Major Retailers Get Top Marks for Supply Chain Compliance

Levi Strauss and Co., Wal-Mart Stores, The Gap Inc., Hanesbrands Inc., Gildan Activewear Inc. and Nordstrom Inc. scored highest on a survey of global supply chain compliance programs of apparel brands and retailers recently released by corporate responsibility group As You Sow.

“Towards a Safe, Just Workplace: Apparel Supply Chain Compliance Programs” ( features a scorecard and report that provides publicly available comparable baseline data with which to evaluate the compliance programs of many of the top apparel companies doing business in the United States. 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, and offers recommendations that include:
* Put more resources into continuous improvement, working with suppliers to build management capacity, training workers and managers on labor rights and health and safety, and tracking key performance indicators.
* Greater emphasis on initiatives specifically aimed at empowering workers.
* Integrate factory compliance performance into compensation for executives.
* Analyze purchasing practices to assess if internal policies exacerbate violations 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.
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