Nike axes 'sweatshop' after BBC investigation

Nike has pledged to pull out of the factory it uses in Cambodia and the Gap has suspended orders there, following Sunday's BBC Panorama programme, which uncovered the use of child labour by both companies.

Nike has pledged to pull out of the factory it uses in Cambodia and the Gap has suspended orders there, following Sunday's BBC Panorama programme, which uncovered the use of child labour by both companies.

The programme investigated the conditions inside sweatshops used by the two companies, focusing particularly on one factory owned by June Textiles Co in Phnom Penh, which produces clothes for both brands. Hidden cameras smuggled inside showed children who appeared to be younger than 15 years old working on the shopfloor, while other employees admitted working seven-day weeks.

Nike's head of corporate communications, Yvonne Iwaniuk, admitted the factory had 'broken our code of conduct on a number of points'.

'We are very concerned about some of the allegations and wish to make it clear that we had already decided to pull out of the factory in December. Nike has also promised to pay for any workers found to be underage, to go to school until they turn 16,' she said. 'We are not being arrogant. We are learning from this.'

Iwaniuk said Nike carries out regular internal and external audits of its 500,00 workers and 700 factories worldwide, most of which are in Asia.

But she said it was not simply a case of one factory slipping through the net, as many children falsify documents to get work.

The Gap said it has suspended orders at the Phnom Penh factory and is refusing to accept products made on the site until it has verified the ages of all workers. It said it would not terminate a factory contract for violations of The Gap's conduct code, though it had done so where a factory refused to implement improvements.

The Panorama investigation is the latest in a series of TV documentaries investigating the conditions of overseas workers, indirectly employed by big brands.

Chocolate makers including Cadbury, Nestle and Mars were named last month by a Channel 4 documentary, which alleged that in the Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer, 90% of cocoa plantations use slaves.

The Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Alliance is planning a meeting next week to plan how to investigate the allegations.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug