Checked out our #hidden campaign yet? We’re hitting up brands like BONDS to publish the location of their factories.
We have already been in contact with a few companies on Facebook and have received some pretty vague and BS responses. So as a handy little guide we’ve put together this FBA to make your life a little easier – welcome to the Frequent Bull**** Answers!
If someone answers your questions with a bit of BS feel free to retort back with one of these. If you’re not sure how to respond then just hit us up at 3things and we can advise you from there.
If they say: “We don’t publicly disclose our factories as doing so would give our competitors opportunity to access our sources.”
You can say: Nike, Adidas, Puma, Levi and Timberland have all been disclosing their factories lists for a number of years now without any problems about their competitors and their privacy information. H&M have also recently published their full factory lists as well as Kmart Australia who has started with their Bangladesh suppliers – so would you consider joining this best practice and publishing your lists of suppliers?
“We have a … Group Audit Policy which outlines in detail the ethical and responsible manufacturing practices we expect from our suppliers. Each factory, whatever its previous results, must be audited no less frequently than once per year.”
Okay great to hear that you audit your factories but do you release the results of these audits? We need to be able to see what kind of problems have been picked up in factories – and more importantly if they have been resolved.
Prior to the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, two of the factories inside it had been audited but safety risks had not been identified. We need you to publish the names of these factories so that any group (local NGO or union) can independently visit the factory site and talk to the workers. We have discovered that workers can be too scared to tell auditors about problems at factories for fear of losing their jobs. Workers are much more likely to talk to an independent group outside of the factory.
Kmart have published their Bangladesh supplier list and have committed to publishing suppliers in other countries this year – will you also take this step?
“The … Group has agreed on a Code of Conduct to be adhered to by any factory making goods for sale within any of their divisions. We would like to stress further that being a signatory to a code in itself is not a guarantee that exploitation will not take place. That is why we have taken further practical steps to ensure that our garments are ethically produced.”
Ok can you tell me what practical steps you are taking? Are you ensuring that workers are receiving a living wage rather than the base minimum wage? I understand that the minimum wage in most countries means that workers are still living in poverty.