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Using
Disruptive Technology
to REFORM
the Garment Industry
Julie Horwat
Danielle Masursky
Vanessa Harrington
Bangladesh
Bangladesh
• Created by British partition of India in 1947
• Formerly called East Pakistan
• War for independence in 1971
...
Bangladesh Garment Industry
• Estimated as many as 5,000 factories
• Employs an
estimated
15 million
workers in
factories ...
Bangladesh Garment Industry
• Fulfils a crucial role in
economy:
• Accounts for approx
76% of the country's
total exports
...
Bangladesh Garment Industry
• Has supplanted China as
preferred location for
textile plants, has the
lowest wages
• Helps ...
Bangladesh Wages
The minimum wage in the Bangladesh garment
industry is equal to about $38 a month
Bangladesh Wages
• Most are unskilled; jobs in clothing factories
are their only opportunity to escape poverty
• Workers c...
Bangladesh Garment Workers
• Industry anchors the
economy and sustains
millions of families
• However, has lead to
develop...
Global Race to the Bottom
Staff member, U.S. House Education and the
Workforce Committee:
• “The fashion industry has desi...
Citizen Protest
Despite protests by tens of thousands of citizens, gov’t
refused to raise minimum wage
Government Response
• Widespread gov’t corruption
• Suppressed protestors with rubber bullets and
tear gas
The Dilemma
Gov’t knows that if it raises wages, garment
industry will move to another country
This would
cause
economic
d...
Corporate Responsibility
Retailers and apparel
companies
can make a difference,
and they will, if pressured
by consumers
“...
Trend Towards Consumer Activism
Socially
Responsible
Investing
Shareholder
Advocacy
Fair Trade
Movement
Corporate Responsibility
Consumers are increasing supporting companies
with ethical supply chains:
Fair Indigo, a fair tra...
Corporate Responsibility
Knights Apparel produces
ethically made sports logo
apparel for universities
A response to pressu...
Corporate Responsibility
• Alta Gracia was founded
in 2010 as a division of KA
• The only apparel
company in the
developin...
Transparency
“Transparency means that you disclose where
your products are being produced in a way that
lets independent t...
Transparency
The idea of an industry policing itself and
offering consumers an educated choice is nothing new
Motion Pictu...
Food Industry Solutions
• As a result of pressure from consumers, food
producers and retailers are embracing
transparency ...
Whole Foods Market
Produce Ratings
• Responsibly Grown
– Pesticides
– GMO’s
– Bee & Butterfly
– Farmworker Health & Safety...
Chipotle
• Has positioned itself as
a leader in
“sustainable” food
sourcing
• Marketing strategy
since 2001 touts “food
wi...
Garment Industry Solutions
Many NPOs are developing standards for
sustainable and fair industry practices
Follow the model...
Solution: Consumer Empowerment
Information would be present without the
consumer needing to do their own research
Shopper ...
Fair Working Conditions
• Quality auditing organization
• Measure and formally accredit best
employment practices worldwid...
FWC Standards
• Earnings/Overtime
• Working Hours
• Under Age Workers
• Occupational Health & Safety
• Discrimination, For...
Earnings & Overtime
• Wages paid for a
standard work week
must meet the legal and
industry standards
• Wages must be
suffi...
Working Hours
• Comply with the applicable
law
• No more than 48 hours per
week
• At least 1 day off for every 7
day perio...
Underage Workers
• No workers under the
age of 15
• Lowered to 14 for
countries operating
under the ILO
Convention 138
Dev...
Discrimination, Discipline,
Forced Labor
• No discrimination based on
race, caste, origin, religion,
disability, gender, s...
Occupational Health & Safety
• Provide a safe and
healthy work
environment
• Take steps to prevent
injuries
• Regular heal...
Collective Bargaining
• Respect the right to
form and join trade
unions and bargain
collectively
• Wlaw prohibits these
fr...
• Founded by a group of leaders from global
apparel and footwear companies
• Recognize that addressing the industry’s
curr...
The Higg Index 2.0
• Developed for apparel and footwear products to
assess both environmental and social/labor
performance...
The Higg Index 2.0
Technology-Based Solution
Aggregate existing audit systems and metrics
– Fair Working Conditions Standards
– Higg Index cr...
Technology: QR Code
App-based access to “life cycle” information
about intended purchase: consumer scans
code and life cyc...
