Accelerating Supply Chain Transparency in the Apparel and Footwear Industry
This report describes how dozens of brands and retailers are publicly disclosing information about their supplier factories. This has become a widely accepted step toward better identifying and addressing labor abuses in garment supply chains.
How Apparel Brand Purchasing Practices Drive Labor Abuses
This report identifies key practices by clothing companies that fuel abusive cost-cutting methods by factories that harm workers. Many global brands tout their commitment to ensuring rights-respecting workplaces in the factories that produce their goods, but undercut their efforts with relentless pressure on suppliers to drive down prices or produce faster, Human Rights Watch found. Many suppliers respond to those pressures with abusive cost-cutting methods that harm workers. One factory owner ruefully summarized the problem, saying that brands are “paying for a bus ticket and expecting to fly.”
This report documents a range of violations in Pakistan’s garment factories. They include a failure to pay minimum wages and pensions, suppression of independent labor unions, forced overtime, insufficient breaks, and disregarded regulations requiring paid maternity and medical leave. Human Rights Watch also identified problems in the government’s labor inspection system. Pakistan authorities should revamp labor inspections and systematically hold factories accountable for abuses. Domestic and international apparel brands should take more effective measures to prevent and correct labor rights abuses in the factories that produce clothing for them.
The Need for Supply Chain Transparency in the Garment and Footwear Industry
This report comes just ahead of the fourth anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse disaster in Bangladesh. It calls for companies to adopt the Apparel and Footwear Supply Chain Transparency Pledge. Companies that align with the pledge agree to publish information identifying the factories that produce their goods, addressing a key obstacle to rooting out abusive labor practices across the industry and helping to prevent disasters like the Rana Plaza collapse.