Supply Chain Compliance
Code of Conduct Adherence Verification
Adherence with our Code of Conduct within our supply chain is monitored through a comprehensive assessment process. We understand, though, that an assessment, on its own, does not improve working conditions. An assessment is a lens that shows a snapshot of working conditions as they are at a moment in time. The commitment to continuous improvement efforts within a facility between assessments together with responsible business practices will help drive positive and sustainable results.
Independent monitoring companies are a pivotal part of our assessment process due to the legal expertise, familiarity with local culture and language, and technical knowledge required to adequately and appropriately assess the working conditions in a factory. Representatives from the independent monitoring companies visit the factories to assess compliance with both the local law and internationally recognized labor standards. The assessment includes:
- a walkthrough of the entire physical facility and working environment;
- a review of documentation such as internal policies, procedures, payroll records, and training records;
- private interviews with workers.
At the end of each assessment, the assessors inform the factory management of any opportunities for improvement. The factory management examine the root cause, develop a preventative action plan, and assign a person responsible for implementing each area of improvement within a specified timeframe.
We give a rating to every facility after each assessment based on the severity of the noncompliances identified. Factories are typically assessed annually or, in some cases, every other year. In factories where major noncompliances with the Code of Conduct are found, assessments occur every 6 months until the major noncompliances are corrected. In these cases, our supply chain sustainability team works closely with the factory management to provide support implementing the areas of improvement.
Our Corporate Social Responsibility team collaborates on a regular basis with manufacturing, sourcing, and licensing teams to support informed, responsible decisions regarding business partner relationships. Prior to production beginning at any facility, FOTL requires an assessment by an independent monitoring company at each potential manufacturer. If conditions do not meet expectations, the facility is not permitted to begin manufacturing until the requested improvements are implemented.
All factories and subcontractors are given a copy of our Supplier Guidelines, a resource that includes the Code of Conduct, a description of the assessment process, policies, and other guidelines for the suppliers.
Supply Chain Sustainability
Sustainability is a process that supports our supply chain by identifying the opportunities for improvement with regards to factory safety and social compliance. Our supply chain sustainability team assists factories with remediation support through onsite visits and educational training to help implement sustainable processes and promote continuous improvement.
Fruit of the Loom has dedicated resources working with the suppliers to assist in remediating noncompliances identified during the factory assessment. The supply chain sustainability team reviews the corrective action plan for any major noncompliances to ensure that sustainable solutions are identified and they adequately address the root cause. Once the corrective action plan is approved, the supply chain sustainability team establishes a communication timeline to follow-up and visit the factory, if necessary, to collaborate with suppliers in the implementation of sustainable corrective actions and to share industry best practices as part of our ongoing education and capacity building initiatives. When factories are unwilling to implement improvements to meet our Code of Conduct, even after support from our sustainability team is offered, we may proceed to discontinue our relationship with the factory.
Our Sustainability Partners
AAFA is a national trade association that works on behalf of the apparel and footwear industry on public policy. It enables a collaborative forum to promote best practices and innovation in the areas of global trade, social responsibility, sustainability, product safety, intellectual property, and government procurement issues for the continued success and growth of the apparel and footwear industry. Fruit of the Loom has been a member since 2016.
The Accord is an independent agreement designed to make all garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces. It includes independent safety inspections at factories and public reporting of the results of these inspections. Where safety issues are identified, retailers commit to ensuring that repairs are carried out, that sufficient funds are made available to do so, and that workers at these factories continue to be paid a salary. The Accord is a legally binding agreement. Fruit of the Loom joined the Accord in December 2013.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety was founded by a group of North American apparel companies and retailers and brands who have joined together to develop and launch the Bangladesh Worker Safety Initiative, a binding, five-year undertaking that will be transparent, results-oriented, measurable and verifiable with the intent of improving safety in Bangladeshi ready-made garment (RMG) factories. Collectively, these Alliance members represent the overwhelming majority of North American imports of RMG from Bangladesh. Fruit of the Loom joined the Alliance in September 2013.
Fundación Empresarial para la Acción Social
To promote the economic and social development of El Salvador, Fundemas works to strengthen the private sector’s commitment to philanthropy and social responsibility and to support entrepreneurial initiatives. As the largest private employer in the country, Fruit is an active member and supporter of the organization.
A partnership between the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Better Work unites the expertise of the ILO in labor standards with the IFC private sector development experience. The goal of Better Work is to bring together local enterprises, international buyers, governments, and workers’ and employers’ organizations to improve labor standards and competitiveness in global supply chains. Fruit has engaged with Better Work to work with factories in Haiti.
Fundación Hondureña de Responsabilidad Social Empresarial
A membership-based organization, FUNDAHRSE’s mission is to promote socially responsible enterprises in Honduras. Fruit has been awarded the FUNDAHRSE RSE Seal, recognizing our long-term commitment to corporate social responsibility in the country.
The FLA is a multi-stakeholder, nonprofit organization made up of universities, civil society organizations, and companies that have joined to protect workers' rights and improve working conditions. Our company has been a member of the FLA since 2002 and an accredited Participating Company since 2011.