“More apparel companies should join 17 prominent apparel brands that have aligned with an important new transparency pledge,” a coalition of unions and human rights and labour rights advocates said in a joint report issued today. The pledge makes the companies committed to publish information that will help advocates, workers, and consumers to find out where their products are made.
Coming ahead of the fourth anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse disaster in Bangladesh, the 40-page report entitled Follow the Thread: The Need for Supply Chain Transparency in the Garment and Footwear Industry calls for companies to adopt the transparency pledge, according to which, the companies must publish information wherein the factories that produce their goods are identified, thereby addressing a key obstacle to rooting out abusive labour practices across the industry.
72 companies were contacted by the coalition and asked to carry out the pledge. The report details the responses and measures their current supply chain transparency practices against the pledge. “A basic level of supply chain transparency in the garment industry should be the norm in the 21st century. Openness about a company’s supply chain is better for workers, better for human rights, and shows that companies care about preventing abuse in their supply chains,” averred Aruna Kashyap, Senior Counsel for Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch. This initiative to adopt the pledge was resultant of the two major disasters in Bangladesh – Rana Plaza building collapse and Tazreen Fashions factory disaster.
The coalition consists of Clean Clothes Campaign, Human Rights Watch, IndustriALL Global Union, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, the International Labour Rights Forum, the International Trade Union Confederation, the Maquila Solidarity Network, UNI Global Union, and the Worker Rights Consortium.
The alliance urges companies that have not aligned with the pledge to do so by December. “Adhering to a minimum level of supply chain transparency in the pledge is important for accountability efforts,” said Judy Gearhart, Executive Director at International Labour Rights Forum.