Web to Facilitate Ethical Sourcing Initiative

Sweatshops. Child labor. The 19th-century world of substandard working conditions still is with us, as the global economy frequently depends on products and material produced in less-than-optimal conditions, even in unethically managed conditions. In the last few decades, as more and more manufacturing jobs have “migrated” overseas from the industrialized nations, especially the United States and Western Europe, auditing factory practices has become a major supporting activity related to supply chains. At last week’s National Retail Federation convention in New York City, a new, non-profit organization that will share factory audit information to encourage workplace standards compliance was announced.

The new group is the Fair Factories Clearinghouse, which will maintain a global database of compliance audit information provided voluntarily by retailers. One of the major benefits of membership in the FFC is expected to be efficiency resulting from access to a shared database of audit reports on specific factory conditions. The database’s security has been audited and certified in compliance with standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. The FFC has the ability to track factory compliance rules specified by the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism as well.

Founded by the NRF, the Retail Council of Canada, Reebok International Ltd., and human rights and business consultancy World Monitors Inc., the FFC also includes founding members Federated Merchandising Group, Hudson’s Bay Company, Mark’s Work Wearhouse Ltd., and the Wet Seal. Reebok International has donated software to construct and operate the FFC’s Web-based database. Support for the initiative comes from retail associations, participating companies, and grants, including grants from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Compliance standards are the business of participants, who can adhere to their own standards or those promulgated by such organizations as the Fair Labor Association (FLA), Social Accountability 8000 (SA 8000), Toy Industry Association, or the Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP). Retailers and brands interested participating in the FFC can contact Scott Krugman at the National Retail Federation, (202) 783-7971; or e-mail krugmans@nrf.com.

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.