A damning report on the Australian fashion industry revealed that 93 percent of brands do not know where their cotton is sourced from, making it likely child labour and exploitation have been involved.
The bulk of the world's cotton is sourced from countries that force children to pick cotton harvests.
The report revealed that in Uzbekistan, the world's fourth-largest cotton producer, children as young as 10 are taken out of school and coerced by the government to work in cotton fields for nearly 70 hours a week.
The Australian Fashion Report investigated 40 companies that own 128 clothing brands sold in Australia, ranking them on the transparency and monitoring of their supply chains and ethical codes, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The report, supported by the International Labour Rights Forum and Baptist World Aid, looked at cotton sourcing, fabric dyeing and weaving and manufacturing.
The report said that of the top 10 cotton producing countries in the world, including the US, China, Pakistan, Brazil and Uzbekistan, Australia is the only one that did not use child labour.
According to the paper, Brands Supre, Abercrombie and Fitch, Rivers, Lacoste and The Specialty Group, which owns Millers and Katies, were labelled as the worst in the report, from failing to boycott Uzbekistan cotton to having murky standards at the final manufacturing stage.
--ANI (Posted on 19-08-2013)