Gorman's statement in response to Oxfam's 'Naughty Or Nice' brand listing
Wednesday 23rd November, 2016:
Gorman's decision not to publicly disclose the identity of its manufacturers is not "naughty".
Meeting with Oxfam:
Gorman agrees with Oxfam that increased transparency has the potential to improve working conditions globally. With this shared vision in mind, we invited Oxfam to our offices to put forward some alternative models for improving our supply chain transparency.
During a meeting in October 2016, we:
1. offered to provide the Oxfam representatives with the list of Gorman suppliers on the proviso that the information was not published or shared. 2. invited Oxfam representatives to join the Gorman team on our factory visits to India and China. 3. suggested that a process was developed where companies could share their supply chain information with a registered labour rights organisation, providing a mechanism for supply chain transparency that does not require companies exposing their outsourcing arrangements to their competitors. We suggested that this kind of model could result in a greater number of small and medium enterprises becoming involved in transparency initiatives. Due to the size of our production volume, we do not have the same pull as larger global brands, so there is a risk our competitors will approach our factories with larger orders, which threatens our security of supply.
Oxfam has not yet taken on-board any of our suggestions, but we look forward to continuing the dialogue in the future.
What we are currently doing:
Gorman has an established social and ethical compliance policy that provides a framework for communicating our ethical standards to our manufacturers. Using the ethical trading initiative base code as a guide, it references both local laws, The International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of human rights.
To monitor conditions, we engage Qualspec, a registered quality and ethical auditing body that uses the global audit standard scoring system. We published a summary of our audit results on our website.
The Gorman team are also regular visitors to the 5 factories that produce 85% of our products. We have had long-term working relationships with these factories, ranging between 4 and 12 years. In addition, 25% of the Gorman range has organic certification.
What Gorman doesn’t do:
Gorman does not currently publish the details of its manufacturers for commercial reasons, and not for ethical compliance reasons. This is because Gorman team have worked closely with their manufacturers on the development of techniques, trims and treatments that are key to Gorman’s point-of-difference in the marketplace. We are currently not prepared to share the details of our manufacturers with our competitors.
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