Living wage protesters hit London Fashion Week opening
Protesters took action last week to mark the opening of London Fashion Week with the message “Don’t mention the garment workers”.
Activists highlighted the event because, they say, while it promotes the creativity of the UK’s fashion industry, it remains silent over the millions of workers who produce clothes for high street chains, often working long hours on poverty pay in unsafe conditions.
The demonstration, organised by the anti-poverty charity War on Want, took place in view of London Fashion Week’s opening nearby at Somerset House.
War on Want senior campaigner Owen Espley said: “London Fashion Week is a glittering showcase for the fashion industry. But fashion’s dark side is kept in the shadows.
“The British Fashion Council would rather we all forget about those who often work long hours, on poverty pay, in unsafe conditions to produce the clothes we love.
“We can love fashion, but hate sweatshops and want a fashion week that lives up to its responsibility to all the workers who make the fashion we buy. The time has come for London Fashion Week to mention the garment workers.”
The charity points out that while many major UK brands are members of the Ethical Trading Initiative and have signed a pledge to pay workers a living wage, none currently does so.