A Swedish fashion company trying to show it all

Lager-157

One of Lager 157's stores. Photo: Stefan Palm.

In the latest issue from my journalist colleagues at the magazine Camino I read about the outlet company Lager 157. I used to know it as a place not that far from where I grew up, where people went to buy designer clothes cheaply. Now they have brought the Code of Conduct, that many companies have, to a new level with what they call Open Conduct. There they will try to show as much information as possible about the clothes – not just the names of the factories where the clothes are produced and use of chemicals etcetera, but also how much the price of a garment is raised in the every step of the distribution chain and some other economic calculations. Read more about it here (autotranslated from Swedish)

This is certainly an interesting idea, but as Camino puts the question: How would you react if you saw that the cheap top from Bangladesh has costed the company eight kronor (= less than one Euro) to buy?

Other companies reporting their activities from different sustainability aspects are H&M, IKEA and many others following the UN standars Global Reporting Initiative, GRI. In H&M’s CSR Report they publish for example the existence of child labour or if the overtime hours are within the legal limit.
At the GRI website it’s possible to see which companies publish their reports openly.

One can only wonder who has the time to go through all these reports before going out to buy a new television or a winter coat… But the Swedish grocery retail group Coop’s own sustainability report actually provided journalists with the material to write about bad working condtions in the production of some of Coop’s products earlier this year. So – there are people who do read them.

  • Pol – Croatia

    This is very good and i really hope it will become common way of doing bussines.

    Unfortunately many people today don’t have much choice then to go for the chieapest products and some even feel a bit smarter when they manage to find something chieaper, not being interested in anything else, because there isn’t a clear system which will reward suistainable behaviour and make a real sense of being part of a responsible and well structured society.

    However, a large part of this problem is certainly coming from abroad, which is making all situation even much more obscure. The other problem is of very suggestive (especially private) media which are overly dependant on commercial activity and are destracting people’s attention of what really matters. Now i noticed that many companies in order to survive in this depressive circumstances, are even trying with more agressive but same as usual approach, which only makes the situation seem more difficult and highly bizzarre.

    It seems, companies (nor different levels of goverment) have not been able to grasp the whole picture, yet. We certainly are in situation where some sort of “military” structured organisation will be needed to bring order and trust back again, at least on some level of civil defence organisation and people selforganisation, to coordinate sufficient production and deployment of resources among population, if everything other fails.

    The solution is i think to make CSR work more broadly is that people see it bring results and better life here and there, as soon as possible, ending with a sort of broadly accepted CSR culture. I find usefull that in this pdf brochure there are already a concrete questions and inspection activity regarding it. …

  • Survivinginsweden

    This is a great idea & I hope we see more of it in the future. I would love to be able to sponsor socially responsible business practices.

    survivinglifeinsweden.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous

    I agree, being “smart” and finding the cheapest clothes is something that has become the most common way to behave. But actually seeing how much the person who has manifactured the garment has made on it would maybe be a good way of making us think twice? Then imagine all this information on the price tag…
    And yes, making sure that production conditions are good and both socially and ecologically sustainable should really become mainstream.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for your comment, and what a funny blog :)

  • http://www.moldremediationremoval.com Mold Removal Hawthorn

    This is a great idea

  • http://craniumcastle.com/user.php?login=botelhokenneth&view=history Nicole Snider

    Great website cool article man…thanks for the great post…continue posting such articles

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