Photo: David Crosling/OxfamAUS

The Just Group

What’s taken The Just Group so long to act?

Please note that to see the most up-to-date information on Australian fashion brands, including The Just Group, the best place to go is our Company Tracker. It shows where brands like Just Jeans stand on the race to a living wage.

The Just Group lags behind other brands in the the steps needed to uphold workers’ rights in its Australian and overseas supplier factories. It includes popular brands like Peter Alexander and Just Jeans.

The Just Group signed the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord, an agreement that ensures the safety of Bangladeshi garment manufacturers in 2018, five years after the tragic Rana Plaza factory building collapse.

A staggering 1,800 people died in factory fires and collapses in the Bangladesh garment industry in the 10 years leading up to 2013. More than 160 companies have now signed up to the legally binding Bangladesh accord.

The Just Group initially joined another safety initiative called the ‘Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety’. This agreement is a significantly weaker process and is not legally binding.

The Just Group is also yet to publish their full list of factories and their locations around the world. This is an important step to ensure accountability to the workers who make the clothes they sell. Many major brands in Australia, such as Kmart, Target, Big W and Cotton On, have all been publishing their factory lists for a number of years. See the full detail of how the Just Group and other brands stack up in our Company Tracker.

Past discussions with The Just Group on dangerous sandblasting:

In February 2011, The Just Group were alerted to the serious health risks faced by workers who sandblast denim. Sandblasting — a technique commonly used in denim production — puts workers at risk of contracting a potentially lethal disease known as silicosis. The majority of brands owned by Just Group sell denim products, and some—including jeans by Jay Jays— were advertised online as ‘sandblast denim’.

After the initial contact with The Just Group about sandblasting, Oxfam wrote letters to the company and met with Just Group representatives to urge the company to ban sandblasting. Over the course of seven months, more than 600 people sent letters to The Just Group, calling on the company to ban the dangerous practice.

On 23 September 2011 The Just Group publicly announced a ban on the purchase of sandblasted jeans, committing to sell out all remaining stock and not place any further orders. Oxfam welcomes this important step, but we remain concerned that without publishing the locations of its supplier factories — we will not be able to monitor whether the sandblasting ban is really enforced inside factories.