28th October 2007The UK’s Observer newspaper’s recent investigation into child labor around the world has sure hit home with fashion retailer Gap.
Despite acting swiftly by calling an immediate investigation (the garments in question will be destroyed) – the story of a 10 year old being sold into forced labor will be sure to tarnish the brands eco-credentials.
GAP, as many retailers have strict rules against using child labor in any of it’s production facilities but this issue raises the problem of how big brands can police manufacturers in the far east and Asia. In 2006 GAP revoked 23 factories which had failed to comply with standards, however major retailers continue to take advantage of lower production costs in these regions.
Policing this problem can be difficult – in some rural areas ages are impossible to verify as records are not kept. GAP is not alone in its child labor issues – organizations such as Nike have also had issues in the past.