Britain’s leading fashion chain accused of child labour in India | world | Hindustan Times
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Britain’s leading fashion chain accused of child labour in India

Monsoon, Britain’s leading fashion chain that pioneered ethical shopping, has been accused of using suppliers in India who employ child labour and pay workers below the minimum wages.

world Updated: Nov 22, 2010 02:37 IST

Monsoon, Britain’s leading fashion chain that pioneered ethical shopping, has been accused of using suppliers in India who employ child labour and pay workers below the minimum wages.

In embarrassing revelations thrown up by the company’s own investigations, the standard-bearer for ethical fashion on the British high street has acknowledged that children have been discovered working in its supply chain and women working from home paid less than the minimum wages, Britain’s The Observer newspaper reported on Sunday.

The company owned by Peter Simon has about 1,000 stories in 54 countries including 400 in the UK. According to the report, Monsoon’s most recent ethical audit of its own operations also suggested that, in common with other retailers operating in Asia, it is struggling to tackle child labour.

“Subcontractors monitored thus far have exposed a number of serious breaches. The use of child labour is a major concern....Poor wages, health and safety and excessive working hours are also rife,” the report said. A company insider accused Monsoon of caring more about profits than workers’ wellbeing.

In a statement, Monsoon said: “We accept that a number of home-workers in India are not being paid minimum wages, yet significant improvements have been made.”