A challenge many ethical shoppers face today is the lack of supply chain information. Without knowing anything about fabrics sourcing and clothes stitching, it’s difficult for shopper to make informed decisions and buy better. But the problem is that even clothing companies do not necessarily know where their clothes are being made.
Since majority of today’s fashion brands do not own their manufacturing facilities, it is difficult to monitor or control working conditions throughout the supply chain. A brand might place an order with one supplier, who carves up the order and subcontracts the work to other factories. This happens regularly across the industry and presents a great challenge for brands themselves as well as the people working in the supply chain who become invisible in this process.
As more garment factory accidents surfaced and were made known to the public, large retailers, especially the ones that are linked to the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse, are more conscious about their reputation, and they have gotten much more careful with the factories they work with. They create their code of conducts and regularly audit factories to ensure the working conditions meet their standards. Chikako Oka, a lecturer at Royal Holloway University, found that reputation-conscious companies (mostly large retailers) had 35 percent fewer working violations in their Cambodian factories than did generic brands. After all, large retailers still have more incentives and resources to defend their reputations and treat their workers better than some smaller retailers (generally speaking).
Earlier this year, Fashion Revolution and Ethical Consumer worked together to rank companies based on their supply chain transparency. And Baptist World Aid also did an executive summary on brands based on working policies too. Full reports here and here.
I hope you find this post helpful! Have a good weekend!
Smile and style on~
Dress :: Greylin (Made in USA)
Other Greyline Dresses that I love:
Shoes: Zara (Old, ZARA has a sustainable collection now)
Not ZARA, but Other Orange Evening Heels that I Admire: