Globalisation and a broader awareness of social conditions in foreign countries is raising awareness around the issue of social compliance.
Technological innovation and the internet have ensured journalists, activists and the consumers are no longer oblivious to where, how and under what conditions products are produced. This means that companies can no longer claim that they did not know where they were buying their goods or plead ignorance about how working conditions.
Globally, the most common method of examining a production facilities compliance is through an audit process. The most common types of audits are:
- Amfori BSCI Report
- WRAP Certification
- SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit Report)
The Sedex Report is the newest and most popular form of auditing system and is used commonly within the Australian marketplace. The system operates via ongoing paid subscription, lowering overall client costs.
Manufacturers audited by Sedex are rated A-D depending on their level of compliance and are provided with detailed correction plans to allow factories to improve where required. Reporting covers the areas of Labour Standards, Health & Safety, Environmental Matters and Business Ethics. A manufacturer’s supplier code appearing on the Sedex website provides reassurance that the supplier is compliant from a social compliance perspective.
To view findings of an audit, businesses can opt to subscribe to Sedex. This provides them a greater level of transparency across audit findings and supplier operations.
Some products require further scrutiny to ensure the components of their products also meet relevant standards. For example, if you are distributing wearables, it is not only a requirement to prove that the manufacturer of the final garment is compliant, but that fabric and threads used have also been produced via a compliant process.
For suppliers of apparel and fabric products, testing like OEKO-Tex is common. EOKO-Tex certifies products have been manufactured with safe, sustainable materials. Threads and fabric are tested to ensure no harmful chemicals have been used in the production/dyeing process.
With the supply chain being more open and transparent than ever before, social compliance holds a place of significant importance in the Promotional Products industry.
Do you care about where your promotional products come from?
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