Cindy Berman is the Head of Modern Slavery Strategy at the Ethical Trade Initiative, a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe.

Safia and Cindy discuss the role of business, government and citizens in transforming worker’s rights around the globe and how the ETI is spearheading the change with it’s Base Code of 9 labour standards protecting the rights of workers.

They discuss what has changed since the Modern Slavery Act in 2015. Why fashion companies need regulation to level the playing field and how some fashion companies are implementing new initiatives to promote “better practice” to prevent modern slavery.

This podcast will help you understand how slavery comes about in our fashion supply chains and how the Modern Slavery Act has galvanized companies to address the nub of the problem; the recruitment of workers from overseas, freedom of association, fair wages, taking a collaborative and multi-stakeholder approach. As buyers of fashion, the ethical consumer also has a vital role to play in supporting garment factory workers to claim their rights. Workers who join trade unions are often at risk of losing their jobs, and their families going hungry, if they dare speak out.

We discuss the relationship between worker’s rights and climate change, which is further driving people from the land to factories in search of work and an increasing cause of poverty, which can result in exploitation and modern slavery without decent business practice.

Cindy concludes by pointing out cheap clothing is “impossible to produce without someone paying the appalling cost”. She suggests that questioning our own shopping habits is vital in addressing the issues of modern slavery.