Commentary: Garment industry should monitor entire supply chain & meet intl. standards

Author: Elizabeth Winkler, Washington Post, Published on: 31 August 2017

"One way to make sure workers weren't abused while making your clothes," 24 August 2017

...[Due to] the absence of a uniform standard [on what constitutes "sustainability," "transparency" or "ethical sourcing" consumers are left in the dark about the type of labor standards they’re supporting. Currently] each company can assess its ethical record independently and is free to give themselves all the accolades they like...

Frameworks for universal standards already exist... The Fair Labor Association (FLA) [for example]...uses the standards of the ILO to monitor companies’ supply chains and protect workers. Participating companies sign up to a two or three-year implementation schedule, after which they open up their factory doors to the FLA for evaluation... The problem is that FLA accreditation has yet to go mainstream. Just 23 apparel and footwear companies are currently accredited. Twenty-seven others are seeking accreditation - but this is still just a fraction of an industry whose firms number in the thousands. Meanwhile, the current system allows companies to continue profiting off exploited laborers...

Genuine commitment to sustainability - rather than merely the show of it - requires monitoring of the entire supply chain and a willingness to meet internationally-recognized standards. For most brands, this is still more than they’re ready to do. Pressure from the public and from companies that do meet the standards could change that... [refers to Adidas, Gap, H&M, Ivanka Trump, Levi Strauss, New Balance, Nike, Patagonia, Puma, and Reformation]

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Related companies: adidas Gap H&M Ivanka Trump Levi Strauss New Balance Nike Patagonia Puma