21 August 2007 | Antony Barton
Nearly half of Britain's consumers doubt claims made by high-street fashion stores about their ethical trading, according to a new survey.
Although 45 per cent are sceptical about the claims, 59 per cent said ethics were important to their choice of clothing.
Consumers aged over 55 are the most likely to consider ethical issues before buying, with around 34 per cent of older consumers taking into account the country of origin.
The most significant factor for an item to be considered ethical, according to 70 per cent of respondents, is that no sweatshops or child labour were involved in its production. "A fair price paid to the producer" and "no environmental damage caused" were the second and third most important factors respectively.
The use of organic materials was the least pressing factor, with just 15 per cent of consumers rating it "very important".
Market researcher TNS Worldpanel Fashion conducted the survey of 6,996 people.