Primark pushes ethical stance after child labour accusations

Primark has launched a website to promote its ethical practices in response to charges made about its use of child labour in its sweatshops in India, in a BBC Panorama programme this week.

The microsite, ethicalprimark.co.uk, has been set up to promote Primark as a “responsible” organisation.

The move follows the BBC programme aired on June 23, which discovered that three of the discount retailer’s suppliers in southern India were sub-contracting work to child labour. Primark has already announced that it has ditched contracts with the named suppliers.

A spokesman for the retailer says: “Our aim is to make our message available and let people know that we are a responsible retailer. The website is one of the ways to communicate with our customers, and in the run-up to the BBC programme our staff were also trained in ethical trading procedures, and they have been referring shoppers to this website in case of any questions about our trading practices.”

The website lists its code of conduct and the standards that Primark suppliers must follow, such as not using child labour and having safe and hygienic working conditions. It also includes the interview with Primark director Breege O’Donoghue to Panorama and a video entitled “How do they do it at that price?”

The spokesman adds that ethicalprimark is not a “static” website but will continue to evolve and spell out Primark’s commitment to ethical practices.
Primark is owned by Associated British Foods and sources the majority of its clothing from Asia.

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