At the time of writing, the city and suburbs of Leicester were under local lockdown due to a spike in Covid-19 cases, with allegations that this was linked to some garment factories that had not only continued to operate as the pandemic took hold, but also increased their workforce without protecting them. These events throw a light on exploitative work practices that have persisted for years and underline the importance of the RSA’s Regenerative Futures work, which explores the potential for a more sustainable fashion industry.
Anti-Slavery International, a non-governmental organisation, defines modern slavery as “the severe exploitation of other people for personal or commercial gain”. The International Labour Organization and the Walk Free Foundation (WFF) estimate that worldwide there are 40 million modern slaves: 71% are women and girls and 25% are children. The WFF Global Slavery Index 2018 estimated the number of victims of modern slavery in the UK at 136,000. Read more.