British Politician Who Rang Alarm on Fast Fashion Takes New Role

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A fierce critic of fast fashion, former British politician Mary Creagh is transitioning to a new role at the Ethical Trading Initiative.

Around since 1998, ETI is a multistakeholder initiative tackling human rights issues in the workplace, operating a formative standard of social due diligence in line with the United Nation’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Announced at the ETI’s board meeting Thursday, the Board selected Creagh as its new Chair after a lengthy search. She will help guide the ETI forward at a time when vulnerable workers in global supply chains face undue hardships such as COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and climate change-induced flooding.

In a statement shared on the nonprofit’s website, ETI said: “Workers’ rights are under threat and the work of ETI and its members is as necessary as ever. ETI is pleased to welcome Mary to the position of Chair to lead the ETI in tackling these and the many other issues that face workers.”

With 22 years of experience as a British politician and former chairwoman of the Environmental Audit Committee, Creagh was behind a call-to-action, and series of inquiries, blasting companies like Boohoo for supplier negligence but also calls for a “garment trade adjudicator” in the U.K. in March of last year. In an eight-month investigation to rein in fast-fashion players, the Committee sought out information on areas such as staff wages, garment life cycles and any environmental or social precautions businesses are taking. Along with Boohoo, Amazon UK, Asos and Missguided were among the hunted brands.

Creagh’s belief in eradicating fashion’s supply chain abuses aligns chiefly with the ETI’s mission.

“I am delighted to be appointed as ETI’s Chair and am looking forward to working with the team, Board, members and wider stakeholders to improve the lives of workers around the world,” she said in a statement. “With supply chains and working conditions under pressure, I’m looking forward to shaping national and international policies to ensure dignity at work for all.”

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