An international multidisciplinary conference for academics and practitioners “Social Labelling in the Global Fashion Industry” is to be held from 1 – 3 September 2010 at the School of Design, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Social labelling can be described as an attempt to assure consumers and potential business partners that the labour practices connected with the production of a good or the delivery of a service meet a range of internationally agreed employment standards, generally those based on ILO conventions. As consumer awareness and concern with ethical production increases, and forecasters point to an as yet untapped market potential so the search continues for robust means by which ethically conscious fashion consumers, and indeed other stakeholders, can be reassured. But this raises a series of questions. Can the market secure ethical outcomes and can a social label provide a credible guarantee of those outcomes? Who are the stakeholders in this process and how are their interests given a voice? What can we learn about past experiments with social labels? What are the alternatives? Does a union label mean that a product is sweat free? This timely international conference seeks to bring academics and practitioners together to critically examine the phenomenon of the social label from a range of historical, empirical, theoretical and politico-economic perspectives.
The program of the conference and panelists include:
Welcome by Prof. Doug Miller
Robert Ross Professor of sociology of international studies stream, Clark University
Consumers and Producers: Agency, power and social enfranchisement
Introduction: Marsha A. Dickson
Theme 1: Making a link to consumers
Fair Trade and Organic Cotton: Labelling and Consumer Perception
What’s in Fashion? Ethics?
Social Labelling on the Web- How fashion retailers communicate information about labour practices to online consumers.
Chair : Mo Tomaney - Research Fellow in Ethical Issues and Fair Trade at Central Saint Martins and runs the MA in Ethical Fashion at University College for the Creative Arts at Epsom
Theme 2: Industry Practice and Perception
The Motivations of Fair Trade Apparel Business Owners: A Case Study of Minneapolis, St. Paul
A Decade of Progress: A Quantitative Study of Wholesalers’ Perspectives on Social Labelling and the Evolution of Apparel Industry Codes of Conduct
Thea Pandelidis and Marsha A. Dickson
Motivations and Concerns for Public Reporting about Corporate Social Responsibility and Compliance with Labor Standards: A Case Study of the Apparel Industry
‘It’s fashion darling’: designer perceptions of social labels – their usefulness and attractiveness.
Chair: Arianna Rossi
Theme 3: Regulating the social label
No Access to Justice: The Failure of Ethical Labelling Systems for Worker Rights
Can a process be labelled? The Fair Wear Foundation Experience
The Costs of Fair Trade Textile Certification – A Global Value Chain Perspective
Plenary & Keynote: Discussant Jennifer Bair University of Colorado, United States
Scott Nova Executive Director of the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC)
Until Apparel Brands Reform their Sourcing Practices, Industry Labor Codes Will Be of Little Value to the World’s Apparel Workers
Chairs : Jennifer Bair and Doug Miller
Theme 4: National Labelling Initiatives
Patricia Brien - Lecturer in fashion culture at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute and freelance fashion journalist
From No Sweat Shop Label to Ethical Clothing Australia VIDEO LINKUP
Arianna Rossi - Technical Officer, Better Work at ILO
Fibre Citoyenne: Branding the Moroccan Industry and its Workers
Rituparna Majumdar - Consultant, Corporate Social Responsibility; Guest Faculty, Doctoral Student at Jamia Millia Islamia
The Development of social labelling systems and monitoring in the Garment Supply Chain of India
Raymond Robertson - Professor of Economics, Macalester College
Reputation Sensitivity, Public Disclosure and Labor Law Compliance in Cambodia
Annelies Goger – Ph.D.University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Going Beyond: Reworking Ethical Spaces in the Sri Lankan Garment Industry
Bjorn Claeson presented by Robert Ross
Individual Consumers or Government Purchasers? A U.S. Perspective on Social Labels for Garments
Chair: John Stirling
Theme 5: Panel – To label or not to label?
Ian Bretman Fairtrade Foundation/FLO/Transfair
Steve Grinter: ITGLWF
Deborah Isaacs: People Tree/ WFTO
Closing Remarks : Marsha A. Dickson, Doug Miller and Jennifer Bair
More information on: http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/academic/scd/whatson/news/sociallabelling?view=Standard
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