Achieving Ethical Sourcing In The Apparel Industry

Table of Content

Globalization and monetary value witting consumers coupled with ample labor at a really inexpensive monetary value have contributed towards apparel fabricating traveling in to less developed states. As a consequence, developing states involved in fabrication gained the technological expertness, foreign investing, employment chances and economic growing whilst administrations enjoyed the benefits of cost advantage. However, with revelation of labour development in fabrication workss led to the creative activity of assorted labour criterions and codifications of behaviors with the purposes of heightening the on the job conditions of dress workers.

However increasing costs, decreasing borders, cultural barriers, size and the fiscal position of companies made it difficult to implement systems that would guarantee ethical souring as a consequence harmonizing to contrariness thesis the criterions brought wretchedness to the really people it had intended to assist through unemployment and slow economic growing doing good patterns merely a distinction tool for administrations. This accepts the demand for an ethical sourcing system, which facilitates the development of the industry and the labor criterions manus in manus whilst making a healthy working environment, and sees assorted degrees of join forcesing as the manner frontward.

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This subject will be discoursing issues related to ethical sourcing and deductions on implementing an accurate monitoring system in order to cut down and halt the development of labor in both developed and developing states. In geting at the decision, sub subjects such as Ethical Sourcing, Sweetshops, attitudes and committedness of consumers, multinationals ( retail merchants such as Nike and GAP ) will be analysed in deepness. Academic documents such as, the Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Retail and Distribution Management, Humanomics, South Asia Economics Journal, Clothing and Textile Research Journal has used. Therefore, the headers and sub headers discussed is derived from the corporate research on the subject.


The competitory advantage of any industry mostly depends on the cost construction, which determines concluding monetary value of the merchandise. Competitive advantage of dress fabrication has moved from part to part, the silkworm crises in Europe in the nineteenth century contributed towards the development of Nipponese fabric industry and in bend the dress industry. However, the development of the Nipponese economic system saw the addition in the labor cost and production costs which resulted in traveling industries such as dress fabrication in to other Asiatic states following the winging geese modal and at present states such as China, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Cambodia are chief participants ; in dress fabrication.

Harmonizing to the research conducted by Joergens ( 2006 ) , it is apparent that consumers are non willing to pay more for ethically manufactured merchandises. “ Sourcing garments ethically while supplying good on the job criterions ‘ , and conditions to workers and to supply sustainable concern modal in the fabrics ‘ state of beginning ” can be defined as ethical sourcing whilst harmonizing to Webster ‘s online dictionary ethical consumer is defined as “ a individual who conform to recognized criterions of societal or professional behavior ” ; .

Why Ethical Sourcing

Understanding the construct of a sweatshop is the best manner to understand Ethical Sourcing. Therefore, “ bring forthing garment whilst go againsting human rights of the employees such as civil, economic, political, and societal within the work topographic point can be define as a sweatshop ” , , child labor, unreasonable rewards and overtime wage, deficiency of wellness and safety policies are some of the specifying factors of a sweatshop.

2.1 Sweatshops:

Increased globalization in the retail concern has contributed towards addition in demand for merchandises and services. In order to ease the demand alterations and to derive a competitory place in the industry purchasers such as Nike, Reebok and GAP have depended on big figure of providers doing catching, farm outing and place worker a cardinal portion of the industry construction. Encouraging, the fabrication workss to be move from nonionized to non-unionist work sites, as in the instance of Phillips Van Heusen and Kimi shuting down mills in Guatemala and Honduras. Increased capital mobility coupled with plans such as NAFTA and GATT, which was design for a good cause, contributes towards come uping sweatshops as companies attempts to understate cost in order to maximize net incomes and stockholder wealth, utilizing developing states with ample supply of inexpensive labor with limited chance. For illustration Indian fabric and vesture industry provides employment for 35000 million 11 % of the labour force. The fabric and vesture industry in Sri Lanka contributes 6 % to its GDP ( Gross Domestic Production ) and employs 6 % of the labour force whilst doing fabric and vesture industry a major subscriber for states economic development.

2.2 Cardinal elements in placing a Sweatshop:

Violation of wellness and safety, freedom of association policies and patterns such as confined and child labors with low wage completes a sweatshop whilst deficiency of basic demands such as fire safety, clean imbibing H2O, and healthful demands falls under unequal wellness and safety installations. Harmonizing to Hobbs ( 1999 ) cited by Rivoli ( 2003 ) child labor is largely seeable in mills in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Mentioning to Kwong ( 1997 ) and Varley ( 1998 ) cited by Rivoli ( 2003 ) suggests patterns such as bonding of employees to retrieve the debt or amendss incurred, utilizing under age kids, coercing the employees to transcend the legal working hours in order to accomplish the day-to-day production program are all facets of child labor. In add-on striping the employees to being represent by independent brotherhoods in order to derive and pull foreign investors contributes towards distinguishing ethical sourcing from unethical sourcing.

