Sustainability in Procurement: Why Do Sweatshop Scandals Occur? [Plus+]

How can sustainability break out of its “niche” category in procurement? Is it even possible? The WSJ’s recent article “Why Retailers Don’t Know Who Sews Their Clothing” touches on the issues with a broader aspect of sustainability. Survivability, to be precise. To summarize, the article points out possible consequences with procurement in verticals that rely on multiple tiers – particularly those with a heavy labor component in the value-add at the lowest levels. The labor aspect means that sourcing from low cost countries inevitably is brought into play. Textiles is one vertical; other industries that also rely heavily on inexpensive labor include small electronics (cell phones, tablets, laptops) assembly, low price point consumer goods (stuffed animals, toys) etc.

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