August 12, 2015 | News & Updates

New Child Labor Free Label


We’ve written quite a few posts about how to read clothing care labels, but thanks to a group of people in New Zealand, there could be a new icon on these tags soon. This new symbol will represent that a garment was not made using child labour.

While we all should know by now that child labour ranks among some of the worst injustices that pervades in the garment industry, the statistics don’t lie. The International Labour Organization estimates that roughly 168 million children are currently “trapped in mentally, physically, socially, or morally dangerous occupations that jeopardize their well being.” Yet, as Jasmine Chou shares, there are many individuals working to change that.

We have come to expect “cruelty free” as the norm when it comes to beauty products, says Michelle Pratt, CEO and founder of Child Labor Free, so why not expect it in other areas of industry?

Pratt’s new organization (and now movement) is striving for a world in which this expectation is the industry norm, creating safe labour environments from apparel to furniture, to cleaning products and skin care. The goal of Child Labor Free? To “wield the power of the consumer to create a world where ‘children are free to be children’.”

In an excerpt from Jasmin Malik Chua for Ecoterre, she describes some projects Child Labor Free are working towards:

“Its tentpole offering? A first-of-its-kind accreditation system and certification mark that verifies that a product was made without employing children. Brands applying to the the Child Labor Free mark must provide manufacturing, component, and sourcing information, along with evidence that child labor is absent in their supply chains, for assessment by an auditor from EY(née Ernst & Young). Child Labor Free will then evaluate the report, which may include recommendations for site inspections if deemed necessary.”

The organization is currently in their pilot phase, awaiting New Zealand Fashion Week where they will launch towards a broader consumer base. Their hope is that this movement will be one that consumers can really get behind, by rewarding companies who are willing to commit to change with business; by doing so, they hope to make the ‘Child Labor-Free’ label a global standard.

At Parkers we stand behind companies who are making the first steps towards a safer world for vulnerable workers. We love hearing about organizations that are dedicated to changing the way things have been to the way things should be. As clothing care specialists we believe in quality clothing, and that ethical origins are a good place to start. Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or on Twitter: @ParkersCleaners.

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