Heroes of modern slavery: Baroness Young of Horsey - Supply Management
©Janie Airey
©Janie Airey

Heroes of modern slavery: Baroness Young of Hornsey

1 September 2017

Baroness Young of Hornsey has been raising awareness of supply chain slavery in Parliament. SM celebrates some of the many – and increasing – heroes of modern slavery

The peer
Baroness Young of Hornsey

Baroness Young of Hornsey “didn’t know what the heck a supply chain was” when she first started focusing on sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry. The author, former actress and crossbench peer had long been interested in issues around equality and diversity before her focus turned to the business of fashion and supply chains.

“For me, it grows out of my work around social justice: who gets to be part of ‘the club’ and have power and influence, and who is not only left out but actively oppressed,” she says, on her passion for fighting modern slavery. It also stems from her interest in black history (she was a director at the now defunct Archives and Museum of Black Heritage) and the transatlantic slave trade.

In 2009, she was instrumental in setting up an All-Party Parliamentary Group on ethics and sustainability in fashion (of which she remains co-chair), to engage politicians in a debate “no one had really been paying attention to before”. Young’s campaigning for legislation around supply chains in the garment industry ran closely alongside the creation of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which she was also involved in.

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