ASOS is today co-hosting an event on the subject of modern slavery at the House of Lords with Baroness Lola Young to identify and address shared risks in the apparel sector.
A number of leading fashion players, such as Missguided, Boohoo, New Look, French Connection, Lipsy, Selfridges, Burberry, Jack Wills, Perry Ellis and Debenhams, will also be in attendance for the two and half hour discussion with ASOS and Baroness Young, who is Co-Chair All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion.
ASOS CEO Nick Beighton will use the event to share modern slavery risks in key sourcing regions and seek a commitment from attendees to increase transparency and build capability to tackle the issue. Other speakers at the event include 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. It’s only by working together, sharing experiences and committing to common goals that we can truly tackle modern slavery,” explained Beighton.
Baroness Young added: “Exploitative, forced and child labour is bigger than any single company so it’s hugely encouraging to see competitive businesses recognising the role they can play in addressing the labour abuses that are sadly still so prevalent in fashion manufacturing around the world.”
The House of Lords meeting comes in the same week the young fashion etailer releases its second Modern Slavery Statement in line with UK legislation and five weeks after it hosted an event with the British High Commission in Mauritius, which brought together local and international stakeholders (including adidas, Puma and Whistles) to discuss the challenges in managing labour migration and agree a common framework for improving worker protection in Mauritius and beyond.
The ASOS Modern Slavery statement forms a key component of the ASOS Ethical Trade Strategy, which was set up to help the brand tackle human rights impacts in its global supply chain. Part of that strategy is an ambition to “drive a systemic shift” in the way ASOS third-party brands approach ethical trade and sustainability.