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RESPECT survey sheds light on purchasing habits

The RESPECT Project is an initiative of the European Commission, supported by FLA, which encourages buyers and suppliers to engage in more responsible purchasing practices. In support of this project, FLA conducted an online survey among 25 buyers and 30 suppliers from various sectors throughout Asia, Central America, the Middle East and Bulgaria. Several FLA member and affiliates – including Zephyr Graf-X, adidas Group, Patagonia, Mountain Equipment Co-op, New Wave, The s. Oliver Group, and prAna – participated in the survey.

Of the buyers:

  • 100% have a dedicated department in charge of social and labor compliance issues in their supply chains
  • 100% declare that this department collaborates with their sourcing/purchasing department
  • 96% make efforts to align sourcing/purchasing criteria and workplace standards in their supply chains
  • 76% are willing to collaborate more with suppliers and other stakeholders on the issue

Of the suppliers:

  • 97% train factory staff on workplace standards and labor compliance
  • 97% have factory staff communicate and work together with their compliance staff/department
  • 80% hold factory staff responsible for workplace standards and labor compliance in their own factories and supply chain
  • 87% are willing to collaborate with more brands
  • 57% are willing to collaborate with more stakeholders

The survey results indicate that suppliers are aware of the impact of purchasing decisions on workplace standards and feel that they have some bargaining power when negotiating with brands’ purchasing/sourcing staff. Further, survey results show that the elements with the greatest impact on CSR/compliance are planning, pricing, lead time decision, approval process, vendor nomination, and sampling. The willingness of the survey participants to engage in open and honest dialogue about these issues speaks to their commitment to continuous improvement and collaboration.

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