Ethical brands to be judged more harshly in event of child labour

Image courtesy of GoodWeave

Image courtesy of GoodWeave

New research by the University of Bath shows that ethical fashion brands will be judged more harshly than their peers should they be found to have child labour issues in their supply chains.

The research was to understand the general public's attitudes and opinions about hypothetical fashion companies' actions to child labour in production. It involved more than 800 participants, and found that although they gave ethical fashion companies a better reputation, they judged them more harshly if they were found to have issues in the supply chain. 

"Rather than prior good behavior protecting a firm from reputational damage, it exposes a firm to greater reputational risk. This provides a stark lesson for a firm that seeks to establish and maintain a good reputation by demonstrating creditable social impacts," Stephen Pavelin, professor of business and society at the University of Bath’s School of Management, said. 

Non-profit organisation GoodWeave has found more than 168 million children are forced into child labour. 

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