Brands don’t hire garment workers; supply management does. So why should the brand be responsible for factory working conditions?
According to international standards, brand retain a clear responsibility to prevent, address, and mitigate adverse human rights impacts for the workers at the factories where they have their clothes produced. This is true before making the decision to start the contract, while sourcing at the factory and at the point they take the decision to leave the factory. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) were established to address the pervasive problem of global companies outsourcing production in order to evade legal responsibility for the consequences of their business practices.
Brands must invest in their workers’ safety, health and dignity. If not financially, they must collaborate with industry associations, share best practices and the cost of monitoring and verifying conditions in their supply chains.