Listed below are organizations who work to rid the world of sweatshops and promote justice in the global marketplace. This is neither a complete list, nor does it reflect priority or importance by any groups' placement. We simply want to provide you - the conscientious consumer - with as many resources as possible to get informed and active in this struggle. We have no direct affiliation with any of these organizations other than our mutual desire to work for justice. We hope you will use these links as a way to further your own education and actions. The information provided about the groups comes, in almost all instances, directly from the organizations' own web sites.In Solidarity,
SweatFree Communities was founded in 2002 by anti-sweatshop organizers in Maine, Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin and elsewhere who had been working separately on local campaigns to convince school districts, cities, states, and other institutional purchasers to adopt “sweatfree” purchasing policies and stop tax dollars from subsidizing sweatshops and abusive child labor. SweatFree Communities created a structure to facilitate the sharing of resources and information and built a national sweatfree movement that has the unity and political strength to generate significant market demand for products that are made in humane conditions by workers who earn living wages.
PICA - Peace through Interamerican Community Action - is a Bangor, Maine-based grassroots organization. Our mission is to build a global community from the bottom-up for the benefit of all people. Our principal programs are: The Bangor Clean Clothes Campaign, the country's first community-based anti-sweatshop campaign; Sponsoring Bangor's Sister City relationship with Carasque, El Salvador; Youth Adelantando, our dynamic youth organization. We are also a founding member of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign.
The National Labor Committee (NLC) is an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and defending human and worker rights in the global economy.The NLC exposes human and labor rights abuses committed by U.S. companies producing goods in poor countries and organizes campaigns to put an end to these abuses.
United Students Against Sweatshops is an organization of students and community members at over 200 campuses. We are part of a movement that supports the struggles of working people and challenges corporate power. We work to build power on campuses, we develop solidarity with workers. The energy and lessons from those campaigns have deepened our commitment to support the rights of working class people everywhere.
The Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) is a non-profit organization created by college and university administrations, students and labor rights experts. The WRC's purpose is to assist in the enforcement of manufacturing Codes of Conduct adopted by colleges and universities; these Codes are designed to ensure that factories producing clothing and other goods bearing college and university names respect the basic rights of workers. There are more than 100 colleges and universities affiliated with the WRC.
The Campaign for the Abolition of Sweatshops and Child Labor is a new and growing coalition of religious, labor, student, human rights, civil rights, women's and community organizations who believe that worker rights are human rights. We believe that the world-wide struggle for worker and human rights is the next great civil rights movement of our time.
The Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN) is a Canadian network promoting solidarity with groups in Mexico, Central America, and Asia organizing in maquiladora factories and export processing zones to improve conditions and win a living wage. In a global economy it is essential that groups in the North and South work together for employment with dignity, fair wages and working conditions, and healthy workplaces and communities.
The Union Label and Service Trades Department, AFL-CIO, was founded in 1909 to promote the products and services produced in America by union members -- especially those products and services identified by a union label, shop card, store card and service button. We are supported by per capita payments from AFL-CIO National and International Unions.
Behind the Label is a multimedia news magazine and on-line community covering the stories and people of the global clothing industry - the hidden stories of the millions of workers around the world who make our clothes, the people who care how their clothes are made and the multinational corporations behind the labels.
National Mobilization Against Sweatshops is a membership association of working people. We are injured workers fighting for our right to compensation and medical benefits; mothers demanding recognition for the work we do raising kids; office workers and garment workers rejecting brutally long working hours; restaurant and hotel workers standing up to tip-stealing and unfair firings; students and other workers from many other walks of life.
"Slaves To Fashion is a remarkable achievement, several books in one: a gripping history of sweatshops, explaining their decline, fall, and return; a study of how the media portray them; an analysis of the fortunes of the current anti-sweatshop movement; an anatomy of the global traffic in apparel, in particular the South-South competition that sends wages and working conditions plummeting toward the bottom; and not least, a passionate declaration of faith that humanity can find a way to get its work done without sweatshops. This is engaged sociology at its most stimulating." - - Todd Gitlin
The Garment Worker Center is a place for garment workers in the Los Angeles area to organize to improve their working conditions and to win legalization for undocumented immigrants. GWC is led by a 9-member worker board of directors and holds monthly educational workshops on the workers' rights as well as on topics such as globalization. GWC's main campaign is the National Boycott against Forever 21, a retailer of young women's clothing.
