H&M, C&A and 3M, are looking into the reported allegation that inmates of a Chinese prison made packaging used by the companies. An H&M spokeswoman said the company was looking into the allegations, but could not yet ascertain whether they were true. It is completely unacceptable placing manufacturing into prisons and it seriously violates the regulatory framework that our suppliers must follow. A failure to comply would immediately lead to permanent termination of our business contract. C&A's chief sustainability officer Jeffrey Hogue said the company took the allegations seriously and was investigating. They have a zero tolerance policy for any form of modern slavery including forced, bonded or prison labour. If detect a case, they immediately terminate relationship with the supplier.
In an article for the Financial Times last week, Peter Humphrey described work the prisoners did, "Our men made packaging parts. I recognised well-known brands 3M, C&A and H&M."
The annual index compiled by EcoVadis notes companies have been making more robust efforts to ensure their supply chains are clean of trafficking and forced labour, but there is still room for improvement. 3M, which also has policies prohibiting the use of forced labour, said it was investigating the report. A spokesman for the brand said, "3M does not engage or participate in exploitative working conditions and we are not aware of any 3M suppliers in China using prison labour."