Labour Behind the Label

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Labour Behind the Label (LBL) is a UK-based not-for-profit co-operative organisation with an office in Easton, Bristol which campaigns for workers' rights in the clothing industry.[1][2][3][4] It is the platform of the international Clean Clothes Campaign in the United Kingdom.[5][6] LBL's members include trade unions and their local branches, consumer organisations, campaign groups, and charities.

Its main activities are consumer education, lobbying companies, lobbying government, and solidarity with workers in disputes in factories producing for UK clothing companies.


Labour Behind the Label was involved with the global 'Play Fair at the Olympics' campaign in 2004, which brought together trade unions and campaign groups to call for greater action from the Olympic movement and the sportswear industry on workers' rights.[6]


Labour Behind the Label carries out research and produces reports.[3][7] It has produced, on its own or in conjunction with other organisations, the following reports that were reported on in national media:

  • Fashion Victims: The True Cost of Cheap Clothes at Primark, Asda and Tesco (2006) in conjunction with War On Want and Alternative Movement for Resources and Freedom Society (AMRF).[n 1][8] The Guardian reported that this "brought huge public attention".[9]
  • Let's Clean Up Fashion (2007), in conjunction with War on Want, revealed that workers making clothes for British high street stores receive around half of the money they need to live a decent life.[n 2][3][10]
  • Asia Floor Wage (2009) calculated a wage it says should be used as a minimum for workers in Asia, enough to pay for food, water, clothing, housing, taxes, utilities, healthcare and education, that would prevent countries competing at the expense of workers.[n 3][11]
  • Taking Liberties: the Story Behind the UK High Street (2010) in conjunction with War on Want, describes "how Marks & Spencer, Next, Monsoon, Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge" ... "use Indian sweatshops which pay poverty wages and break labour laws to keep costs to a bare minimum."[12][n 4]
  • Killer Jeans (2011) about companies such as Asda, Diesel, Matalan and Primark selling jeans made using sandblasting to give denim a worn look, and how silica dust from the sand can get into workers' lungs, causing silicosis and possibly death.[n 5][13][14]

Labour Behind the Label Trust[edit]

The Labour Behind the Label Trust is a separate organisation that raises funds for Labour Behind the Label's charitable activities. The Trust is a charity, independent of Labour Behind the Label, but the two organisations work together closely.[15]


  1. ^ The Fashion Victims report is available in the LBL site here
  2. ^ The Let's Clean Up Fashion report is available in the LBL site here
  3. ^ The Asia Floor Wage report is available in the LBL site here
  4. ^ The Taking Liberties report is available in the LBL site here
  5. ^ The Killer Jeans report is available in the LBL site here


  1. ^ "Campaign of the week: Labour behind the label". The Guardian. 13 December 2005. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Cheap garments carry a high cost". The Independent. 30 March 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c Shepard, Anna (24 June 2008). "Engaging the high street is the way to ethical clothes". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Whitehead, Ruth (14 July 2012). "Olympic shame: Meet the Cambodian garment workers paid just £10 a week to make adidas' 2012 Games 'fanwear’". Daily Mail. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Siegle, Lucy (7 April 2012). "Is H&M the new home of ethical fashion?". The Observer. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Taylor, Andrew (11 June 2007). "'Sweatshop' alert for Olympics". Financial Times. Retrieved 9 September 2014. Research by the Playfair Alliance – supported by the Trades Union Congress and the British-based Labour Behind the Label [...] Maggie Burns, who chairs Labour Behind the Label – the British arm of the international Clean Clothes campaign, 
  7. ^ McPherson, Poppy (16 September 2013). "Cambodian textile workers who supply UK clothing stores 'starving' and suffering 'mass faintings'". The Independent. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "The real cost of fashion: a special report". The Independent. 16 November 2007. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  9. ^ Collins, Paul (17 January 2013). "Khorshed Alam obituary". The Observer. Retrieved 9 September 2014. In 2006, the UK charity War on Want commissioned Khorshed Alam, who has died, aged 46, of septicaemia, to undertake research in Bangladesh on workers producing clothes for Primark, Tesco and Asda. His report on their poverty wages and sweatshop conditions brought huge public attention. 
  10. ^ "Sweatshops paying workers half what they need to live". The Independent. 14 September 2007. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "'Living wage' identified for Asia". BBC News. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  12. ^ Chamberlain, Gethin (12 December 2010). "Britain's high street chains are named by sweatshop probe". The Observer. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  13. ^ Butler, Sarah (20 March 2011). "Top chains are urged to ban sandblasted jeans". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  14. ^ Lee, Matilda (25 May 2011). "Take Action to ban 'killer jeans'". The Ecologist. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  15. ^ "About Us". Labour Behind the Label. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 

External links[edit]