You’ve heard of farm to table, but have you heard of farm to factory? Apparently neither have many companies.
A recent initiative by Not for Sale—an organization dedicated to ending modern-day slavery and human trafficking—looked at fifty apparel brands to assess how well they knew what was happening at each stage of their supply chain. They then graded companies on an A-F scale.
The report cards were not impressive. Of the fifty, twenty-eight scored C and below, meaning they were completely disconnected from the practices of their sources and subcontractors. Only seven scored an A. Findings further showed that a mere 8 percent engaged in unannounced audits and interviews in the factories they worked with. All of this raises the question: If companies have no idea about practices down their supply chain, how can consumers make informed decisions?
This topic was already foremost on our brains. In the past year, we’ve visited six out of our nine factories. We plan to visit the remaining three and explore our raw material sources in 2013.