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FLA Fashion Project

Over the last few years the fashion sector has seen an impressive push towards “green” and “ethical” manufacturing and sourcing. While there are a growing number of initiatives certifying the production standards for some of the raw materials, little information is available for labor standards in the rest of the supply chain. Labor standards are not systematically evaluated in many global supply chains, often meaning that wages and working conditions are pushed downward in a race to the bottom to enable consumers to purchase cut-rate fashion.

The FLA Fashion Project is made up of three initiatives:

  1. Grouping companies from the same sector in a consultative platform to share and pool experiences, resources and costs;
  2. Developing new partnerships with technical institutions and civil society organizations in order to bring different resources and perspectives to the table;
  3. Informing consumers, who are increasingly concerned about the ethics behind their favorite labels

FLA works in partnership with the University of Delaware, the Central American Polytechnic Institute and Gildan Activewear Inc., and developed two sets of tools to help fashion companies ensure the ethical manufacturing of their products:

  1. Skills to assess their own corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sourcing policy and to make sure all the processes are in place to do business in an ethical way;
  2. Skills to assess the suppliers: a “pre-sourcing tool” assesses the general compliance readiness of a supplier and gives the company a way of selecting business partners. The “code of conduct scan tool” then provides a deeper picture of the suppliers’ labor compliance performance and points out the issues that need to be remediated.

For more information about the FLA Fashion Project, please contact Sabrina Bosson at sbosson@fairlabor.org.