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WELCOME TO THE ARCHIVE (1994-2014) OF THE MAQUILA SOLIDARITY NETWORK. For current information on our ongoing work on the living wage, women's labour rights, freedom of association, corporate accountability and Bangladesh fire and safety, please visit our new website, launched in October, 2015:

Ethical Trading Action Group

ETAG logoThe Ethical Trading Action Group (ETAG) operated between 1998 and 2010 was a Canadian-based coalition of faith, labour and non-governmental organizations that advocated for government policies, voluntary codes of conduct, and ethical purchasing policies that promoted humane labour practices based on accepted international labour standards. ETAG promoted public access to information on where and under what conditions clothes, shoes, and other consumer products were made, and greater transparency in monitoring and verification of company compliance with international labour standards and local laws.

The Maquila Solidarity Network was the secretariat of ETAG. ETAG members included: Canadian Autoworkers Union; Canadian Council for International Cooperation; Canadian Labour Congress; Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE); Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives; Maquila Solidarity Network; Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation; Oxfam Canada; Steelworkers Humanity Fund; and UNITE-HERE.

Below are some articles related to ETAG's work:

July 31, 2008

ETAG's proposals to improve VANOC's BuySmart Program

In June 2007, ETAG wrote to VANOC with a series of concerns regarding VANOC’s proposed “BuySmart” program. Since that time, VANOC has made some improvements to its program. In addition to the changes promised, there are a number of other improvements ETAG believes VANOC needs to make to its program to make it comprehensive, effective and transparent.

January 29, 2007

Levi Strauss drops from first to fifth place in ETAG Report Card


In response to a decision by the UK Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) to suspend Levi Strauss's membership for refusing to commit to the ETI Living Wage standard, Canada's Ethical Trading Action Group (ETAG) has reduced Levi's score in its 2006 Transparency Report Card from 1st to 5th place.

January 3, 2007

ETAG's 2006 Transparency Report Card

Revealing Clothing

Revealing Clothing coverDecember 2006

The Ethical Trading Action Group's (ETAG's) 2006 Transparency Report Card shows that companies are opening up on labour standards, but tackling labour rights abuses requires more worker involvement.

December 19, 2006

Disclosure - where are your clothes made?

Stop pulling the wool over our eyesCurrently, there is no way for consumers, including public institutions, to know where the apparel products they buy are made or under what conditions - clothing labels only tell us the country of origin. Because we often cannot link a retailer to the factories that makes their clothes, the retailer cannot be held responsible for the conditions under which their goods are made.

December 18, 2006

Improved public reporting

MSN believes that companies must disclose sufficient information to allow consumers and investors to evaluate and compare companies' labour practices and make ethical choices. Improved public reporting on labour practices within their global supply chains can be an impetus for corporations - and suppliers - to actually improve those practices over time for the following reasons:

December 15, 2006

ETAG Ethical Trading Forums

The Ethical Trading Action Group (ETAG) sponsors annual Ethical Trading Forums on pressing issues and developments related to labour rights in the apparel industry. The forums attract retailers, manufacturers, and other industry representatives, representatives of relevant government departments, CSR organizations, public institutions and governments with ethical purchasing policies, parallel initiatives in other sectors, social investment organizations, international development organizations, trade unions, faith organizations, as well as individual researchers, students and teachers, and the media.

December 7, 2006

Revealing Clothing

2006 Transparency Report Card

Revealing Clothing cover Revealing Clothing, ETAG's second Transparency Report Card, picks up where Coming Clean on the Clothes We Wear left off. It assesses and compares public reporting on labour standards compliance by 30 top apparel retailers and brands selling clothes in the Canadian market, including Levi Strauss, Nike, adidas, H&M, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Roots, La Senza, Reitmans and 22 others. This year's report also discusses worker involvement, purchasing practices and sustainable compliance.

More information.

December 1, 2005

Coming Clean on the Clothes We Wear

2005 Transparency Report Card

Coming Clean on the Clothes We Wear assesses and compares 25 retailers and brands based on the information they provide to the public on their efforts to address labour rights issues in their global supply chains.

June 10, 2003

Conference Board report on ETAG disclosure proposal

The Conference Board of Canada's response to ETAG's disclosure proposal largely dismisses the proposal. Unfortunately the report demonstrates a lack of understanding of that proposal or its objectives, a lack of concrete alternatives, and a disturbing bias against union representation.