FWF Brand Performance Check guide 2016

Brand Performance Check guide 2016

FWF’s Brand Performance Check is a useful tool to evaluate and report on FWF member companies’ activities and if internal practices support FWF’s labour standards

Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) believes that improving conditions for apparel factory workers requires change at multiple levels. Traditional efforts to improve conditions focus primarily on the factory. FWF, however, believes that the management decisions of clothing brands have an enormous influence for good or ill on factory conditions. In other words, factory conditions cannot be separated from the purchasing practices of brands.

FWF’s Brand Performance Check is a tool to evaluate and report on the activities of FWF’s member companies. The checks examine and publicly report on how the management practices of member companies support the FWF Code of Labour Practices (CoLP) at apparel factories engaged in activities that take place after the production of fabric. Most brands source clothing from many factories which they do not own. At the same time, most factories supply many different brands. This means that in most cases FWF member companies have influence, but no direct control over working conditions. As a result, the Brand Performance Checks focus primarily on verifying the efforts of member companies. Outcomes at the factory level are assessed via audits and complaint reports; however the complexity of the supply chains means that even the best efforts of FWF member companies cannot guarantee results.

Even if outcomes at the factory level cannot be guaranteed, the importance of good management practices by member companies cannot be understated. Even one concerned customer at a factory can have significant positive impact on a range of issues like health and safety conditions or freedom of association. When FWF members can demonstrate that improvements are possible, other factory customers no longer have an excuse not to act. The development and sharing of these types of best practices has long been a core part of FWF’s work and this Performance Check Guide demonstrates the changes that are possible. The system is designed with enough flexibility to accommodate the variety of business models and clothing markets represented in FWF’s membership.

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