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Consumer Activism: Tell clothing brands to support workers by signing the Transparency Pledge

Take Action: #GoTransparent

Millions of garment factory workers like Monira and Rizwan, whose stories are below, suffer abuses in the workplace.

You may contact different brands and tell them you demand transparency via this page or you may borrow the messages and make your activism:  https://www.hrw.org/GoTransparent

The vast majority of workers do not know whom to turn to for improving their working conditions because the brands they make clothes for are kept secret. This lack of transparency allows brands to avoid accountability and fuels abuses against workers. 

Transparency benefits workers—they can inform brands when they experience labor abuses. Transparency also helps brands—they can better take steps to stop and prevent labor abuses.  

Currently, 40 companies have committed to the Transparency Pledge, but hundreds continue to hide where they make their clothes. 

Workers and shoppers deserve to know where brands make their clothes.

This shopping season, call on American Eagle Outfitters, Armani, Carrefour and URBN (Urban Outfitters, Free People, Anthropologie, Nuuly) to support workers by publishing a list of all factories that make their branded products.

Workers’ Stories

We spoke with garment workers to hear from them directly – here’s why they think transparency is important. 

Monira’s Story

Monira (not her real name) is a Bangladeshi garment worker and mother of two children. She said that supply chain transparency helps workers draw brands’ attention to ongoing abuses.  

Monira survived the 2012 Tazreen factory fire that killed over 100 workers and injured hundreds more. Seven years later, she is still in pain and unable to sit for long periods of time. Despite her health conditions, she hasn’t received any work accommodations and her wages remain low. Her husband, a garment worker who survived the same disaster after being crushed under debris and trampled by workers running to escape, is still unable to work regularly and is often bedridden.   

To find out which clothing companies should be held accountable for the Tazreen factory fire, workers and activists had to rummage through the rubble to find labels of the brands they produced for. There was no other way to find out which brands to approach to help compensate the families of workers who died, and those who survived.  

Transparency is critical to supporting workers who face ongoing health and safety risks and who are calling for brand accountability. 

Rizwan’s Story 

Rizwan (not his real name) said that supply chain transparency is useful for workers like him, especially during strikes. 

Rizwan said that following repression by factory owners and the government during the recent workers’ wage strikes in Bangladesh, local grassroots organizations and unions were able to help workers by alerting brands that they produced for and work toward a resolution. They were able to do so because many more brands had publicly disclosed the names, addresses, and other information about their factories, making it easier for workers to reach out to them through labor advocates.  

Garment workers like Monira, Rizwan and others in Haiti, Mexico, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Cambodia and elsewhere around the world deserve better. Take action now.

Further Reading

Surge in Garment Industry Transparency

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