Following the tragedy in Bangladesh, the apparel industry is facing increased concern and scrutiny about the fairness and integrity of its supply chains. This panel addressed the challenges faced by the industry and ways in which brands can affect change. The panelists included LIsa Carpenter, Gap Inc.; Michael Kobori, Levi Strauss & Co; Chrissie Lam, Supply Change; Rachael Meiers, HERproject, Business for Social Responsibility; Heather Franzese, Good World Solutions (moderator).
Food for thought from this session:
- For Gap, fire and safety inspections are critical. Lisa stated that they are focused on making changes that make people safer. With the realization that they can’t affect system-wide changes alone, Gap became a founding member of the alliance that works with various stakeholders – including local officials – in order to make collaborative change on the ground.
- Rachael emphasized the role of international governments in holding countries like Bangladesh accountable since they are pouring so much money into their economies.
- Michael from Levi’s addresses the buying power of companies like his own. He states, “We have power to say this is where we’ll support, a company doing the right thing. As a brand that’s something we can do. We have that responsibility.”
By SOCAP13 Volunteer Nikita T. Mitchell