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Ethical Clothing Australia to receive a $2 million funding from Labor government

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-12-15 11:13:48 – Australia

Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA), Australia's only ethical compliance body, will receive a $2 million funding boost from the Labor government over the next three years. The funds will enable ECA to accredit more enterprises in the Australian textile, garment, and footwear industries, allowing it to bring more local businesses into compliance with its code.

The ECA code assures that workers are paid legal salaries, get all of their legal entitlements, and work in safe conditions, as well as allowing annual audits of supply chains, resulting in a more transparent and ethical sector.

ECA not only defends the rights of Australian garment workers, but it also assists consumers in navigating greenwashing and misleading brand statements so that they can spend their money on certified ethical products and businesses.

Since the Liberal Party cut ECA funding by $1 million in 2014, the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, Australia's major trade union in textile, clothing, and footwear manufacture, has been pleading with the federal government for financial assistance.

Jenny Kruschel, TCF National Secretary of the CFMEU Manufacturing Division, said that the union has long advocated for the funding of this national code to be restored. They appreciate Labor's promise to protect workers and guarantee a more sustainable sector in Australia. When companies join up for the Ethical Clothing Australia code, they promise to pay legal wages and allow annual audits of their supply chains. It benefits their business and safeguards vulnerable workers.

According to a recent global study, nine out of ten consumers prefer to buy ethically sourced items, but local and small firms are finding it difficult to compete with overseas competitors who can keep prices low for consumers by underpaying workers and cutting corners.

The proposed $6 million funding boost would help the fashion industry create more employment while also giving Australian manufacturers a competitive advantage over their international competitors.

The textile, apparel, and footwear industries also played an important part in the epidemic, with many local enterprises and supply chains switching to the creation of personal protective equipment (PPE) when global supply systems failed.

Ed Husic, the Shadow Minister for Industry and Innovation, said that Australia must be a country where things are made. Last year, they saw how the textile, apparel, and footwear industries responded to the global scarcity of personal protective equipment, including face masks. They know that establishing transparent and ethical supply chains provides a competitive advantage to local firms. It gives them a competitive advantage over foreign opponents, a secret weapon that results in increased revenues and job opportunities.

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