Why has MADE-BY developed this Benchmark?
MADE-BY has created a Benchmark for Social Standards that grades key initiatives and standards that strive for better social conditions in sewing factories in the last stage of the production chain, where apparel and footwear is assembled into the final product. Sewing is typically the most labour intensive stage, so improvements here will have the greatest social impact.
The benchmark serves as the basis of measurement and scoring the Scorecards. Due to the wide array of standards already in existence, MADE-BY has no intention of launching its own code of conduct, but has instead recognised and benchmarked six leading international standards used within the industry in order of what we consider to be most robust (from Class A to Class C).
The six initiatives in MADE-BY’s Benchmark for Social Standards are:
Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI)
Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)
Fair Labor Association (FLA)
Fair Wear Foundation (FWF)
Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000)
Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP)
As further initiatives are developed, MADE-BY will review and update the benchmark to include them.
Eight criteria have been considered when ranking these standards:
What type of code it is – MADE-BY has scored multi-stakeholder initiatives higher than company or industry codes, as we feel that by including a diversity of views, these standards are stronger.
The content of the code of conduct – MADE-BY recognises the Draft Code of Labour Practice of the Joint Initiative on Corporate Accountability and Workers Rights (JO-IN) as the best practice standard to which other codes should be compared.
What type of Management System is used to integrate social standards into the overall systems of the business - MADE-BY prefers management systems at a supplier level as this facilitates implementation at the level where change is desired.
Whether it is a monitoring or certification system – MADE-BY encourages factory-owned certification above monitoring, as this empowers suppliers to ‘own’ the process.
When certification is owned by the factory, the process of social change can continue even if the brand moves on to another supplier. It also adds value to the factory as other brands are enticed to use a factory that owns a certification.
What type of audit and verification process is involved – MADE-BY sees auditing as a means, not an end. The audit process should involve the use of a highly skilled auditing team with extensive experience, a worker-centric approach interviewing workers on and off premises, an effective anonymous complaints procedure, sufficient frequency of audits and the use of a third party verification system.
The level of transparency of the code – MADE-BY stimulates transparency on initiative, brand and factory level, however factory level is the most important as this is where the change is needed most.
The scope of the code – MADE-BY thinks codes should include any outsourcing units used by the supplier through subcontractors and homeworkers.
The level of capacity building - is the most important criteria (it is a double weighted factor in the benchmark) as it plays a crucial role in creating an enabling environment on a long-term basis. MADE-BY values codes that integrate: research and analysis, stakeholder engagement and training of various stakeholder groups to encourage their long-term development.
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