Commentary: Challenges with social auditing in garment supply chains

Author: Andrew Britton, Kumi Consulting, Published on: 11 April 2019

12 February 2019

Concerns about weaknesses in social auditing are not new but calls for changes in how supply chain auditing is undertaken within the garment sector are growing ever louder...

In January 2019 an enquiry by the UK Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) delivered an excoriating verdict on the practices of many fashion retailers...

Responding to the accusations, some businesses complained that the EAC hadn’t understood their business model. However, brands aren’t a victim of their business model – their business model is their choice...

It is increasingly accepted amongst the investment community that failure by executive management to consider social or environmental impacts is a breach of their fiduciary duties...

Conventional approaches to supply chain risk in the garment sector are not working. Change is needed. The OECD Guidance was developed to provide a route-map to address these challenges through comprehensive due diligence steps...

Companies’ due diligence and risk management activities should be guided first and foremost by an objective assessment of where the risks of harm to people or the environment are greatest within the supply chain. Processes for the identification and mitigation of supply chain risks need executive-level oversight.

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