The results can be tragic f o r tho se explo ited and

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Unformatted text preview: blem o f sweatsho p labo r has plagued the clo thing industry f o r years. Managers o f ten f eel the pressure to seek ever-lo wer co sts and all to o o f ten end up cho o sing suppliers with unacceptably po o r practices. Even well-meaning f irms can f ind themselves stung by co rnercutting partners that hide practices f ro m audito rs o r truck pro ducts in f ro m unmo nito red o f f site lo catio ns. The results can be tragic f o r tho se explo ited, and can carry lasting negative ef f ects f o r the f irm. The sweatsho p mo niker co ntinues to do g Nike years af ter allegatio ns were unco vered and the f irm mo ved aggressively to deal with its pro blems. Nike rival Reebo k (no w part o f Adidas) has always taken wo rking co nditio ns serio usly. The f irm even has a Vice P resident o f Human Rights and has made human dignity a key platf o rm f o r its philanthro pic ef f o rts. Reebo k invested millio ns in develo ping an in-ho use inf o rmatio n system to track audits o f its hundreds o f suppliers alo ng dimensio ns such as labo r, saf ety, and enviro nmental practices. The go al in part was to identif y any bad apples, so that o ne divisio n, spo rting go o ds, f o r example, wo uldn’t use a co ntracto r identif ied as unacceptable by the sneaker line. The data was valuable to Reebo k, particularly given that the f irm has hundreds o f co ntract suppliers. But senio r management realized the system wo uld do even mo re go o d if the who le industry co uld share and co ntribute inf o rmatio n. Reebo k went o n to do nate this system and pro vided critical backing to help create the no npro f it o rganizatio n Fair Facto ries Clearingho use. With management that included f o rmer lawyers f o r Amnesty Internatio nal, Fair Facto ries (FairFacto ries.o rg) pro vides systems where apparel and o ther industries can share audit inf o rmatio n o n co ntract manuf acturers. Launching the ef f o rt wasn’t as easy as sharing the techno lo gy. The U.S. Department o...
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