10 signatures reached
To: Katrina Fowler, Sourcing Director for Trutex - the UK's largest specialist schoolwear brand
Tell us where our school uniforms come from
As a main supplier of school uniforms for the UK, Trutex should publish a supplier factory list naming all sites that manufacture its products.
Why is this important?
Trutex is one of the UK’s oldest suppliers of school uniforms. They produce uniforms and sportswear for thousands of schools across the UK and worldwide. This important company, which often has a monopoly on producing uniforms at many schools, does not provide any information at all on where their clothes are made. This needs to change.
Trutex’s website offers vague promises of a commitment to ethical production and assurances that its production sites are well managed and safe. Yet unlike many other brands who have published lists of where their factories are located, Trutex remain silent and provide absolutely no evidence that what they say is true.
Garment and shoe supply chains are hugely complex and brands often hide the data about where their clothes are made. What we do know for a fact however is that unsafe working conditions, extremely low wages and suppression of unions are found in many factories and workshops.
Trutex has a sourcing office in Bangladesh where wages and conditions are very poor. Rumana, 26, is a worker in factory there and tells a typical story of garment workers' life. She said: ‘We have two school going children. Life is very expensive in this city. My children complain because I have to work very long hours, but if I do not work extra hours I will have to send my family back to the village to live with my mother. I have no way open other than doing the only job I know.'
More publicly available information on the supply chains of major companies can go a long way towards improving human rights. What you know, you can change. In the last few years as transparency in supplier factories worldwide has increased, respect and protection for worker rights has become more possible. Trutex needs to step up and be honest, open and transparent about where its factories are as the first step to ensuring uniforms are made with safety and respect.