Asos partners with GoodWeave to address labour rights in supply chain
Online retailer Asos has announced it is partnering with GoodWeave International, a non-profit organisation working to end child, forced and bonded labour in global supply chains, to address label risks in fashion apparel and accessories suppliers in India.
The collaboration will mean that Asos will utilise GoodWeave’s assessments in its supply chain in India to strengthen its current approach to understanding and addressing child labour rights and modern slavery through auditing and local engagement.
Asos said in a statement that three strategic suppliers in India will be enrolled into the programme initially, with further suppliers added in the months ahead. Each supplier will undergo audits and unannounced inspections by dedicated GoodWeave staff trained to identify potential risks and issues of forced, bonded and child labour.
Asos teams up with GoodWeave in India
As part of the GoodWeave Standard, the non-profit organisation works to: bring visibility to global supply chains through deep supply chain mapping; protect informal and marginalised workers; provide assurance that products are free of child, forced and bonded labour; and address any incidences of child and forced labour identified, as well as carry out preventative local community and workplace interventions which protect vulnerable children and workers.
GoodWeave also works to trace back each stage of a product’s manufacturing journey, including subcontractors and even home-based workers, a key risk area for fashion apparel and accessories manufacture in India and often an invisible source of bonded, forced and child labour, rather than just focusing on the final-stage manufacturing facility.
Adil Rehman, head of ethical trade at Asos, said: “There can be no place for forced, bonded or child labour in the fashion industry, but these risks are always present within complex global supply chains.
“With this new partnership with GoodWeave, we’re taking our modern slavery and ethical trade work one step further through assurance and deep supply chain mapping, helping us to ensure that workers are protected and their rights respected.”
The first products covered under the GoodWeave Standard are expected to be sold on Asos in late 2023.
Nina Smith, chief executive at GoodWeave International, added: “For nearly three decades GoodWeave has advanced working conditions in the rug and textiles sector, and we are proud to be launching this partnership targeted at apparel and accessories supply chains together with Asos. A number of reports indicate that child labour and modern slavery are high-risk in India’s garment industry.
“To combat this problem and meet the requirements of increased human rights due diligence legislation globally, it’s critical that fashion businesses partner with organisations like GoodWeave to prevent hidden exploitation in outsourced, subcontracted supply chains.”