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Next raises its ethical stance as industry faces second backlash

Next has introduced a new logo to communicate its ethical stance as the industry is battered by a second round of allegations about poor conditions at clothing factories.

The logo, which features the world surrounded by a ring of men and women, is printed inside its new 25th anniversary black paper bags and is titled Next Committed to Ethical Trading. It is linked to a statement that reads: “As a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), Next works hard to pursue a code of ethical standards throughout the global supply chain, ensuring the integrity of any product carrying the Next trademark and the welfare of all workers involved.”

A spokeswoman for Next said: “The logo was developed this year to create awareness and peace of mind with our customers.”

Next was one of several fashion retailers that came under fire this week for using suppliers with poor working practices. The Sunday Times ran a story linking Next and George at Asda to Mauritius-based supplier Compagnie Mauricienne de Textile (CMT). Last month the paper alleged that the CMT factory - where Sir Philip Green’s Kate Moss for Topshop range is manufactured - used “slave labour”. Green has vigorously denied the allegations.

Similarly, the supply chains of Primark, Mothercare, Gap, Matalan and H&M all came under scrutiny in an investigation by The Guardian newspaper this week.

The Guardian alleged that Gokaldas Export, one of India’s largest clothing exporters, was paying wages as low as £1.13 for a nine-hour day, which it claimed fell below minimum international labour standards promised by the ETI.

Next applied to register the Next Committed to Ethical Trading logo as a trademark on July 25. The application applies to swing tags and labels, till receipts, carrier bags and plastic materials for packaging.

The retailer has also applied for permission to use the trademark on clothing, footwear and headgear.

Next has also applied to register Dare to Care as a trademark. Dare to Care applies to leather and fake leather, plus bags made of recycled plastic, and other categories of goods.

The Dare to Care logo was advertised in the Trade Marks Journal on August 31.

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