NEW REPORT: Abusive Trading Practices In Fashion Supply Chains in Europe

Brussels, 18th April – We release today a new report based on field research undertaken by Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) Europe that demonstrates the existence of unfair trading practices in the European apparel industry.

Based on interviews with suppliers, experts and trade union representatives in six EU member states – Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy and Germany – the report Fast Fashion Purchasing Practices in the EU. Unfair business relations between fashion brands and supplierspaints a clear picture of the volatile, risky and unbalanced trade relations between brands and manufacturers.

The research shows a general trend of lowering prices, shortening lead times, increasing order changes, lengthening payment terms, and increasing shares of “hidden” costs, such as the production of initial samples, being shifted to manufacturers. This leaves suppliers in financial trouble, unable to make investments and pay wages.

The report focuses on two major clusters of apparel production in Europe: Italy and Eastern Europe. Brands sourcing from the surveyed manufacturers include ASOS, Metro, MS Mode, Moncler, and the Otto Group. Luxury brands were also included but are not named as requested by research participants.

Urgent solutions are needed to eliminate unfair trading practices from garment supply chains, and the “Fast Fashion Purchasing Practices in the EU” report contains a set of recommendations to that effect.

The Fair Trade Advocacy Office and Clean Clothes Campaign Europe are calling for:

  1. The payment of orders within 60 days
  2. Prices that cover production costs and guarantee living wages for workers
  3. Compensation for changes of orders
  4. A clear definition of the terms of risk and ownership of goods

Recommendations also include a call for the European Union to adopt a directive that bans unfair trading practices in the garment sector such as late payments and prices below production costs. Such UTP Directive should also ensure effective enforcement and provide detailed guidance on how brands and retailers can ensure and uphold freedom of association, collective bargaining, and living wages throughout their supply chains.

For any inquiries, please contact May Hylander at

Read the full press release here.
Read the full report here.