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clothing company backs ethical trading

April 2001

The Swiss clothing retailer Charles Vogele has agreed to become a ‘marketing partner’ of the fair trade company Amana, which runs the Link label.

The agreement means Charles Vogele will ensure all of its suppliers become certified to the SA8000 standard on ethical trading, which sets benchmarks on issues such as child labour, health and safety, workplace discrimination and freedom of association.

In return for using the Link fair trade guarantee label on its products, the company will also make a ‘social contribution’ of up to two per cent of the retail price of its products to Amana, which is based in Switzerland.

Amana then spends the money in the developing-world factories of its marketing partners on work such as regular medical check-ups for workers and their families, subsidised canteens, supplying water filters for workers’ homes, and help with education.

Charles Vogele is one of Europe’s fastest expanding garment retailers, with a turnover of more than $898million (£629m) and suppliers in Eastern Europe, India and Bangladesh.

Amana will help train the company’s staff on SA8000 and develop worker committees at the factories of its suppliers.

Other Swiss companies that have signed up to Link include the retailer Spengler, the leather accessories company Laser and clothing company Calida. Expansion into other European countries is expected soon.

Amana was set up in 1999 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the UK venture capital company Foursome Investments.




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