Sweatshop Watch is a coalition of labor, community, civil rights, immigrant rights, women's, religious and student organizations, and individuals, committed to eliminating the exploitation that occurs in sweatshops. Sweatshop Watch serves low wage workers, with a focus on garment workers in California, as well as nationally and globally. We believe that workers should be earning a living wage in a safe and decent working environment. We believe that those who benefit the most from the exploitation of sweatshop workers must be held accountable.
The Clean Clothes Campaign aims to improve working conditions in the garment and sportswear industry. The CCC started in the Netherlands in 1990. At that time stores in the Netherlands were not taking any responsibility for the working conditions under which the clothes they sold were made. But we have come a long way since then. Now there are Clean Clothes Campaigns in ten Western European countries. And now it's more difficult to find retailers here who denounce this responsibility. Campaigners are regularly in touch with organizations in a variety of countries, including those where garments are produced, and in this way work together as a network to draw attention to labour rights issues in the garment industry.
The Reverend Billy is a revivalist preacher who leads the Church of Stop Shopping, an anti-consumerist communion devoted to putting the odd into God. Created by the actor Bill Talen, the Reverend first appeared alongside the sidewalk preachers in Times Square during the Giuliani years, bringing his new post-religious theology to eager crowds. In his pages we go inside the Disney Store on 42nd Street ("the high church of retail") to witness staged dramas against consumerism that employ 800 neurotic Disney characters with their "reeling eyeballs and sky-cracking grins" as the mise en sce`ne. We encounter the icon-twisting logic of credit card exorcism performed in front of astonished tourists, and listen to a gospel choir made up of "recovering preachers' kids" singing anti-Starbucks anthems at the cash register of the $5 latte. We watch as the defense of a community garden is turned into an Off-Broadway hit and join with the Reverend as he preaches love and peace to the crowds that gathered spontaneously in Union Square after the attacks of September 11.
Students for Labor Justice is an organization based at MIT University. See there site for information about actions, campaigns, and useful materials in fighting to bring justice to the apparel and other industries.
The Clean Clothes Connection encourage all participants in the global apparel industry to use the Clean Clothes Connection to provide and obtain information about the conditions under which products are made. Information is key in a people's marketplace, where participants are fully informed about where products come from, who makes the products, the conditions under which products made, and where and by whom products are sold and bought (in the case of public institutions). Our market choices create norms of acceptable corporate behavior. We can take a stand against abuse of workers and the environment. We, as consumers and workers, can join forces for a better world.
Dream Change is a world wide grass roots movement of people from diverse cultures and backgrounds dedicated to shifting consciousness and promoting sustainable lifestyles for the individual and global community. The objective of inspiring earth-honoring changes in consciousness is accomplished through programs that educate and foster environmental and social balance. DC was originated to encourage new ways of living.
The InterReligious Task Force on Central America (IRTF) is a Cleveland-based interfaith group that promotes peace and human rights in Central America and Colombia. People of faith and conscience founded IRTF after the 1980 execution of four U.S. church women in El Salvador by U.S.-trained soldiers. Carrying on the legacy of the martyrs, IRTF educates, advocates, and organizes for peace and human rights, economic justice, and aid to Central Americans and Colombians. IRTF works to change U.S. policies, corporate actions, and consumer behaviors that undermine these aspirations, both here and abroad.
Kav La'Oved is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of the most disadvantaged workers in Israel, primarily: migrant workers, Palestinians from the occupation territories, personnel company employees, and new immigrants.
Coop America's website tells consumers how to take action to fight sweatshop abuses and how to shop from companies that use fair labor practices. Their Guide to Ending Sweatshops is available as a free download, or for the cost of shipping and handling for hardcopies. The guide is full of information for consumers who want to take action on sweatshops.
Since 2003, American Rights at Work has informed the American public about the struggle to win workplace democracy for nurses, cooks, computer programmers, retail cashiers, and a variety of workers who we all depend on every day. Our vision is a nation where the freedom of workers to organize unions and bargain collectively with employers is guaranteed and promoted.
Asia Floor Wage's site states: Garment workers' rights activists, at both production and retail ends, have been at the forefront of international accountability campaigns for over a decade, around the globe. Activists have supported organizing of workers, publicized labor rights violations, fought to hold employers and multinationals accountable to fair labour standards, and organized consumer-led anti-sweatshop campaigns.
If you know a site that you think should be included on this list, please contact us.