ASOS has become the latest participant in an effort across the fashion and retail industries to increase supply chain transparency.
Headquartered in London, Asos is an e-retailer selling over 850 brands, as well as its own collection. ASOS has committed to publishing a list of all factories it utilizes by March 31, 2017. This is a part of a plan outlined in its 2015/2016 Modern Slavery Statement, which announced a commitment to implement ethical and anti slavery practices by this year.
ASOS currently has two supply chain systems. The first covers customer service and all non-inventory services. The second covers its own product brand as well as resale products from third parties.
Each of the brands ASOS represents on its website is required to report human rights policies to the company. Human rights and environmental reports, once made available to ASOS, will be published by the company to increase its own transparency. ASOS is also developing its own board which will assist these brands in adhering to sustainability and ethical standards.
ASOS has identified several practices which may pose slavery risks. The company developed new commitments to eradicate these risks, which will be implemented in 2017. Risks included migrant labor, child labor and outsourced human resources jobs.
Among the practices developed for ASOS’s new initiative is a Fair Hiring Toolkit, which will be made available to suppliers in India to prevent modern slavery issues in outsourced HR functions.
ASOS is a participant in the ETI Turkey Working Group. This group will protect refugee workers, allowing them to work legally.
The company has committed to visits to low tier sites. Lower tier sites pose a higher risk for child labor and slavery of female workers. Sites which manufacture fabric are at an increased risk of violations.
ASOS is requiring its workers to comply with ethical standards, and is developing a globally implemented reward strategy, which it hopes will increase sustainability and ethics throughout its supply chain.