Fairtrade groups held a candlelit vigil to protest against the treatment of factory workers.
Members of Stamford and Oakham Fairtrade Town Steering Groups and the Rotary Club of St Martins held the vigil outside the Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop in High Street, Stamford, today (Friday).
The groups were protesting following a fire at the Tazreen Fashions factory in Bangladesh in which 110 workers died.
The factory provides clothing for Edinburgh Woollen Mill. The groups were backing the Labour Behind the Label campaign which calls on the firm to accept responsibility for the fire.
Stamford group member George Hetherington said: “The message is that we want UK retailers to accept responsibility for the working conditions of the people who provide their clothing.
“Edinburgh Woollen Mill has not accepted responsibility and has offered no compensation.”
The groups were handing out flyers and talking to passers-by.
Mr Hetherington added: “A lot of people have been very receptive indeed, particularly younger people.
“You often get a more positive and interested response from younger people rather than older people who can be set in their ways.”
Mr Hetherington said the Stamford group would be focusing on clothes retailers and would pressure any firms suspected of subjecting workers to unsafe conditions.
Stamford group member Jo Kemp, 28, also joined the vigil. In the video above she gives her reasons for protesting against Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
Shop staff declined to comment on the vigil but an Edinburgh Woollen Mill spokesman said: “We are devastated by the tragic loss of lives at one of their factories our thoughts and prayers are with the families
“Our response to the call for brands to launch a fire safety programme is that any programme that safeguards human life is worth supporting.”
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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