What’s changed for Syrian refugees in Turkish garment supply chains?
An estimated 650,000 Syrian refugees have fled their home country to escape bloodshed and have found a lifeline working in Turkey, with many working in the garment industry. Without these jobs, many families would face desperate times and would struggle to support themselves. However, the garment industry in Turkey is complex and exploitative conditions are too common. Since 2015, reports and investigations have exposed poor wages, discrimination, and child labour by Syrian refugees working in the Turkish garment industry.
This report builds on analysis from February 2016 and October 2016. We approached 37 brands with a set of questions on their actions to protect Syrian refugees in their supply chains, and in July and August 2017 we visited Turkey to assess recent developments and speak to people on the ground.
New Look, Next, ASOS, Inditex (Zara), Otto Group (German fashion brand) and SuperGroup (SuperDry) are the top ranking brands in this year’s survey of 37 European companies. In 2016, only New Look and Next were judged to be taking sufficient action against exploitation.
At the other end of the scale, Aldi, Arcadia Group (Topshop, Dorothy Perkins), Asda and LC Waikiki (Turkish brand) only provided minimal information with little evidence of action to stop exploitation of refugees. KiK (German retailer), Mexx, New Yorker, River Island, s. Oliver (German fashion brand) and VF Corp (The North Face, Timberland) failed to respond to the survey altogether.