supply chains.
In doing so, Myer joined 100 other companies globally who have committed to not knowingly using cotton from Uzbekistan in their products. These companies include well-known brands such as Adidas, Levi Strauss, The Walt Disney Company, Target, Cotton On and Kmart. It's a strong first step – and we welcome the decision.
But we still want Myer and others like Super Retail to do more, and show how they will ensure their suppliers follow this advice.
If we as consumers make it known that we don't want to contribute to the use of forced labour in Uzbekistan, we can change millions of lives. Download and send the letter today. Or if you've already done this, share it with friends and family too so that more people demand change.