The Good and The Bad of Retail
Holly Whitelaw & Zoha Inam
"H&M's initiative to create a wage policy for the suppliers in their production countries is an important step to resolve one of the major problems in the textile and clothing industry; how to find models for decisions on fair living wages and stable conditions in the labour market."
Bengt Johansson, CSR ambassador at Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs
H&M For the Best Ethical Company
As seen in the picture below a slogan of H&M's is "Long live fashion!" they are collecting only clothing of people and separating them into three categories.
Rewear - they will be sold as second hand clothes around the world to benefited other countries.
Reuse - they will be converted into other products if they are unsuitable to wear.
Recycle - they will be turned into manufacturing parts like insulating fibers.
So as you can see H&M is making an effort to be more eco-friendly by implementing the three R's into what they do and creating a place for people to donate old clothes instead of simply throwing them out.
H&M has a strict rule against using animals for testing on their cosmetics or using of things like fur, they do not sell real fur at all and are against it where as other retailers sell real fur and push to have it made more normal among society.
H&M not only works towards making better living wages but to make sure their employees are safe and know their rights, They educate employees on their rights to ensure they know what they are entitled to, they also hold thousands of work interviews so employees can let them know what is happening in all of the different factories and wither they are being treated safely. H&M Is against child labour and has been working together with UNICEF since 2004, even funding some of their work.
Last is how H&M is not only helping its employees but has a foundation called 'H&M Conscious Foundation' it is a non-profit foundation with a mission to contribute to positive long term change for people and communities where H&M operates. Some issues they prioritized are 1. Clean water, 2. Strengthening woman, 3. Safeguarding natural resources, 4. Education and 5. Reduction of poverty through self-empowerment.
H&M is helping employees, the areas in which the employees live, animals, the environment and showing other companies that they can do it too, they are using eco-friendly materials in their clothing and launched a new eco-friendly collection, they are paving the way for retail countries everywhere to follow in their footsteps and help make the world a better place.
H&M releases new collection of more sustainable fashion.
H&M works to better the lives of all employees,
H&M is collecting old clothes to be re-worn or to be turned into something else.
TopShop For the Worst Ethical Company
Top shop is one of the second largest retailer of high street fashion apparel and accessories in the UK. With more than 300 stores across the UK, over 250,000 shoppers visiting the Oxford Circus flagship every week, and over 140 stores in international territories. Top shop is a leader in up-to-the-minute affordable style. Although Topshop has introduced a few lines boasting the use of organic and fair trade cotton the evidence of Topshop using forced child labour as slavery in the production of majority of its products , puts Topshop in a bad light. Limited lines observing ethical trade do not make-up for the change we can expect from a brand such as Topshop in its entirety.
A child working in a cotton field in Uzbekistan. Children are taken out of school and pick up to 70 kilos of cotton a day.
An organization called People and Planet protest against Topshop stores.
This item of clothing is 100% cotton and hand knit. This is being sold for almost £300.
Consumers feel as though they are part of the unethical act. This effects the demand for Topshop products.
£10 per session= £100
By being a propagator in an act so despicable, consumers may have a psychological reaction and would require therapy.
Faulty products/returns quality of stuff/Return costs
Sweatshops in Uzbekistan would give way to faulty and low quality products. Consumers would have to ship their stuff back for a refund and also refrain from buying again.
The UK earns a bad reputation amongst other countries. Trading countries may take a stand and boycott business with the UK.
- £5 million
The United Nations awards nations that maintain good ethical behaviour with monetary awards. The UK may be deprived of this due to Topshop’s unethical business practice.
Trade Agreements Severed
- £10 billion
Trade Organization involving the UK may suspend them apply trade barriers as a way to protect themselves from being involved in unethical behavior.
Decreased Sales due to bad publicity
Topshop will face a significant fall in its sales as loyal customers switch to other alternatives
Topshop faces charges from the government for unethical business practices and has to pay a penalty.
Strikes from sales staff
300stores X 30workers on strike = 9000. 9000 people X £1000 avg salary per month = $9,000,000 worth of expenses
Lost time cost
Code of Ethics
Companies need to ensure they are helping the world and not just hindering it, be that with ensuring safety to employees or starting organizations to help people, companies should be giving back.
Companies need to ensure the products they are making are not harming animals or the environment any more than they need to be, ensure environmental choices and working towards being eco-friendly
Companies need to ensure that their employees are treated fairly and justly and are not harmed in any way, shape or form by the company or anyone represented by the company
Ensuring the safety of customers using their products or investing into their business and ensuring no frauds or scams will take place with the customers money.
Age limitations as norm in country of origin This is important because this takes child labour out of the question and ensures that the company plays no part in keeping the child from having a normal and healthy childhood
Adequate steps shall be taken to prevent accidents and injury by minimizing the causes of hazards in the working environment It is the organizations responsibility to provide these workers with basic rights and have a workplace free of health hazards
Workers should be given reasonable pay, benefits and vacations Corporations must ensure that ALL their workers are happy and satisfied with their work and have the peace of mind to be productive.
Workers of other countries must be treated similar to the workers from the origin country This is to guarantee the there is no discrepancy in the treatment of workers because they are from and underdeveloped country