Children as young as 14 have been employed to make clothes for some of the most popular names on the UK high street, according to a new report.
Workers at the Shweyi Zabe garment company in Yangon, Myanmar, which produces clothing for international brands. - Photograph: Gethin Chamberlain
New Look, Sports Direct’s Lonsdale brand and H&M have all used factories found to have employed children, after several major brands switched their production to low-cost factories in Myanmar. Workers told investigators that they were paid as little as 13p an hour producing clothes for UK retailers – half the full legal minimum wage.
Labour rights campaigners say that the use of children in factories supplying household names is the result of a “race to the bottom”, as brands chase ever lower labour costs.
The Netherlands-based Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (known by its Dutch initials as Somo) interviewed 400 workers in 12 factories supplying international brands and worked with the Observer to finalise the report.
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