Unethical activities seeable in the dress industry can be categorize in to three chief countries they are as follows employment/ human right, environment and merchandise consumer safety.

Reports available to the public gives information about countries of concerns but does non give adequate grounds of utmost instances and is mostly due to the deficiency of dependable information. However, happening 70 Thai immigrants in a US based mill for merely $ 0.70 cents per hr, GAP labelling merchandises manufactured in the Island of Saipan under inappropriate on the job conditions and hours as made in USA in order to salvage 20 % duty. NIKE using 8000 without an employment contract with an unhealthy work forces to adult females ratio utilizing Chinese migratory workers in Korea whilst transcending day-to-day legal working hours, restricting vacations ( 2-3 yearss per month ) with compulsory overtime and penalties for declining overtime. REEBOK subcontractor go againsting Chinese labors Torahs by transcending the maximal on the job hours per twenty-four hours with compulsory overtime and unpaid work for unfinished production marks, penalties for speaking during work which can number up to 18 yearss pay whilst non run intoing the lower limit pay and overtime wage demands gives adequate grounds and fuel against multinationals and sweatshops.

Stakeholder attitudes towards Ethical Sourcing

3.1 Public and Private Sector Initiatives:

Mentioning to Freeman ( 1984 ) Cited by Park and Rees ( 2008 ) administrations are apt to provide to the demands of assorted stakeholders. In early twenty-four hours the stakeholders included clients and stockholders and employees nevertheless mentioning to Freeman ( 1984 ) cited by Park ( 2008 ) in the present context stakeholders include any party who gets influenced due to the operational activities of the administration which includes suppliersaˆY workers and households apart from its ain employees.

United States ( US ) and European Union ( EU ) being the two major export markets for South Asian and other states coupled with the aggressive media coverage exposing cold operational activities which existed in the dress industry during the 1990s saw the US section of labour plighting its committedness towards halting improper activities in the US dress industry, whilst actuating the providers to be more knowing with respects to labor Torahs and practises and conformity and monitoring systems.

3.2 Consumers Attitude towards Ethical Sourcing:

Research conducted in the United States ( US ) found more than 74 % of the consumers would back up the forbiddance of merchandises produced under weak on the job conditions. Supported by study conducted in the United Kingdom ( UK ) where 86 % of the consumers were in favor of garments manufactured in ethical status with 66 % willing to boycott the merchandises manufactured under unethical conditions. In add-on study conducted suggest consumers are willing to pay 28 % more for $ 10 merchandise and 15 % more for a merchandise which is deserving $ 100. In contrast although consumers are willing to pay more for ethical merchandises and go ethical consumers harmonizing to Joergens ( 2006 ) they are seen as monetary value medium and would desire to purchase more for the sum they spend instead than purchasing few ethically manufactured merchandises.

Strategic Aspect of Ethical Sourcing

The external environment of an administration will act upon the manner it operates refering cost, quality, which in bend have an impact on how the providers are managed taking labor and ethical issues into consideration. Therefore good laid out strategic moves will heighten the public presentation of the administration whilst Hambrick ( 1983 ) and Porter ( 1974 ) cited by Dess and Davis ( 1984 ) suggests by looking at how administrations use their resources the strategic intend of the administrations can be identify. Harmonizing to Porter ( 1986 ) cited by Park and Dickson ( 2008 ) administrations can make a competitory advantage over the other participant from the manner the administration handles its resources. However, Murray ( 1988 ) believes that organizational surrounding in which it operates will find the value of the resources and doing environmental facets indispensable to the successful scheme whether it is distinction, cost leading or both. Harmonizing to Mintzberg ( 1988 ) cited by Park and Dickson ( 2008 ) the expanded version of porters generic schemes illustrates the scheme of being cost witting whilst pretermiting ethical issues in the dress industry will fall under distinction by monetary value, provided merchandises are sold at a cheaper monetary value in the market deriving them a competitory advantage over the participants likewise scheme related to ethical sourcing will be associated with distinction by image which will take to higher monetary values and making an sole image in the purchasers mind and lending towards deriving a competitory border over the other participants. In add-on with the addition in ethical issues related to dress sourcing all major administrations are seeking to distinguish by image utilizing schemes and apportioning resources harmonizing to market demand and tendencies. States such as Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have invested in following with the ethical criterions and are utilizing the better criterions maintained in the industry as a alone merchandising point. In add-on the “ Garments ; without Guilt ” ; initiative developed by the authorities and the private sector of Sri Lanka in order to place the state as an ethical sourcing finish has contributed towards Sri Lanka going the lone state with 39 International Labour Organisation Conventions deriving an advantage over the rivals as a maker who can provide to the demands of planetary consumers. Competitive advantage gained by Sri Lanka was mostly due to the timing of implementing the ”value making ” strategic enterprise.

