A new research from Oxam has accused some of biggest Australian fast fashion brands of sustaining systemic inequality by purchasing clothing from factories where workers are paid poorly and forced to work long hours.
Oxfam found that of the major retailers in Australia, H&M was deemed to be the most equitable with its suppliers while Mosaic Brands – owner of Katies, Rivers and Crossroad – was deemed to be the worst.
The report, titled Shopping for a Bargain ranked 10 fashion retailers in Australia including Best&Less, Big W, Cotton On, H&M, Inditex (Zara), The Just Group, Kmart, Myer, Mosaic Brands and Target.
It found that retailers were accused of aggressively negotiating prices, providing short lead times and making last-minute changes to orders that directly impacted factory workers' lives.
All of the above retailers source their clothing from Bangladesh, who Oxfam approach to grade the retailers on how fair they were with their pricing, as well as their willingness to negotiate.Ranking in a four-star system, the Bangladeshi factories scored H&M the highest with 3 out of 4, followed by Big W, Kmart and Target who all scored 2.5 out of 4.