Retail clothing organisation Primark has published a global sourcing map giving full details of factories in its supply chain. The move has been made to allay criticisms of the company’s ethical practices regarding supply relationship management.
The information, available on Primark’s website, covers the location of the factories that supply 95% of the company’s clothing stock. All of these factories are required to meet Primark’s ethical and environmental standards of conduct.
The map includes the names and addresses of the factories as well as the number of workers at each and the gender balance among the workforce. It details every factory that has produced supplies for Primark for at least a year that has subsequently become an established supplier.
“During the first year, a factory has to demonstrate that it can consistently work to Primark’s ethical standards, as well as meet our commercial requirements in areas such as quality and timely delivery,” a company statement announced. “Factories featured on the map produce over 95% of Primark’s products for sale in our stores.”
Primark has previously kept its supply chain information private in order to maintain a commercial advantage over its competitors. In releasing the information publically, the organisation is following a trend among other retailers – some of which use the same suppliers and factories – for full disclosure of supply chain sourcing.
Primark stressed that it did not own any factories but required all suppliers to meet the company’s code of conduct, based on the standards of the UN International Labour Organisation. Compliance is monitored via spot checks and audits carried out by Primark’s ethical trade and environmental sustainability team. The global sourcing map will be updated twice-yearly, the company said.
Suppliers will be required to reduce their environmental impact as well as meeting workplace standards. Primark has faced fierce criticism in the past regarding its supply chain practices, particularly in areas of safety and environmental damage.