'Companies must take responsibility for questionable production standards'

28 November 2020, 16:38

By Seán Hickey

Maajid Nawaz called on multinational companies to behave more responsibly to address unsustainable production practices.

Following Black Friday sales, question marks were raised over how cheaply clothing giant Pretty Little Thing were selling items, with some garments being sold for as little as 8p.

Maajid Nawaz pointed out that the parent company had been investigated in the past for employment malpractice, where a factory in Leicester was paying staff as little as £3 an hour to make clothes for the company.

"Alarm bells for me are ringing and it's high time we change our consumer habits," Maajid insisted. "But the solution will never come from our consumer habits."

"The real key change will happen when the companies themselves start to act and behave a bit more responsibility."

Read More: "Something has clearly gone wrong" for Leicester sweatshops to go unchecked

Maajid called for greater public awareness around manufacturing practices of big companies
Maajid called for greater public awareness around manufacturing practices of big companies. Picture: PA

Maajid has been at the forefront of the debate on ethical manufacturing and has even appeared in front of Parliamentary investigators to shed light on the use of slave labour in businesses.

"When we talk about consumer behaviour remember Disney insulted our parliament and decided not even to show up to answer allegations," he reminded listeners.

Maajid explained why it is important to question the practice of these companies: "Are the people in those factories Uighurs?" He asked. "Because if they are, then it's more likely than not that they are enslaved."

Maajid concluded that "raising consumer awareness about this is really really important because when the public start learning about this they start thinking," about their own spending behaviours, which may motivate companies to change.

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