Australian brands ignorant of child labour: Study
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian clothing brands are mostly ignorant about where the cotton used in their products comes from, making it more likely child labour has been involved, a study said on Monday.
The Australian Fashion Report, which examined 41 firms that own 128 brands, found companies had made improvements in workers' conditions at factories over the years but little was known about how their raw materials were produced.
"Companies have made a significant amount of progress looking at the final stage of production - about 40 percent of companies know all or almost all of the suppliers at that stage," said one of the report's authors Gershon Nimbalker.
"But when you get down to the raw materials stage, or where the cotton supply comes in, it drops to as low as seven percent. So hardly any companies that operate in Australia are doing that, and that's where some of the deepest abuses occur."