19th February 2018

Supply chain: Primark chooses a new transparent look

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Primark has developed a new online tool which is helping the firm to become a more transparent retailer. The clothing chain is now using Global Sourcing Map, allowing consumers to access information about the 1071 factories and suppliers that make up the company’s supply chain.

The fashion store, which has 350 stores across the UK, Ireland, Europe and the USA, is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and its sourcing map offers information about Primark’s suppliers’ factories in 31 countries.

This includes the names, addresses, number of workers and gender split of the workforce at each factory and factories must have produced products for Primark for at least a year and be an established supplier, to be included on the map.

Primark’s ethical trade and environmental sustainability team will be responsible for providing updates to the Global Sourcing Map twice a year.

The move follows the company’s previous efforts to promote social and environmental sustainability in its supply chain. In addition to signing onto the Bangladesh Accord, the company has developed a Sustainable Cotton Program and is a member of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Program, which shows commitment to phasing out the use of certain chemicals in its supply chain by 2020.

A spokesperson for Primark, said: “For a number of years, we’ve been working closely with industry partners sharing information about where Primark products are made. This has included for example, details of our suppliers, their factories, as well as our supply chain practices. Partners have extended from bodies such as the Ethical Trading Initiative, to organisations monitoring industry standards, notably the International Labour Organisation’s Better Work programme.

“Primark has not published details of its suppliers’ factories up to now, as we regarded this information as giving us commercial advantage. However, with 98 per cent of the factories making products for Primark also manufacturing for other brands, and with a number of those retailers now publishing details of their sourcing, we have taken the decision to share our information.”

The spokesperson added that the company requires all its suppliers’ factories to meet its Code of Conduct, based on the standards of the International Labour Organisation. Its ethical trade and environmental sustainability team, which consists of more than 100 people based in key sourcing countries, is responsible for monitoring compliance with its code.

It also works with local partners to run programmes and initiatives designed to support the people who make its products, including working with Business for Social Responsibility on HERHealth, a programme designed to provide healthcare and health education to women in developing markets.

You can view Primarks Global Sourcing Map by clicking here.