Technology: Bar Code Scanner
Price check-style
scanners located in
stores: consumer
takes product to
scanner and scanner
d...
Technology: Google Glass
Google Glass or similar technology displays
life cycle information about purchase
Technology: Corning Glass
Interactive glass
screens adjacent to
product would
display life cycle
information
Technology: Websites
The same life cycle
information about
shoes and clothing
would be available
on retail websites
SUMMARY
By helping consumers vote
with their dollars:
– Pressure
corporations to
provide a living
wage
– Ease poverty
cond...
CONCLUSION
“There is much to be done at all steps of the
fashion supply chain. If end consumers like us can
gain a better ...
REFERENCES
Clifford, S. “Some Retailers Say More about Their Clothing Origins.” The New York Times
9 May 2013. Retrieved f...
REFERENCES
Schneider, H . “Changes to Bangladesh garment industry grind ahead, but slowly.” Washington Post 26
Nov2013. Re...
REFERENCES
Pantsios, A. “Chipotle Proves Sustainable Food Sourcing Is Profitable” Ecowatch . 6 Feb 2015.
Retrieved from: h...
Using disruptive technology to reform the garment industry
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Using disruptive technology to reform the garment industry

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Employing current technologies would allow consumers to have "supply chain" information in real time at the purchase location

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Using disruptive technology to reform the garment industry

  1. 1. Using Disruptive Technology to REFORM the Garment Industry Julie Horwat Danielle Masursky Vanessa Harrington
  2. 2. Bangladesh
  3. 3. Bangladesh • Created by British partition of India in 1947 • Formerly called East Pakistan • War for independence in 1971 • Transitioned to democracy in 1991 • Unitary parliamentary republic • Emerging economy • Current population: 156 million
  4. 4. Bangladesh Garment Industry • Estimated as many as 5,000 factories • Employs an estimated 15 million workers in factories and related jobs
  5. 5. Bangladesh Garment Industry • Fulfils a crucial role in economy: • Accounts for approx 76% of the country's total exports • Represents 10.5% of the country's GDP • Contributes 40% of its manufacturing output - M2 Presswire [Coventry], 2009
  6. 6. Bangladesh Garment Industry • Has supplanted China as preferred location for textile plants, has the lowest wages • Helps keep clothing cheap in the developed world • Has boosted the fortunes of chains including Wal- Mart in the US, H&M and Zara in Europe - Washington Post, 2013
  7. 7. Bangladesh Wages The minimum wage in the Bangladesh garment industry is equal to about $38 a month
  8. 8. Bangladesh Wages • Most are unskilled; jobs in clothing factories are their only opportunity to escape poverty • Workers can barely afford shelter, running water, food for family, medical services • People are hard-working – typically 12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week • Little prospect of improving their living conditions
  9. 9. Bangladesh Garment Workers • Industry anchors the economy and sustains millions of families • However, has lead to development of massive slums, such as Moakhali, where 50,000 garment factory workers live in squalor
  10. 10. Global Race to the Bottom Staff member, U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee: • “The fashion industry has designed a system that allows companies to easily move from country to country, from continent to continent, whenever there is an opportunity to cut costs." • "Factories in the supply chain are pressured by this global race to the bottom, and, to remain competitive, far too often compromise basic labor rights by abiding poor health and safety conditions, engaging in wage theft, and in violent repression of unions.” - US News & World Report, 2014
  11. 11. Citizen Protest Despite protests by tens of thousands of citizens, gov’t refused to raise minimum wage
  12. 12. Government Response • Widespread gov’t corruption • Suppressed protestors with rubber bullets and tear gas
  13. 13. The Dilemma Gov’t knows that if it raises wages, garment industry will move to another country This would cause economic disaster
  14. 14. Corporate Responsibility Retailers and apparel companies can make a difference, and they will, if pressured by consumers “As long as we keep paying companies to be unsustainable and unethical, they will be,“ says Bruno Pieters, founder of Honest By fashion website - NY Times, 2013
  15. 15. Trend Towards Consumer Activism Socially Responsible Investing Shareholder Advocacy Fair Trade Movement
  16. 16. Corporate Responsibility Consumers are increasing supporting companies with ethical supply chains: Fair Indigo, a fair trade only retailer, saw 35% rise in revenue immediately after the 2013 factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed over 1000 people. -Business Insider, 2013
