The principled popster tells NME.COM he doesn't want his merchanidise made by "Children being exploited in sex shops"...

BILLY BRAGG has joined forces with GLASTONBURY promoters MICHAEL EAVIS and the MEAN FIDDLER to promote the ethical manufacture of T-shirts and merchandise sold by the music industry.

Speaking exclusively to NME.COM, Bragg explained that the T-shirts being sold on his current UK tour had been made under guidelines established by a non-profit London-based company, Ethical Threads.

He said: “The T-shirts were made by a women’s collective in Nicaragua. They cost £2 more to the punter, and they also cost more for me to buy. I’m not passing on costs to the customer – principles aren’t cheap.”

“At the moment,” Bragg added, “children are being exploited in sweat shops to produce merchandise for the music industry. It’s about time we in the music industry did something proactive and guaranteed a decent provision for workers. When more bands and promoters join us in our mission, production costs will come down.”

The Ethical Threads initiative has arrived too late to be enforced at this year’s Glastonbury, but the possibility of non-ethical merchandising being banned from future festivals is being explored. “Glastonbury is a global brand,” Bragg explained. “It can help bring this issue worldwide. I want every band, promoter and record label to be using ethical merchandise. The next stop is to get pop bands to sell ethical T-shirts. It’s ironic when pop bands are selling things to little kids made by exploiting little kids in sweat shops.”

More information on Ethical Threads can be found by [url=] clicking here.