Aiming for transparency, Primark has joined the growing group of companies to publish its global supplier list, with information about suppliers’ factories in the 31 countries from which Primark sources product now available on its website.
Details include factory names, addresses, number of workers and even gender split of the workforce.
“For a number of years, we’ve been working closely with industry partners sharing information about where Primark products are made,” a company spokesperson said. “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 organizations monitoring industry standards, notably the International Labor Organization’s Better Work program.”
Last month, 70,000 consumers signed a petition urging major brands, including Walmart, Primark, Armani, Forever 21 and Urban Outfitters, to share the factories that manufacture their garments and make transparency part of their New Year’s resolutions. The petition follows the #GoTransparent campaign—an initiative led by Clean Clothes Campaign, the Human Rights Watch and the Labor Rights Forum that specifically targeted the five brands for not publicly disclosing details of their supply chains.
Primark included a map with factories that have produced products for at least one year and have become an established supplier. During the first year, a factory has to demonstrate that it can consistently work to Primark’s ethical standards, as well as meet its commercial requirements in areas such as quality and timely delivery. Factories featured on the map produce more than 95 percent of Primark’s products for sale in our stores.
“Primark has not published details of its suppliers’ factories up to now, as we regarded this information as giving us commercial advantage,” the spokesperson said. “However, with 98 percent 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.”
Primark does not own any factories and requires all its suppliers’ factories to meet its Code of Conduct, which is based on International Labour Organization standards. Primark’s 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.
This team will also be responsible for providing updates to the Primark Global Sourcing Map on a twice-yearly basis.