  17. 17. Corporate Responsibility Knights Apparel produces ethically made sports logo apparel for universities A response to pressure from student activists! (Recently purchased by Hanes)
  18. 18. Corporate Responsibility • Alta Gracia was founded in 2010 as a division of KA • The only apparel company in the developing world that is independently certified as paying a living wage, defined as the income necessary for a worker to meet all of their family’s basic needs • Manufactures collegiate branded clothing in the Dominican Republic
  19. 19. Transparency “Transparency means that you disclose where your products are being produced in a way that lets independent third parties look into the conditions of those factories, whether the claims you're making are accurate or not,” says Ben Hensler, general counsel to the Worker Rights Consortium - US News & World Report, 2014
  20. 20. Transparency The idea of an industry policing itself and offering consumers an educated choice is nothing new Motion Picture Association of America • 1968 the MPAA begins its movie rating system • 3 party oversight by the Nat’l Ass’n Theatre Owners, MPAA, Int’l Ass’n Film Importers & Distributors Cosmetics Industry • 1996 Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics began assigning the Leaping Bunny logo to cruelty-free cosmetics brands
  21. 21. Food Industry Solutions • As a result of pressure from consumers, food producers and retailers are embracing transparency - offering information to consumers about where food originates
  22. 22. Whole Foods Market Produce Ratings • Responsibly Grown – Pesticides – GMO’s – Bee & Butterfly – Farmworker Health & Safety Meat & Seafood Standards • Animal Welfare and Meat Quality – Antibiotics & Hormones – Quality of Life
  23. 23. Chipotle • Has positioned itself as a leader in “sustainable” food sourcing • Marketing strategy since 2001 touts “food with integrity” • It’s stock has been trending upwards for a decade while other fast food chains struggle
  24. 24. Garment Industry Solutions Many NPOs are developing standards for sustainable and fair industry practices Follow the models from other industries, especially food “supply chain” transparency, to present information to consumers
  25. 25. Solution: Consumer Empowerment Information would be present without the consumer needing to do their own research Shopper in an interview said that if someone told him his jeans were made in a sweatshop by 8-year olds, he wouldn't buy it, but how is he supposed to take the time to trace where his pants were made?
  26. 26. Fair Working Conditions • Quality auditing organization • Measure and formally accredit best employment practices worldwide • Established in 2006 • Over 2000 site audits conducted
  27. 27. FWC Standards • Earnings/Overtime • Working Hours • Under Age Workers • Occupational Health & Safety • Discrimination, Forced Labor, Discipline • Collective bargaining
  28. 28. Earnings & Overtime • Wages paid for a standard work week must meet the legal and industry standards • Wages must be sufficient to meet the basic need of workers and their families • No disciplinary deductions
  29. 29. Working Hours • Comply with the applicable law • No more than 48 hours per week • At least 1 day off for every 7 day period • Overtime paid at a premium rate and not to exceed 12 hours per week • Overtime may be mandatory if part of a collective bargaining agreement
  30. 30. Underage Workers • No workers under the age of 15 • Lowered to 14 for countries operating under the ILO Convention 138 Developing-Country Exception • Remediation of any child found to be working
  31. 31. Discrimination, Discipline, Forced Labor • No discrimination based on race, caste, origin, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, union or political affiliation, or age • No forced labor, including prison or debt bondage labor • No lodging of deposits or identity papers by employers or outside recruiters • No corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse
  32. 32. Occupational Health & Safety • Provide a safe and healthy work environment • Take steps to prevent injuries • Regular health and safety worker training • System to detect threats to health and safety • Access to bathrooms and potable water
  33. 33. Collective Bargaining • Respect the right to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively • Wlaw prohibits these freedoms, facilitate parallel means of association and bargaining
  34. 34. • Founded by a group of leaders from global apparel and footwear companies • Recognize that addressing the industry’s current challenges are both a business imperative and an opportunity • Seek to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability
  35. 35. The Higg Index 2.0 • Developed for apparel and footwear products to assess both environmental and social/labor performance • Spans the apparel life cycle - materials, manufacturing, packaging, transportation, use, and end-of-life • Helps organizations standardize how they measure and evaluate environmental performance across the supply chain at the brand, product, and facility levels
