With the release of the 2017 Ethical Fashion Report, many companies have now had the chance to improve their working conditions. We talked to Industrie about their improved grade in this year’s survey.
Industrie Clothing Party LTD is an Australian owned clothing brand which was founded in 1999, the brand has operations in 121 locations, including three select New Zealand stand-alone stores.
Industrie was invited into the survey in 2015 and due to communication issues did not participate, to which it was scored an F by default.
In 2016 Industrie had its first involvement with the survey, scoring a B-, which even for the 2016 report was above the global average grade of C.
This year, the grades were determined by four key factors, policies, knowing the suppliers, auditing and supplier relations, and worker empowerment. Each grade equaled out to give an average score.
For these factors, Industrie scored an A+ for policy, A- for suppliers, B- for auditing and C+ for worker empowerment.
The average grade received for the brand was a B+, a whole score higher than the global average of C+ for 2016. The average grade for New Zealand owned companies was a B+.
Inside the Industrie Factory
Rebecca Goddard, menswear head of production and ethical compliance for Industrie, says this year the company has put more focus on transparency and tracing to the source.
“[We] care about where our products are manufactured, by who and in what environment. Our philosophy and priority are to build a trustworthy and long-term ethical relationship with our suppliers,” says Goddard.
“This ensures continuity of the quality, look, and delivery of our products whilst maintaining a visible supply chain.”
In the report, a lot of companies’ grades were brought down because of worker empowerment. Which measured how workers are empowered to have their voice heard in the supply chain through trade unions, collective bargaining agreements, and grievance mechanisms.
The average grade for that was a C. Industrie scored just above with a C+.
But while that was the lowest grade mark for the company, Goddard says the company is continuously aiming to, “positively contribute to the working conditions of the people making our products.”
Over Industries three-year involvement with the survey they have improved a good deal and according to Goddard will continue to improve as their partnership with Baptist World Aid grows.
“Industrie has always been committed to ethical sourcing and working with factories in partnership, the collaboration with Baptist World Aid and publishing of the Ethical Fashion Report allows Industrie to publicly demonstrate this commitment and benchmark the company’s efforts against international brands.”
Industrie also has a video dedicated to showing the public how their items are made.
To further grow their ‘ethical score’ Industrie must focus on worker empowerment. Which involves the addition of more worker support from all aspects of the supply chain.
Goddard says that for the coming year the company is looking to improve its grade through “worker empowerment and continue tracing and increased auditing back to the raw materials source.”