Fashion: Equity opens up to models
WORKERS, JAN 2008 ISSUE
The trade union Equity has opened its membership to catwalk and photographic models. The move comes after a group of models approached the trade union outlining their need for a representative voice to lobby for better working conditions.
Equity spokesman Martin Brown explained: "We were approached by models earlier this year, who said they have no say in the industry, that they get money from the agent without being told what each job is worth. They are often working long hours without any agreement on what those hours will be, and are frequently working without proper breaks and often without food."
During the talks with Equity, the models spoke out against the treatment they face at fashion shows and photographic shoots. One told how his scalp bled after having large quantities of peroxide put on his head, while another complained of an extreme allergic reaction after having her body covered in car paint.
Equity is in talks with the British Fashion Council to establish "standards of decency" that could be used throughout the industry, and will soon launch a campaign at fashion shows to encourage models, who currently have no independent representation, to join the organisation.