22 Apr 2015

Glassons lacking in ethical clothing practices

2:14 pm on 22 April 2015

New Zealand women's clothing label Glassons have been criticised for their poor ethical clothing practices.

The Australian Fashion Report 2015 published last week assesses the ethical practices of 219 clothing brands and awards each with a grade from A to F.

The letter grades are a measure of a company's efforts to guard against the use of child and forced labour in its supply chain.

Among the brands with the lowest score was New Zealand's “most visited women’s fashion store”, Glassons, landing an unimpressive D-minus. 

The company was embroiled in controversy last year when it aired an advertisement showing a model wearing the company's clothes while riding a bull in a rodeo setting.

Animal rights activists called for the store to pull the advertisement, saying it glamorised animal cruelty.

A week earlier Glassons removed store mannequins that had been criticised for being too skinny.

Several Australian companies were also given low grades with Fast Future Brands, which own Mirrou, Temt, and Valley Girl, scoring a dismal F.

Just Group, which owns Dotti, Jay Jays, Just Jeans, Peter Alexander and stationery shop Smiggle, was given a D.

According to the report, the grades highlight “the extent to which a company has traced its suppliers and established systems throughout its supply chain that can enable it to prevent and address worker exploitation and modern slavery”.

The first fashion report was published in 2013 shortly after the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, which saw over 1,000 workers lose their lives.

LISTEN: Radio New Zealand investigates where Kiwi clothes are made & factory workers' conditions in Bangladesh.

Since the first report, two-thirds of the companies featured improved labour rights management systems, and 100 per cent now have codes of conduct, up from 85 per cent. 

The Wireless has contacted Glassons for comment but is yet to hear back.