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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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Editorialethicalconsumer.org JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016
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 www.theguardian.com/books/2015/nov/20/climate-crisis-future-brighter-tim-flannery 2 Climate of Hope. Tim Flannery. Penguin 2015.
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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 money banks & nuclear weapons, RBS sale, Co-op Bank news, ethical & green funds
whos who this Issues editor Jane Turner & Tim Huntproofing Ciara Maginness (littlebluepencil.co.uk)writers/researchers 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 (moonloft.com), Jane Turnercover Dreamstime.com, Adele Armistead (moonloft.com)cartoons 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
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Clothes report10 introduction1themodernslaveryact16factorysafetypost-RanaPlaza18campaigningforalivingwage19clothescampaigns:Uzbekcotton,fur,
Contentsethicalconsumer.org JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016
waterproof jackets26 score table and best buys28toxicchemicalsinwaterproofs29thecrueltybehinddown-filledjackets
clothes shops12score table
and best buys
jeans20 score table and best buys23sustainablejeans
FoodJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 www.ethicalconsumer.org
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