UK ethical clothing company Epona has become the first UK business to support the Fairtrade Textile Program. Established last year, the scheme monitors every stage of the supply chain, from field to factory. Through the Fairtrade Textile Standard, Epona workers will receive support and training in production facilities, and it also aims to improve business practice by enforcing fair prices and the delivering living wages.

The National Union of Students (NUS), which owns Epona, is working towards converting 100% of its cotton to Fairtrade. Rob Young, NUS vice president (society and citizenship) commented: “I’m really proud that Epona is the first clothing company in the UK to take this important step towards improving factory workers’ rights.”

Fairtrade Foundation’s cotton product manager, Subindu Garkhel, added: “The Fairtrade Textiles Standard is the first of its kind to offer businesses a chance to reject exploitation at every stage of the supply chain. As the UK’s first company to join, Epona is leading the way for small-holder farmers and factory workers alike. We hope that this bold move will persuade other companies of every size to take this final step towards truly Fairtrade fashion.”