Star Sock is a Dutch company that joined Fair Wear Foundation in January 2015.
Star Sock Performance Check 2018
Star Sock has shown progress and met most of FWF’s performance requirements in 2017. In its third year of membership, a monitoring percentage of 100% and a benchmark score of 79 means that FWF has awarded Star Sock the ‘Leader’ rating.
Star Sock works with a small supplier base and visits all production locations on average three times a year. A difficult year financially impacted Star Sock’s number of orders and therefore the relationship with its suppliers. Despite this, the implementation of FWF requirements and follow-up of CAPs is continually on the agenda with factory management. Star Sock’s local teams in China and Turkey visit the factories during production on a weekly basis and are also involved in addressing social issues during these visits.
Star Sock has developed a clear process on due diligence and risk assessment when selecting new suppliers, which includes evaluation of potential suppliers by top management. However, due to Star Sock’s small supplier base, compliance with Code of Labour Practices is still evaluated in a more informal way and does not yet influence production decisions. Through its solid monitoring system and process to follow-up on audit findings, Star Sock has a good understanding of the root causes of the major issues at a factory-level in China. Regardless of knowledge gained though this process, the company together with the factories had difficulty finding the right solutions to issues in China such as excessive overtime, wages below living wages and the fact that social security is not always paid. FWF recommends cooperating with other customers at the factories to increase leverage, when trying to mitigate findings such as excessive overtime.
In previous years, Star Sock implemented strong systems for monitoring and remediation in China, including a pricing policy, production planning system and method to identify all subcontractors. Despite its relatively low FOB and leverage, Star Sock should begin to implement the same systems for its production locations in Turkey. At a minimum, this should involve utilising the Audit Quality Assessment Tool to analyse external audit reports collected for its Turkish suppliers. FWF audits at existing or new suppliers in Turkey, will also give Star Sock better insight into country specific risks, wages levels and how its own purchasing decisions are influencing factory conditions.
Score: 79, Percentage under monitoring: 100%, Category: Leader