An apparel-industry standard bearer pushes its suppliers to do more for garment workers.
The inventor of blue jeans launched the industry’s compliance movement 26 years ago, to set standards for how garment workers should be treated. Now it’s pushing apparel makers to do more than just monitor factories to help the people who work there. That means engaging vendors (rather than just policing them) in a project that Levi’s broadly calls Improving Worker Well-Being. The company is agnostic as to what form that takes—be it supervisor training or a factory cooling system—so long as it meets workers’ needs. Suppliers are rewarded with less absenteeism and more productive workers, and Levi’s gets better partners. The company has already reached 42 of its own vendors (that’s 140,000 workers) and inspired Target to follow suit.
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