Companies and NGOs are finding new ways to assess and address conditions in the second tier and are striving to get suppliers to improve standards
The complexity of garment industry supply chains makes following all the threads to a finished product difficult. Unlike some other industries, garment factories can have multiple suppliers and factories can be working for more than one clothing company. Tying up all the loose ends, so to speak, to learn who is operating responsibly, is challenging.
Companies and NGOs, though, have new tools and are finding new ways to better assess and address conditions in the second tier of operations and doing what they can to get all suppliers to meet the same standards. The second tier includes businesses that don't provide supplies directly to a manufacturer and issues such as supplier management, product design, manufacturing rationalisation and distribution,
“In general, this is an emerging theme , especially on the environmental side,” says Jason Kibbey, CEO of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), a San Francisco-based alliance to promote sustainable production in the apparel, footwear and home textile industry. Members created the Higg Index, a common measurement system for the sustainability impacts of apparel."We’d like to see the industry focus on what it would like to see for minimum requirements in tier two. Focused clarity would go a long way...