ASOS is co-hosting an event at the House of Lords today (27 March) with Baroness Lola Young, co-chair All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion, to identify and address shared risks in the apparel sector.
The 2.5-hour meeting, set to be attended by senior representatives from ASOS’ third-party brands including Missguided, BooHoo, New Look, French Connection, Lipsy, Perry Ellis and Jack Wills, as well as industry colleagues such as Selfridges, Burberry and Debenhams, will see ASOS share modern slavery risks in key sourcing regions and seek a commitment from attendees to increase transparency and work to tackle the issue.
Speakers at the event include ASOS CEO, Nick Beighton, Baroness Lola Young, River Island CEO Ben Lewis and Klara Skrivankova, senior private sector advisor at Anti-Slavery International.
The House of Lords meeting comes in the same week ASOS releases its second Modern Slavery Statement in line with UK legislation and five weeks after it hosted an event with the British High Commission in Mauritius.
The previous event brought together local and international stakeholders to discuss the challenges in managing labour migration and agree a common framework for improving worker protection in Mauritius and beyond.
ASOS’ Modern Slavery Statement and its commitments form a key element of ASOS’ Ethical Trade Strategy, which has been set up to help the brand tackle human rights impacts in its global supply chain and empower workers to realise and understand their fundamental rights.
A key component of the strategy is an aim to drive a shift in the way ASOS third-party brands approach ethical trade and sustainability.
Nick Beighton, CEO of ASOS, said, “A lack of transparency in the supply chain can lead to issues like poor working conditions business and genuine business risk. It’s only by working together, sharing experiences and committing to common goals that we can truly tackle modern slavery.”
Baroness Young added: “Exploitative, forced and child labour is bigger than any single company so it’s hugely encouraging to see competitive businesses recognising the role they can play in addressing the labour abuses that are sadly still so prevalent in fashion manufacturing around the world.”