Marks and Spencer is the biggest retailer in Great Britain, specialized on clothing and fine food. It was founded in 1884 by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer. On january 2007, it launched a 5 years plan called “Plan A” in order to be environment friendly and “Help improve the lives of people in their supply chain“.
M&S now has 690 stores in UK + 320 stores in 41 other countries. It had a revenue of £ 9.5 billions in 2010. Since the 90’s, most of its suppliers moved to developping countries. It owns and sells severals popular brands including Per Una. M&S has loyal customers.
But M&S is also one of the biggest advertisers in the British press and its pr branch has a reputation of threatening of long and expansive legal trials any media which wants to investigate on the way their clothes/items are produced.
Hence, the amount of evidences requested to beat M&S lawyers in British courts are just impossible to gather since Chinese suppliers’ documents (contracts, receipts) are usually fake, just to look “legal” regarding Chinese labor laws.
M&S also has its own “independent” inspection team, based in Hong-Kong. Their job is also to deny any journalistic allegation against their chinese suppliers. This was filmed one year ago but never came out.
But there are facts and people:
“Per Una” supplier:
Komar, near Guangdong airport, is located in a sealed and guarded area. It gathers both factories and dormitories. In January 2010, salaries were 780 yuans a month with no (paid) overtime. Komar produces cosmetics products for M&S.
M&S kids swimwear:
PICTURES INSIDE a M&S shoe supplier in DongGuan: here they produce “Per Una” slippers for Marks and Spencers. These pictures were taken on June 2009 but were never published.