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Anti sweat-shop campaign hits Europe’s biggest textile show


Heather Kennedy
WVoN co-editor

Europe’s biggest textile event, held this week, will include sweatshop-free clothes for the first time in its 20 year history.

The anti-poverty charity, War on Want, will be promoting fashion ethics to the visitors expected at The Knitting and Stitching Show in London through a series of creative initiatives.

These include the use of games to highlight the facts behind sweatshops, where workers from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh toil for up to 16 hours a day for well under the living wage. Many of the clothes are then supplied to Britain’s high street fashion retailers.

The games feature in the show’s latest innovation, the Upcycling Academy, a space to spotlight the growing trend that sees people turn old clothing into new garments.

Nadia Idle, activism and outreach officer at War on Want, said: “This high profile show will allow us to reach many visitors with the campaign to end the exploitation of sweatshop workers by UK brands.

“Thousands of young women have already joined our Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops campaign, calling on the British government to stop this abuse.

“I hope that hundreds of visitors will join our call for fair wages and conditions for the people who make our clothes.”

The show, which runs from Thursday until Sunday at Alexandra Palace in north London, coincides with World Decent Work Day this Friday, a global day of action against poverty which involves over 50 countries.

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