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About Us

Ethical Threads, as a fair trade company, are committed to ensuring that our products are sourced from manufacturers who comply with the core International Labour Organization conventions:

Our story began when Billy Bragg approached the GMB London Region and asked if they would be able to source non-sweated t-shirts and merchandise for his tour. GMB, together with Battersea & Wandsworth Trades Council, used their union connections to seek out workplaces in the UK and abroad that meet international conventions on workers rights to supply Billy's shirts. Once the word was out that there was a guaranteed source of ethically made t-shirts available the orders started pouring in! and so Ethical Threads was born.

We now supply shirts to many other artists, campaign groups, venues, festivals, unions and NGOs. Customers include Amnesty International, The National Film Theatre and Glastonbury Festival.

Ethical is a very broad term and initially our main concern was the fair treatment of workers all the way through the supply chain, using International labour standards as our guide. Though this is very much still the case, we have broadened our policy to include environmental & health concerns and now intend to phase in entirely organic cotton stock. We are determined to use Fair Trade certified cotton, where possible, so that the farmers who toil in the fields receive a fair price for their part.

We personally inspect the factories where our garments are made, speak to the workers without management present, and ensure that employers adhere to the core ILO conventions

Our manifesto

  • No forced labour
  • No child labour
  • Freedom of association; the workforce is free to join a trade union. Our suppliers must allow access for local trade unions to talk to staff about joining a union and to verify employment practices.
  • All health, hygiene and safety requirements are met by the company and can be independently verified.
  • Decent shift patterns and regular breaks for staff
  • Decent pay to the workforce and compliance with all minimum wage requirements.
  • Equality of opportunity for all staff.
  • Paid holidays, paid sickness leave and paid maternity leave for staff.
  • Suppliers that comply with environmental standards and to meet Oeko-Tex standard 100

Company information

Registered Office

Ethical Threads is a trading name of Battersea & Wandsworth TUC, and is registered in England and Wales. Company registration number is 1968614. VAT Registration Number GB 437 2664 39. The registered office: 68a Clapham Manor Street, London, SW 4 6DZ.

  • Produced under the ethical employment conventions of the International Labour Organisation.
  • We use organically grown cotton whenever possible.
  • We use Fairtrade Certified cotton whenever possible.
  • Any surplus profits help finance grass-roots trades unionism and ethical campaigns around the world.


Sales: 0208 457 4117 or
07957 261 137

General Enquiries: 0208 561 3707

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