How just are your Just Jeans?

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Just Group owns many Australian household brands including Just Jeans, Jacqui E, Jay Jays, Portmans, Peter Alexander, Dotti, and Smiggle. Unfortunately, the company has not taken the steps needed to uphold workers’ rights within Australia and in its and overseas supplier factories.

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The true cost of cotton production

Human rights advocates have criticised the Uzbek cotton industry for its reliance on forced-labour including the mandatory employment of school children, college and university students, and civil servants. Workers face terrible conditions and are barely paid enough to survive.

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Where underpants come from

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Where Underpants Come From takes us on a journey to discover the origin of undies. This journey begins when author Joe Bennet purchases a 5-pack of Made in China underpants for $8.59 at his local New Zealand supermarket.

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Alta Gracia workers celebrate a living wage

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After years toiling at factories in the free trade zones of the Dominican Republic, Santa Castillo knows how difficult it can be to survive on the minimum wage. “A lot of times there was only enough for my kids, and I’d go to bed hungry,” she says. Now the factory where Ms Castillo works has committed to pay three and a half times the minimum wage.

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The Social Studio Spring Collection

The Social Studio (TSS) is a Melbourne-based social enterprise which provides young women and men from refugee communities the opportunity to realize their potential as designers, makers and retailers of fashion.

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Step into her trainers!

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Did you know that in 2008 the CEO of Nike, Mark G. Parker earned more than 7 million US dollars? It is estimated it would take an Indonesian worker producing for Nike more than 6,000 years to earn this amount.

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3things on weddings, muppets & street art

What 3things did you learn this week?

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Kids care about Fair Wear

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Last month, students, teachers and parents at a Brunswick primary school joined with activists from FairWear to demand an end to exploitation in the Australian garment industry.

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Thank you for 3869 messages of support!

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Last week 3869 individuals from around the world sent letters to adidas’ CEO, Herbert Hainer, demanding a fair deal for workers making adidas. While we wait for a response from adidas, I want to thank all those who have assisted with this campaign.

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Loneliness in Jakarta

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Jakarta was so quiet— almost everyone had gone back to their villages to spend time with their families. In the evening I could hear the echoes of prayers across the city. I felt very touched- but also mixed with a deep sense of sadness because I was unable to be with my family. Without work it is just too expensive to travel back home to South Sumatra.

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The luxury of rice

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When I was young I was often given only cassava rice to eat because we couldn’t afford ordinary rice and other condiments. I understood that rice was really expensive, so even if a tiny bit of rice was mixed in with my cassava dish, I was overjoyed!

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Just Scraping By: Everyday life around my home

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As a worker on a low wage, sometimes I get scared when I imagine my future. I worry that when I am elderly my own situation won’t be that different from my neighbours. Even in their old age they have to work very hard just to scrape by.

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Independence Day Celebrations

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It has become a custom for Indonesians to commemorate Independence Day by holding competitions. This year the factory also held competitions for the workers inside its grounds. The competitions included panjat pinang (pole climbing) and a singing competition.

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20 hours from Jakarta: another world

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In mid May I asked for leave from my union activities at GSBI and returned for a fortnight to my parent’s house in a village near the city of Solo, Central Java. At the village I kept busy helping my parents in the fields. My parents are farmers and do not have any regular income. Their own land doesn’t yield enough to cover every day necessities. So to fulfil their daily needs they work as labourers on other people’s land. With their meagre income, my parents still support two of their children (my older sister and young sister), as well as three grandchildren (from my older sister).

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Pay to Work: Corrupt practices cause mounting frustration

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The other morning I spoke with some villagers who live in the district surrounding the Ching Luh factory. They told me about a local hustler who promotes factory recruitment. Potential applicants are asked for money ranging from 2-2.5 million rupiah (equivalent to two months of a factory workers’ full time wage).

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Recruitment re-shuffled, but remains unfair

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My own recruitment experience serves as evidence of this fact. Earlier this year I was finally offered to sit a test carried out by the CLI human resources department.

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Doesn’t Adidas know we have families?

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English / Bahasa My parents are in their sixties now. They are subsistence farmers, but since they don’t own enough land to support themselves, they also work as farm labourers. I should be looking after them, sending them money for their everyday needs. It’s not like they are office workers who retire to a pension. […]

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Something happened that I never wished for…

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English / Bahasa A short while ago something happened to me that I never expected and never wanted.  I fell very ill.  To begin with it was only a fever, so I bought some medicine at the local street stall.  But it didn’t help.  Actually it made my condition worse.  Because I don’t have any […]

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Why I haven’t given up

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English / Bahasa There is a principle that I won’t let go of here—and that’s freedom of association. Five years ago, 33 of us lost our jobs in contravention of our human rights and freedom of association. And to be honest with you, I don’t believe Adidas if they say that what happens in their […]

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My message to the CEO of Adidas

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English / Bahasa I ask that the CEO of Adidas starts to really pay attention to the rights of workers who make their shoes. I hope that Adidas can guarantee that workers will be given those rights and also paid a wage more appropriate to a prestigious company like Adidas. Why is it that Adidas […]

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About adidas’ responsibility

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English / Bahasa What is the point of codes of ethics or codes of conduct if they are only names thrown about but never implemented? Adidas’ systems need to match up with the principles it purports to support. Freedom of association, and the rights of workers themselves should be given—workers should not be made to […]

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The human face of production

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English / Bahasa I always hope that Adidas consumers will think more about the issues faced by the people who make the shoes that they wear. Don’t just be influenced by the sports shoes advertisements that emphasise luxury, wealth, strength and quality. Instead try to look behind the scenes at the workers who make those […]

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Working life

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From sportswear factories to domestic work overseas, read Sewani’s accounts of her past employment experiences. Short-term contracts Life as an overseas migrant worker Ups and downs of overseas domestic work Impressions from abroad Back to the factory floor Workplace worries Bitter ironies Short-term contracts After graduating from high school I followed in my mother’s footsteps […]

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In my shoes: Sewani’s story so far

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Read the life story of Sewani* , a 24 year old Indonesian footwear worker. You can follow Sewani’s blog here. Photo: OxfamAUS My story so far My name is Sewani.  I am 24-years-old.  I work in a factory producing a famous brand of sports shoes in an industrial district of Indonesia, not far from the […]

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