Wednesday 10 December 2008


You ever wonder what happens to the clothes you donate to “charity shops”? Unfortunately something that seems like a “charity” can be not nearly as charitable as you think.

Ragtex collects clothes in the UK and sends it to other countries to be „processed”. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are just cleaned up and given to poor people. Often these clothes are resold – cheap but commercially. Sometimes recycled fabric is made from these clothes.

Lots of Poles work at Ragtex in Frydlant in the Czech Republic. The working conditions leave a lot to be desired. No protective gear is given and there are lots of health and safety violations. The company does not pay the obligatory insurance, even though it is taken out of the workers’ salary. This is probably why they are hiring Polish people: they figure that the Poles won’t use the insurance in the Czech Republic and probably won’t catch one. But they did and the case is in court. To make matters worse, one of the women working there contacted us when the manager even beat another woman. We spread news about the incident and wrote a letter to Ragtex. We are keeping our eyes on them.

If you live in Great Britain, why not let Ragtex know that workers’ rights and good working conditions are important to you. Their email is: Ragtex also has clothing collection boxes in many locations: you can drop a note in the box.

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