Established in 1989 and made up of a coalition of trade unions and non-government organisations (NGOs) in 16 different European countries, the CCC works in conjunction with its network of over 200 associated groups on the ground in garment producing countries, in both the global North and South, to identify problem areas and develop ideas, strategies and campaigns to pressure big brand retailers into adopting codes of conduct in relation to their production chains (Clean Clothes Campaign, n.d.-c; Ross, 2012, p.1). The CCC is highly regarded for its respectable, quality research and its ability to mobilise supporters in large numbers with e-activist internet campaigns (Ross, 2012, p.1)
The process of neoliberalism, has promoted free-trade agendas, reduction in government intervention, deregulation and privatisation of industry (Potter, 2012, p.87). Combined with technological and financial globalisation; increased speed of communication, ideas, global travel, and money movement (Potter, 2012, pp. 86-89), the result has been unprecedented escalation in the economic globalisation of transnational corporations (TNCs) and ultimately has resulted in a global “race to the bottom” (Ross, 2007, pp.36-41; Kale, 2013, pp.161-165) where downward harmonisation adversely affects all but the transnational elite and creates the kind of world market where sweatshops are not only possible, but necessary for producers to remain competitive (Sluiter, 2009, pp.12-24; Ross, 2007, pp.36-41). Clothing fabrication is labour intensive and equipment cheap, so increasingly production is outsourced from first world to developing and poor countries where labour and life is also cheap, and TNCs use their flexibility to quickly relocate if wages or workers’ rights looks set to increase. This results in a massive loss of bargaining power among workers (Kale, 2013, p165), “by exporting exploitation, globalisation has made it possible for prosperous world citizens to turn a blind eye to the people at the suffering end.” (Sluiter, 2009, p.5). The CCC exists to increase transparency of international supply chains, draw consumer attention to the practices of suppliers and organise public campaigns to pressure TNCs into taking positive action (Clean Clothes Campaign, n.d.-b).
The Clean Clothes Campaign uses and ever growing global network to investigate factories, compile reports, trace production chains and mobilise supporters to action (Sluiter, 2009, pp. 4-37). The CCC’s uses appeals for urgent action, or ‘urgent appeals’, to directly link workers’ whose rights have been violated with campaigners and consumers all over the world (Clean Clothes Campaign, n.d.-b). Action can involve large scale campaigns of letter writing to the parent company or protests at stores and head