The Ontario government will be taking a giant step toward sustainability and ethical sourcing, by requiring the companies that make uniforms for Canadian civil servants to prove ethical standards. The new bill will ensure that governmental attire will not be sourced from sweatshops, hopefully setting a standard for the fashion industry across Canada. Canadians have already shown a trend in supporting fair-trade consumer goods, and this bill only strengthens their support.
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Queen’s Park has announced that they will be introducing the ethical sourcing policy, aimed at the textile producing companies that bid on governmental uniform contracts. This new bill coincides with a Statistics Canada study, which in 2011 showed that Canadians were making more and more consumer decisions based on ethical considerations, including an increase in the consumption of fair trade coffee, sweat-shop free clothing, lead-free toys and eco-friendly household supplies. With 27% of Canadians survey already taking steps to avoid anti ethical products, the governmental bill only makes sense.
The bill was inspired by the state of Maine’s adoption of a similar policy, which calls for companies who supply state uniforms to donate to a fund for workers’ rights, as well as recent tragedies in Bangladesh sweat shops.
Aside from the Canadian government, retailers that are popular in Canada like Benetton, H&M, C&A, Tesco and Zara have also agreed to source their garments ethically.