Sat down last night and watched the BBC Panorama programme (‘investigative journalism’ for those who don’t know the series) on Primark’s supply chain. Primark is a low cost ‘fast fashion’ clothing chain (Penneys in its home base in Ireland). The controversy was over Primark’s membership of the Ethical Trade Initiative whilst the Panorama programme uncovered cases of child labour in the Indian supply chain. Upon reflection, whilst I applaude programmes like Panorama for uncovering such practice, I did feel that there were many leading questions being asked and to be fair to Primark they swiftly acted on what was essentially a sub- sub-contractor… nevertheless, I think the main output of the programme will be to place in some (not all) consumers’ minds “how can this embroidered top cost just £3”? There’s more information on the programme HERE and you can watch the programme again (from a UK IP address) over the next seven days HERE.
Primark – BBC Panorama 23rd June 2008