Reuters Sustainable Business: Open Apparel Registry is a powerful new tool shining a light on the garment industry

Reuters Sustainable Business, May 2019

The OAR will bring huge benefits to the work of our diverse and global movement – from concerned companies, to investors, civil society and governments. It allows us to appreciate the complexity and breadth of supply chains. It also allows us to track back the abuse reported in apparel factories to ensure brands are informed of violations, and are taking action: due diligence to end abuse, and remedy for those harmed.

It’s no secret that fashion industry supply chains have created millions of jobs for women in many poor regions of the world. Some of those women have decent work, leading to dignified and empowered lives. Unfortunately, it is also no secret that millions of workers making our clothes face abuse in murky global supply chains. Intense high street competition and demands of shareholders for short-term returns drive unscrupulous purchasing practices seeking the “cheapest needle” and rapid delivery.

Apparel brands too often turn a blind eye to human and labour rights violations faced by garment workers, from forced labour and sexual exploitation to poor wages and denial of the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

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