Thursday, November 18, 2010

Levi's, Wal-Mart, and Gap Top Apparel Supply Chain Compliance Survey

Report provides scorecard of top apparel manufacturers

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Levi Strauss and Co., Wal-Mart Stores, The Gap Inc., Hanesbrands, Nordstrom, and Gildan Activewear scored highest on a unique survey of global supply chain compliance programs of U.S. apparel brands and retailers released today by corporate responsibility group As You Sow.

"Towards a Safe, Just Workplace: Apparel Supply Chain Compliance Programs" features a scorecard and report that provides for the first publicly available comparable baseline data to evaluate the compliance programs of many of the top apparel companies doing business in the U.S. The project was designed to provide information on the substance and scope of programs developed to improve factory working conditions.

The report ranks the resources allocated and actions companies are employing on key compliance actions such as factory auditing, remediation, continuous improvement, collaboration, company management accountability, and transparency. "The report demonstrates that several major brands are employing an impressive amount of resources to address social compliance in their supply chains, but that other popular brands are lagging," said Amy Galland, Research Director, As You Sow.

Major recommendations for companies include:

•Put more resources into continuous improvement and capacity building

•Emphasize initiatives that empower workers

•Integrate factory compliance performance into compensation for executives

•Analyze purchasing practices and commit more resources to improve practices (As You Sow released a report on this challenge earlier this year)

•Increase detailed public reporting on specific supply chain audit findings and remediation actions

"Global sourcing has sparked controversies over factory working conditions for more than a decade. We are pleased with the leadership shown by the top scorers in our survey, but more than 15 companies in this sector should be willing to publicly discuss how they are managing these issues," said Conrad MacKerron, Senior Program Director at As You Sow, who conceived the project after involvement in shareholder dialogues with many companies on labor and human rights issues. The report offers valuable data for other companies to compare themselves with, and for stakeholders to use to further verify company claims. As You Sow plans to follow up with companies that did not respond to the survey.

The report is available here:

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