For any given issue that we find in a factory, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all response. We also know that a Code of Vendor Conduct is only as good as the enforcement that stands behind it, and we put significant resources into ensuring that issues are remediated effectively and fairly. When we identify problems, we work closely with factory management to develop a plan for improvement based on the number and severity of issues.
Some solutions may be as simple as posting information in a public place or stacking boxes in a different way. In other cases, the issue may be more complex, such as factory management keeping insufficient records, calling for a better understanding of what’s causing the problem so that it can be effectively addressed.
We always prefer to work with management to find a resolution. However, we will stop working with a factory if we see significant recurring violations of the standards outlined in our Code of Vendor Conduct and the factory lacks the intent or ability to resolve them.
As we continue in this work, our understanding of the underlying causes of factory problems has evolved. For example:
Factory management may lack the internal infrastructure or skills to be effective due to poor human resource management systems and/or lack of training. We are currently building our Vendor Development Program to address this issue by helping vendors and their factories develop human resource management systems and a culture of accountability. Read more about our Vendor Development Program.
Several factors in the supply chain, including our own business practices, can impact factory working conditions. Factories must take ownership of what happens in their factories and companies must balance consumer demand for more affordable, faster products with ensuring safe and fair factory working conditions. In addition to seeking to improve factory human resource management systems and skills at factories producing Gap Inc. branded apparel, we’re working to ensure that our purchasing practices are aligned with our social responsibility performance goals. That includes providing Gap Inc. sourcing and brand partners with the information they need to make decisions that support improving factory compliance with our Code of Vendor Conduct standards. Read more about our purchasing practices work.