OPINION: Data drive can improve lives of garment workers worldwide

Thomson Reuters Foundation, November 2020

"Beyond the growth in the volume of facilities in the database, the OAR has created meaningful change in the lives of workers. The Clean Clothes campaign has used the OAR’s data on numerous occasions for its advocacy work, including to reach out to brands in seeking remediation for trade union leaders who have been unfairly dismissed from their positions."

Anyone working in the fashion industry knows how complex and fragmented apparel supply chains are, with even the simplest of items involving multiple suppliers across multiple continents. Following the mass up-take of off-shoring in the 80s and 90s, the supply chains of most global brands are thousands of miles away from their headquarters or the final point of sale, and the majority brands don’t own the facilities in which their products are being made. This physical distance and lack of ownership makes keeping track of supply chains a complex and costly endeavour...