The Need for Minimum Standards for Disclosure

Based on an analysis of apparel companies’ disclosure practices, it became clear that without minimum standards, companies’ efforts toward supply chain disclosures suffered from a range of deficiencies:

  • A lack of a common understanding of what constituted the first tier of a brand’s supply chain. For example, not disclosing any information about authorized subcontractors like external printers, embroiderers, and laundries that are essential to producing a finished product, without which it cannot be sold.
  • Publishing only a part of all cut-make-trim supplier factories, without specifying what was included.
  • Omitting factories’ street addresses, making it impossible to know where in a given country or city a factory was located.
  • Excluding names and addresses of factories used by licensees or agents.
  • Not specifying if supplier factory information was published for all or only some brands owned by the apparel company.
  • Not specifying whether the disclosure was for all or only some types of products.
  • Not describing what was being excluded from the disclosure.
  • Not stating what percentage of their total sourcing volume and supplier factories was published, the date the information was last updated, and how frequently such updates were made public.
  • Not publishing this data in downloadable and searchable formats.
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