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KnowTheChain: Ranking of 20 apparel and footwear companies on efforts to address forced labour in the supply chain

Forced labor risk: KnowTheChain apparel and footwear benchmark finds need for worker engagement

Findings report          Company ranking          Disclosure pages

KnowTheChain, which ranked the 20 of the largest global apparel & footwear companies on the steps they are taking to combat forced labor in their supply chain, finds most companies have systems in place to monitor and react to forced labor and human trafficking, but few address systemic causes.

The four highest performing companies (Adidas, Gap, H&M and Lululemon) achieve scores above 60/100. Among the lowest performing companies are Hong Kong-based Belle International Holdings (0/100), Chinese clothing manufacturer Shenzhou International Group Holdings (1/100), and the luxury Italian fashion house, Prada (9/100). Across seven measurement areas, the average company score is 46 out of a possible 100. Overall, luxury brands including Hugo Boss, Kering (holding company of Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Stella McCartney and others) and Ralph Lauren score much lower than high street apparel retailers (such as H&M, Inditex or Primark), with none achieving an above average score.

Worker voice (29/100) is one of the lowest scoring themes of the benchmark. Only four companies proactively communicate the existence of a grievance mechanism to their suppliers' workers, and only five companies engage workers outside of the context of their workplace in a manner that may give more voice to workers. Engagement with supply chain workers is an area where the industry needs to significantly improve, not least as engagement with workers can help identify, resolve, and prevent labor abuses in the supply chain that traditional monitoring systems do not catch.

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