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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Call to upgrade Australian laws to check imports from cheap fashion retailers

According to Roy Morgan research Chinese fast fashion retailer Shein and e-commerce giant Temu have grown in popularity, with 800,000 and 1.26 million shoppers in Australia respectively each month.

This prompted human rights advocates to call for Australian laws to “catch up with the rest of the world” as cost of living pressures drive sales at ultra-cheap fashion retailers. They point out elsewhere when concerns were raised about the practices of some fast fashion firms, leading the European Union and US to take steps to check the import of goods made with poor human rights practices.

Director of the University of NSW’s Australian Human Rights Institute Professor Justine Nolan said while fast fashion is not new and there is a place for different types of fashion, there are ethical considerations to be made. “What we’re seeing here is real undercutting of global brands and Australian brands, because of the way these goods are being produced,” Nolan told Nine radio station 6PR.

“They’ve got a really low manufacturing base, low wages and that way they can undercut other brands, and some of these goods are coming from the backs of slaves.”

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