Unauthorized Subcontracting

Prohibiting Unauthorized Subcontracting

Gap Jeans label

Subcontracting is common in the apparel industry, and it can pose risks because suppliers may outsource production to facilities that have not been approved by buyers and that do not uphold requirements for safe, fair labor practices and working conditions. Our Global Supply Chain and Supplier Sustainability teams collaborate to address unauthorized subcontracting (UAS). 

We take extra precautions in countries with a high risk of UAS by offering specialized training for suppliers and facility management, and by conducting site visits to ensure our product is being manufactured in the appropriate designated facility. 

Our Supplier Sustainability, Quality Assurance and Merchandising teams seek to detect UAS. If a case is found, we may impose financial chargebacks, or, in severe or repeat cases, we will terminate our business with a supplier. In the event that chargebacks are imposed, those funds are reallocated either philanthropically or programmatically toward projects that are focused on improving working conditions within our supply chain or across the industry. 

High-Risk Incidents are immediately escalated and the following steps are taken to:

  • Require the unauthorized facility to immediately stop production of any Gap Inc. branded apparel. 

  • Ensure all goods (finished or unfinished) are returned to a facility approved by Gap Inc., segregated and held until the issue is resolved. 

  • Lead an investigation to look for and address any critical issues in the unauthorized facility.

  • Require the approved facility to register for management systems training as a prevention measure, ensuring facilities invest in systems to prevent future violation.