Students across the UK are taking it all off- in support of workers’ rights. In a protest against unfair conditions in sweatshops, British students are banding together, and making a statement by not wearing sweatshop clothing– or much of anything at all. The stunt will help bring attention to the Worker’s Rights Consortium (WRC)’s plea for universities to buy only ethical clothing.
Borrowing a page from PETA’s playbook, the students campaign slogan is “We’d rather go naked than wear sweatshop clothing,” and they will. Dressed in only cardboard protest signs, the students will wear their demands, sandwich-board style. For a week, the students will march around their university stomping grounds, baring all for the cause.
University sweatshirts, t-shirts and other items popular amongst students as well as their families, are often produced in underdeveloped countries where sweatshops run rampant. Since the uni gift shops are at the top of the supply chain, they have the power to source their merchandise from ethical suppliers that pay their employees fair wages. Because these university shops across the UK purchase massive amounts of these clothes, switching to ethical suppliers would make a noticeable impact on the ethical supply chain, sending a message to the unfair sweatshops in the source countries.
Partnering with the WRC would put the control in the hands of each university, giving them a say in the unfair treatment and wages of workers in these developing countries. Sheffield, Cardiff, Bristol, Loughborough, Oxford Brookes, Edinburgh, Sussex and Birmingham Universities have already joined the WRC, and hopefully the students’ protest will urge others.
Via The Guardian