War on Want

The poverty charity has launched an online campaign to put pressure on Adidas, the official sportswear sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics, to review the way workers for its suppliers are treated

War on Want's campaign video
War on Want's campaign video

What is it? 

War on Want has shot a hard-hitting video, available to watch online, in which a British woman narrates the story of Anisha, who works for a supplier to Adidas. She talks about the difficulty of providing for her family on a poverty wage and the abuse she receives from her managers.

The campaign’s slogan is: "Exploitation. It’s not OK here. It’s not OK anywhere." Using a British actress to voice the problems faced by an Asian worker highlights the fact that consumers wouldn’t accept appalling working conditions in this country, so they shouldn’t tolerate them in other parts of the world.

What else is being done?

As well as watching and sharing the online video there are several other actions supporters of the campaign can get involved with. War on Want has created ‘exploitation clothing tags’ that can be downloaded from its website. The charity wants people to attach these labels to Adidas clothing in shops across the country to make shoppers aware of how employees at the brand’s suppliers are treated. These tags are marked ‘34p’ and explain that some of them are paid as little as 34p an hour. Action cards, which can be mailed free of charge to the CEO of Adidas,  are also available to download.   

Who is supporting it?

Micheal Eavis, founder of Glastonbury festival, has spoken on behalf of the campaign: "The only sweat we want to see at the 2012 London Olympics should come from the athletes. The abuse of workers in sweatshops runs totally counter to the Olympic ideal of fairness, and no companies found guilty of such abuse should be part of the games."

Tessa Jowell, shadow Olympics minister, has also called on Adidas to change its practices.

How has it been publicised?

The campaign is being promoted on War on Want’s Facebook page and its Twitter account. The charity also wants people to post information about how staff at the company's suppliers are treated on Adidas’s own Facebook page and its other social media outlets.   

Third Sector verdict:

The timing of this campaign, which will run during the build-up to the London 2012 Olympics, makes it highly topical and it is therefore likely to receive lots of press attention. The video War on Want has produced is simple but striking. If it is shared as much as the charity hopes it will be, then it has potential to become a real talking point in the lead-up to this summer’s games. 

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