Advantages of holding sweatshops and the Negative Aspects of Ethical Sourcing

Unskilled workers such as machine operators who are largely adult females in the South Asiatic states do non wish to prosecute a calling but they work in order to do some speedy hard currency before they get married or to lend towards the income of the family and raise the life criterions. In add-on, due to the development of the dress industry, based on the unskilled inexpensive labor, South Asian and other developing states were able to pull foreign investing and engineering in bend take downing the unemployment degrees, cut downing the rural poorness. Harmonizing to Heyward 1997 cited by Ponniah ( 1999 ) the 200 garment mill programme encouraged by the Sri Lankan authorities best illustrates the positive impact it had on the rural poorness and tapping in to the state ‘s untapped cheap labour market. However, ethical sourcing policies by the western authoritiess and multinationals and the difference in thought and fortunes that exists in the Asiatic part and developing states have resulted higher labor costs promoting purchasers to travel to another cheaper fabrication finish for illustration: Nike traveling in to Taiwan and Korea from Japan whilst making unemployment.


Harmonizing to Gere and Korzeniewiz ( 1994 ) cited by Park and Dickson, outsourcing have made administrations depend on an international supply concatenation which consists contractors, subcontractors, agents and distributers doing it hard to command, proctor and implement good working patterns of the participants in the supply concatenation.

Both purchasers and makers are concentrating on ethical sourcing and production chiefly because of the possible profitableness, due to the intense force per unit area from authorities and private sector. The purchasers need to take between cost advantages and negative harmful promotion, which can hold a long permanent consequence on the profitableness of the administrations. Therefore, at times a corporate societal duty policy and well-documented codifications of behavior can be use as a selling tool. Similarly, in the instance of makers following with the market demands and being compliant will do them more attractive to the foreign and local investors once more increasing the gross by distinguishing them from the remainder of the rivals changing the intent of Corporate Social Responsibility and Codes of Conduct.

Retailers work with many providers from different parts, therefore it is really difficult to develop every bit good as adhere to Codes of Conduct because of troubles faced when pass oning the content due to cultural and linguistic communication barriers, although some administrations have gone to the extent of working together with the providers helping them financially when required, in implementing and supervising conformity standard whilst demoing committedness. The existent intent of the administration remains a quandary since retail merchants are working with provider from states that does non follow with these policies, without a clear cut reply to who is bearing the cost involved in implementing and supervising these criterions. Making the purchasers the chief cause of monetary value wars and development, of labor in the dress industry.

In add-on, execution of codifications and good working patterns, supports the facet of “ Perversity thesis where Anti-Sweat Movement hazards go forthing in worse passs the really people allegedly being helped by the motion ” . Therefore particularly in the development states where some employment is better than no employment ethical sourcing policies brings desolation to the really people it tried to assist through higher unemployment, Lost income and slower economic development.

In a concern environment where market and non-market forces are buttonholing for an ethical behavior, organizational leaders are stuck between two universes due to the contrariness thesis. Sweatshop conditions are difficult to extinguish due to cultural barriers ( linguistic communication and beliefs ) , size of the houses, differences in the market segments retail merchants mark, and governmental policies. Yet the administrations are traveling towards keeping a balance by taking up a collaborative stance with the providers to undertake the ethical sourcing jobs predominating in classs such as human rights, environment and consumer safety, to make a socially responsible purchasing and direction system which provides houses with improved economic public presentation whilst understating the negative impacts such as, loss of employment and decelerate economic growing. The outgrowth of the in-between land suggests the two groups for and against ethical labor criterions to trust, that purchasers would maintain on outsourcing it ‘s production to the states with low wages which will ease the economic growing coupled with the political support to promote the “ race to the underside ” aboard ever-increasing demand for better criterions and higher fiscal additions for all employees.

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Achieving Ethical Sourcing In The Apparel Industry. (2017, Jul 22). Retrieved from

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