  36. 36. The Higg Index 2.0
  37. 37. Technology-Based Solution Aggregate existing audit systems and metrics – Fair Working Conditions Standards – Higg Index criteria used to evaluate – Fair Trade Certification Empower consumers to make sustainable choices
  38. 38. Technology: QR Code App-based access to “life cycle” information about intended purchase: consumer scans code and life cycle information is displayed
  39. 39. Technology: Bar Code Scanner Price check-style scanners located in stores: consumer takes product to scanner and scanner displays life cycle information
  40. 40. Technology: Google Glass Google Glass or similar technology displays life cycle information about purchase
  41. 41. Technology: Corning Glass Interactive glass screens adjacent to product would display life cycle information
  42. 42. Technology: Websites The same life cycle information about shoes and clothing would be available on retail websites
  43. 43. SUMMARY By helping consumers vote with their dollars: – Pressure corporations to provide a living wage – Ease poverty conditions in Bangladesh – Improve working environments
  44. 44. CONCLUSION “There is much to be done at all steps of the fashion supply chain. If end consumers like us can gain a better understanding of our T-shirt’s production cycle—the sustainability of its fabric and the working conditions of its farmers and sewers— we can put pressure on these corporations to help us make a more informed and conscious decision about our clothes. The more transparent the entire production process becomes, the more claims to ethical and sustainable practices will become sought after attributes of the printed T-shirt we see on the shelves.” (de Jesus & Kay, 2012)
  45. 45. REFERENCES Clifford, S. “Some Retailers Say More about Their Clothing Origins.” The New York Times 9 May 2013. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/business/global/fair-trade- movement-extends-to-clothing.html Fritsch, P. "Bangladesh Stares into the Abyss." Far Eastern Economic Review 166.47 (2003): 46- 9. Retrieved from: http://www.readabstracts.com/Business-international/Bangladesh-stares-into-the- Abyss-Indias-creeping-caste-entitlements.html Greenhouse, S. “An Apparel Factory Defies Sweatshop Label, but Can It Thrive?” The New York Times, 18 July 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/18/business/global/18shirt.html D’Innocenzio, A. “It’s Incredibly Difficult to Prove That Clothing Is ‘Ethically Made’” Business Insider. Retrieved from: http://www.businessinsider.com/hard-to-find-ethically-made-clothing-2013-5 De Jesus, J. & Kay, T.. “Ethical Style: How Is My T-Shirt Made?” GOOD, 9 Feb. 2012. Retrieved from: http://magazine.good.is/articles/ethical-style-how-is-my-t-shirt-made Landauro, V. “Teens in Sweatshops.” Junior Scholastic 106.8 (2003): 8. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/202831510?accountid=14214 “Prospects for the Textile and Garment Industry in Bangladesh.” M2 Presswire [Coventry] 27 Apr 2009. Retrieved from: https://www.textilesintelligence.com/tistoi/?pageid=3&repid=TISTOI&issueid=135&artid=1414
  46. 46. REFERENCES Schneider, H . “Changes to Bangladesh garment industry grind ahead, but slowly.” Washington Post 26 Nov2013. Retrieved from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/changes-to-bangladesh- garment-industry-grind-ahead-but-slowly/2013/11/26/088e66a2-56d9-11e3-ba82-16ed03681809_story.html Sneed, T. “Why Cleaning Up the Fashion Industry Is So Messy” US News & World Report. 16 Jul 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/07/16/efforts-to-clean-up-fast-fashion-supply- chains-face-a-tough-road Clifford, S. “Some Retailers Say More About Their Clothing’s Origins” NY Times. 8 May 2013. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/business/global/fair-trade-movement-extends-to-clothing.html Johnson, L. (2013). Walmart app users spend 40pc more than average shopper. Retrieved from: http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/walmart-app-users-spend-40-percent-more-than-average- shopper Motion Picture Association of America. (2015). Film ratings. Retrieved from: http://www.mpaa.org/film- ratings/ Whole Foods, I. (2015). How our rating system works. Retrieved from http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/responsibly-grown/produce-rating-system
  47. 47. REFERENCES Pantsios, A. “Chipotle Proves Sustainable Food Sourcing Is Profitable” Ecowatch . 6 Feb 2015. Retrieved from: http://ecowatch.com/2015/02/06/chipotle-proves-sustainable-food-sourcing-is- profitable/ Leaping Bunny. (2014). About us. Retrieved from: http://www.leapingbunny.org/about.php Alta Garcia. About us. Retrieved from: http://www.altagraciaapparel.com/about.html Knights Apparel 2.0. What we do. Retrieved from: http://www.knightsapparel.com/

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