N.B. The Redress Fashion campaign ran from 2007-2009, and is no longer active. Our current campaign for workers’ rights, the Buy Right campaign, aims to defend human rights in university supply chains, and get more universities to join the Worker Rights Consortium. Contact us if you’d like to get involved.
Why target Topshop?
- Topshop is one of the most influential brands on the high street and is the flagship brand of the Arcadia group, the UK’s second largest retailer. Together its eight brands — Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Topshop, Topman, and Wallis, have over 2,000 stores across the country.
Why choose a target?
Choosing a target allows us to focus our collective resources, and increase our impact.
Directly, we aim to significantly increase the pressure for our target companies to make a real difference; indirectly, we hope to raise the profile of these issues across the sector, so that no retailer can afford to be complacent. We’ll focus our efforts where we can have the most influence and where there is the most to be done.
Topshop’s reputation with students is very important to it. Topshop’s marketing proclaims ‘WE LOVE STUDENTS!’, and in addition to a discount for those with an NUS card, it targets the student market with a special area on its website, student shopping nights and campus tours.
Through a small number of limited initiatives, such as the introduction of a few lines made with Fairtrade or organic cotton, Topshop has achieved a lot of positive publicity. While these moves do have value — both through supporting important initiatives and raising awareness — token efforts are not a substitute for more substantial changes to the company’s operations.
The Arcadia group has not demonstrated a serious commitment to ethical trade. It is the biggest high street retailer not to join the Ethical Trading Initiative. While signing up to such an initiative is not an answer in itself, it is an essential step if the Arcadia group is serious about improving conditions in its supply chain.
Topshop and the rest of the Arcadia group really need to get serious about ethical trade. A recent report of “Topshop clothes made with ‘slave labour’” (Sunday Times, August 2007), was the latest example of unacceptable conditions in its supply chain.
The Arcadia Group is a privately owned company, controlled by Philip Green and his immediate family, who own 92% of the company.
Billionaire Philip Green is one of Britain’s richest citizens. In 2005 he entered the record books after awarding himself (and his wife Tina, who lives offshore and therefore avoids paying tax) the largest share dividend in corporate history. The $1.2 billion payout is enough to double the wages of the entire Cambodian garment workforce for eight years.
It wouldn’t break the bank for Philip Green to implement an effective ethical programme. His control over the company also gives him the power to do so.
Take action by emailing Philip Green now!
Read more about Topshop
As a result of the campaign, Arcadia asked to meet P&P. Read a summary of the meeting. We will be responding soon.
Sunday Times, Revealed: Topshop clothes made with ‘slave labour’, August 12, 2007
Article on Arcadia in the Clean Up Fashion 2007 Update, which evaluates what progress high street retailers are making towards improving conditions in their supply chains.
- Guardian, Exposed: life at factory that supplies our fashion stores Nick Mathiason and John Aglionby in Prek Seer, Cambodia, Sunday April 23, 2006
Labour behind the Label’s report of Philip Green’s response
Labour behind the Label’s reply to Topshop’s response to the case
- Observer, Green savaged over Arcadia’s ethical standards 5 March 2006
- Topshop’s webpage on corporate responsibility