Ethical clothing company Epona is the first UK business to join the Fairtrade Textile Program, developed by the Fairtrade Foundation.
The programme is the first of its kind for fashion companies, monitoring every stage of the supply chain: from cotton field to factory.
Through the scheme Epona workers will receive support and training in production facilities, and it will also enforce fair prices and living wages.
Epona was acquired by the National Union of Students (NUS) in 2013, in order to ensure the union could oversee the ethics of its clothing supply chain. It sells online, via catalogues and to trade customers in the UK and Europe.
The company was founded in 2002 and was one of the first companies to get the Fairtrade mark for cotton when it was launched in 2005.
Fairtrade Foundation’s cotton product manager, Subindu Garkhel, said: “The Fairtrade Textiles Standard is the first of its kind to offer businesses a chance to reject exploitation at every stage of the supply chain.
“As the UK’s first company to join, Epona is leading the way for small-holder farmers and factory workers alike. We hope that this bold move will persuade other companies of every size to take this final step towards truly Fairtrade fashion.”