Sweatshop given ‘fail’ mark by students

Half a dozen students presented a reportcard to the BuxWear Super Store in Thomastown, Melbourne, August 16. Photo: FairWear

Thirty students, parents, teachers and FairWear activists met at Brunswick South West Primary School on August 16 to celebrate and highlight that school’s commitment to ethical uniforms.

Students at Brunswick South West Primary School joined with FairWear supporters to praise their school community for ensuring that the uniforms they wear are made fairly and ethically.

The students wanted to be reassured that workers making their clothes were being paid proper wages and have all the conditions that go with employment. These students are proud to display the Ethical Clothing Australia logo that assures customers the garments are made in Australia under ethical conditions.

Half a dozen students then travelled with their parents and FairWear to Thomastown to present a report card to the BuxWear Super Store. The BuxWear company (also known as Dandy Schoolwear and Norman W Buck & Co Pty Ltd) received a report card with a “fail” mark, for using sweatshop workers in the manufacture of Australian-made uniforms.

FairWear is targeting this company because it flouts Australian laws designed to protect garment workers, especially outworkers.

We had hoped to hear from the company in the week before the planned action with an assurance that it would comply with the law and seek to become ethically accredited. About 96 workers are affected by the unscrupulous actions of BuxWear.

Protesters chanted, “Unfair Buxwear, We want FairWear”, “Wage justice for workers now” and “We care, FairWear”.

According to FairWear, the company treats many of its workers as contractors, which is not permitted under industrial laws designed to protect outworkers in the clothing manufacturing industries.

We all have family and friends who use schools and most schools use uniforms. You can help your school to move to ethically made uniforms on FairWear’s Take Action page.