H&M, Levi’s and Nike are among the fashion retailers and brands signed up to a new initiative to improve conditions in the global supply chain.
The project, led by non-profit organisation the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, aims to develop an industry-wide, standardised methodology to assess labour conditions in apparel and footwear manufacturing.
This will reduce the amount spent on duplicated auditing and the savings could be invested in improving social welfare for millions of people, the SAC said.
Signatories include H&M, Levi’s, Nike, Adidas and Timberland, as well as a handful of NGOs, auditing firms and non-profit organisations.
Tobias Fischer, sustainability manager at H&M, said: “H&M strongly believes that the sustainability challenges we are facing in the textile supply chain requires joint efforts since all parties have a shared responsibility and have a stake in it. This was one of the key reasons H&M joined SAC as a founding member in 2010.
“We acknowledge the challenge to agree on a common standard. However, the industry has changed. The experiences from different initiatives (such as the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh) show the industry has taken significant steps forward and are willing to find joint solutions for a common good.
“H&M is therefore ready to support this project for a common social assessment in the apparel supply chain.”
Baptiste Carriere-Pradal, European vice-president of SAC, said: “This initiative will accelerate a race to the top in social impacts within apparel and footwear manufacturing countries by shifting resources away from redundant and misaligned assessments to performance improvement and enhanced transparency.”