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    158 Jan/Feb 2016w


    How campaigning is making fashion more ethical

    Product guides to:Clothes shopsJeansWaterproof jackets

    Plus:Corporate lobbying in the run-up to COP21

    Synthetic biology good or bad?


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    In future issues: Cameras, Digital & cable TV, Mobile phones, LED TVs, Banks, Shoes, Sportswear ...

    Billions of collective actions against climate changeThe COP21 climate negotiations in December and the bombings in Paris and Syria in November have cast a shadow over most other activities recently perhaps allowing us to view our actions with a different perspective.

    And although the likely outcome of the COP 21 negotiations will not be an agreement which can keep temperature increases below the key target of a two degrees rise, there are, perhaps surprisingly, voices of optimism still at play.

    A new book by climate expert Tim Flannery, called Climate of Hope, has some positive things to say not just about new carbon sequestration technologies but also about individual consumer actions.

    In early 2015 the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced that in 2014 global emissions of greenhouse gases stalled...Two factors appear to account for this historic shift: the rise of wind and solar power, and greater energy efficiency...

    ...For more than a decade now many of us have been changing light bulbs, insulating houses, cycling to work, and much more all too often with little hope that it makes very little difference. But the IEA figures tell us that our billions of collective actions have added up to something massive. They have seen many developed nations pass peak oil and coal demand as our cities and farms become ever cleaner and more efficient.1

    He is also optimistic because of the impact of digital technologies on the empowerment of individuals. Digital communications has brought new opportunities: for divestment, effective dissent, encouraging uptake of new technologies, and for legal action.2

    The feature on COP21 on page 36 looks at corporate lobbying in the run-up to the summit and finds companies both lobbying for and against climate action at the same time.

    Progress on ethical clothing...Our special report on clothing also finds grounds for optimism. After many years of campaigning, some progress has been been made in the areas of wages and working conditions, the use of child and forced labour, transparency of supply chains, toxic chemicals and the use of animal fur and down.

    The Bangladesh Accord for factory safety has been signed by over 220 clothes companies, with the notable exceptions of Walmart (ASDA) and GAP. The Accord requires companies to be transparent in their reporting and shows that companies can work together within a legally-binding framework. It is hoped that the Accord will set a precedent for other initiatives. The Modern Slavery Act could also have a positive impact on the lives of garment workers.

    But its not just about what initiatives theyve signed up to and having best practice policies on paper. Companies need to be making progress on the ground and that still seems a way off. Virtually all the clothes shops have been criticised for workers rights violations despite most of them having best practice supply chain policies.

    We are inching forward on the catwalk to ethical fashion but theres still a long way to go.

    ...and animal testingNow in its fourth year, the Lush Prize is a joint project between Ethical Consumer and Lush Cosmetics which aims to bring an end to the safety testing of products on animals. This year saw the first breakthrough prize given to a group of scientists who had mapped the first ever human toxicity pathway which explains at a molecular level how cell damage occurs. More information appears on our special two page feature on page 32.

    Jane Turner Editor

    References: 1 2 Climate of Hope. Tim Flannery. Penguin 2015.

  • Ethical Consumer Research Association Ltd

    Unit 21, 1 Old Birley Street,Manchester M15 5RF

    tel 0161 226 2929 (12 noon-6pm).fax 0161 226 for general enquiries or for subscriptions.

    comment &analysis06 food

    Bacardi campaign, Thorntons sold, John West tuna, Nestl water grab, Pepsi & palm oil

    08 home animal testing figures

    09 boycotts Israel campaign successes, Ben & Jerrys

    32 Lush Prize news & photos from the recent conference & awards

    35 tax justice Fair Tax Mark news

    39 climate of change fossil fuel divestments, Shell & Science Museum, ranking airlines CO

    2 emissions

    2 money banks & nuclear weapons, RBS sale, Co-op Bank news, ethical & green funds

    whos who this Issues editor Jane Turner & Tim Huntproofing Ciara Maginness ( Jane Turner, Tim Hunt, Leonie Nimmo, Rob Harrison, Heather Webb, Anna Clayton, Joanna Long, Josie Wexler, Ruth Strangeregular contributors Simon Birch, Bryony Moore, Richard Murphy. design and layout Adele Armistead (, Jane Turnercover, Adele Armistead ( Marc Roberts, Sarah Guthrie, Andy Vine, Richard Liptrotad sales Simon Birchsubscriptions Elizabeth Chater, Heather Webb, Simon Robinsonenquiries Leonie Nimmo, Tim Huntpress enquiries Simon Birchresearch, screening & consultancy Rob Harrison internet/web Michael Wignall, Georgina Rawesmarketing Tim Hunt, Jane Turnerthanks also to Amy Shakeshaft, Suzanne Hatton, Eleanor Boyce

    subscriptions & renewalsPhone 0161 226 2929 or go to

    copyrightAll material correct one month before cover date and Ethical Consumer Research Association Ltd. Not-for-profit organisations may normally reproduce without charge any of the material appearing in Ethical Consumer, providing that all such material is credited and providing that written permission has been sought prior to publication. No part of this publication may be produced by commercial organisations without written permission from Ethical Consumer Research Association Ltd. ISSN 0955 8608.

    Printed by RAP Spiderweb Ltd, c/o the Commercial Centre, Clowes Centre, Hollinwood, Oldham OL9 7LY. 0161 947 3700.

    Paper: The cover is printed on 170gsm Cocoon Silk 100% post-consumer waste and the inside pages on 80gsm Corona from 100% post-consumer waste. Paper is sourced from recycled paper co-op Paperback (

    Retail distribution is handled by Central Books on 0845 458 9911.

    Ethical Consumer is a member of INK (independent news collective), an association of radical and alternative publishers.

    about the advertisersECRA checks out advertisers before accepting their ads and reserves the right to refuse any advert.

    Covered in previous Product Guides: Biona (156), Co-operative phone & broadband (145), Good Energy (143), Kingfisher Toothpaste (138), Plamil (150), Triodos (147), Vegetarian Shoes (137).

    Other advertisers: Book Aid, Camphill Trust, Clean Slate, Energy4All, Green Building Store, Greenpeace, Green Stationery, Infinity Wholefoods, Investing Ethically, Oasis coffins, Share Energy.

    Ethical Consumer conference 2015

    details of this years conference in September



  • Clothes report10 introduction1themodernslaveryact16factorysafetypost-RanaPlaza18campaigningforalivingwage19clothescampaigns:Uzbekcotton,fur,


    24 longer-lastingclothes









    waterproof jackets26 score table and best buys28toxicchemicalsinwaterproofs29thecrueltybehinddown-filledjackets






    clothes shops12score table

    and best buys

    jeans20 score table and best buys23sustainablejeans




    Bacardi: Give sugarcane workers a breakDrinks brand Bacardi has come under fire from several campaign groups over the conditions in its sugar supply chain.

    According to campaign group Fairfood International, in the last decade 20,000 agricultural workers have died from Chronic Kidney Disease of non-Traditional Causes (CKDnT), the majority of them are sugarcane workers.

    Three of the most likely causes of CKDnT are dehydration, heat stress and exposure to agroch