An increasing number of apparel brands are disclosing lists online of their factories, mostly in Asia, as the public release of supply chain information becomes a tool for them to show their commitments to promoting healthy workplaces for their subcontractors.
In September 2016, US clothing brand Gap made its supplier list available — consisting of nearly 900 garment factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia and other countries. The company said it had revised its disclosure policy for supply chain information seeking to promote global sustainability. According to Human Rights Watch, an international nonprofit non-governmental group, at least four major retailers, including Gap, C&A of Germany and British store chain Marks & Spencer, have disclosed their supplier list in 2016.
Previously, Gap was known for its negative stance on the disclosure due to what it called “competition reasons.” Earlier adopters of the disclosure, include US sports brand Nike and H&M, the Swedish fast fashion chain. Nike’s supplier list includes details about its contract factories, such as the number of workers by location and the proportion of female and immigrant labour.