Bek and Steff's
China Challenge
2 - 14 Dec 06

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Question to Oxfam - Make Poverty History

Like many others, I was a little concerned after reading an article in the Sydney Morning Herald that suggested Oxfam had obtained the rubber wristbands it is using to promote the "Make Poverty History" campaign from a factory which had workers in sweatshops conditions... I wrote to Oxfam Australia to confirm the story and they alleviated my concerns.

Oxfam Australia was a little more careful than its UK counterparts! See the email exchange below...

From : Enquire
Sent : Monday, 6 June 2005 11:49:34 AM
To : "steff "
Subject : RE: Make Poverty History sweatbands

Hello Stefany,

Thank you for your enquiry in regards to the Make Poverty History Wristbands. As you can well imagine we have had a number of enquiries in regards to this.

Oxfam Australia has not purchased wristbands from the same supplier as the UK Make Poverty History coalition. Oxfam Australia has purchased 150,000 white wristbands from an Australian supplier (who sources from China) to be distributed to supporters of the Make Poverty History Campaign in Australia. The wristbands were ordered only after Oxfam Australia required the manufacturer and supplier to confirm that the manufacturer of the wristbands met ethical labour standards. We required and received written confirmation prior to placing our order that the manufacturer respects labour laws, employs no child labour and meets all appropriate occupational health and safety regulations. We have no evidence to suggest this is not the case. Oxfam Australia is taking steps to further verify the assurances given about work conditions in the production of the wristbands. In addition we are supplying fabric wristbands from Oxfam Great Britain which has sourced 1.5 million fabric bands from a manufacturer in Taiwan which underwent a thorough ethical audit process which satisfied Oxfam’s ethical purchasing policy.

I hope this answers all your concerns.

Kind regards,


From: steff
Sent: Monday, 6 June 2005 8:49 AM
To: EnquireSubject: Make Poverty History sweatbands

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to you after receiving an Oxfam 'Make Poverty History' wristband in the mail recently.

I was concerned after reading the following news article in the Sydney Morning Herald that these rubber wristbands may have been produced in sweatshop conditions, and as a result are adding the problems suffered by workers in China.

Before I wear the wristband I would like to ensure that it was not made in a sweatshop.

Yours sincerely,


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