Partnering for Progress

Working collectively to make progress on
human rights.

The pressing social and environmental issues facing the apparel industry are too great for any one company to address alone. In addition to partnering with suppliers at a factory level to improve performance, we collaborate with suppliers and stakeholders to address endemic issues at an industry level. We work with a number of global and local organizations to help empower suppliers to raise their standards and drive industry-wide change. Below we provide a sampling of our affiliations.

Improving supply chain transparency with the FLA

The FLA is a multi-stakeholder initiative uniting brand owners, universities and civil society organizations to find solutions to industry-wide labor issues. PVH is a founding member and has been active in the FLA since its inception; Marissa Pagnani, PVH's Group Vice President of CR, currently serves on the FLA's Board of Directors. The FLA continues to evaluate our supplier programs and assess our factories against its Code of Conduct and Compliance Benchmarks. We disclose our full direct factory list to the FLA and participate actively in its third-party complaint mechanism, through which issues raised by workers, unions or NGOs are addressed by partner brands. As a move of transparency, the FLA posts our suppliers’ assessment reports and corrective action plans on its website.

Raising supplier standards with Better Work

Better Work seeks to improve garment workers’ lives through country-based programs to raise labor standards. An initiative of the International Labor Organization and International Finance Corporation, it currently runs programs in eight countries – Bangladesh, Cambodia, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Lesotho, Nicaragua and Vietnam. Participating brand owners can share Better Work audit results, reducing the auditing burden on suppliers and helping the industry to measure supplier performance in a harmonized way. PVH began requiring key suppliers in Cambodia to join the program in 2005 and has since enrolled approximately 130 suppliers in eight countries. As we expand our sourcing operations in key countries like Vietnam, we are asking suppliers in those areas to join Better Work and commit to its philosophy of continuous improvement.

Understanding our licensees’ social fingerprint

We contract with third parties who license our brands for product categories and geographic regions that we choose not to manufacture or operate in directly. These licensees often operate complex supply chains over which we have little direct influence, meaning that although we require our licensees’ suppliers to undergo assessments against our code of conduct for business partners, it can be challenging to address and improve performance. Just as we partner with our direct suppliers to protect workers’ rights, we are committed to helping our licensees take ownership of their social compliance programs. This year, we introduced the Social Fingerprint program from Social Accountability International (“SAI”) to a pilot group of 10 key licensees. Leveraging SAI’s experience in developing the SA8000 standard for decent work, the scheme helps suppliers identify opportunities to more effectively address critical health, safety and labor issues. Participants complete a self-assessment followed by an independent SAI verification, which produces a score on the effectiveness of their human rights management systems. Each licensee develops its own corrective action plan, drawing on the online Social Fingerprint toolkits. We guide and approve the plans and follow up regularly to review progress. Looking ahead, we plan to expand the Social Fingerprint program to all our major licensees, as well as to key vendors, and to incorporate the results in our overall evaluation of their performance.

"Better Work is committed to creating a fair, safe apparel industry that provides quality jobs for millions. PVH is an active and committed partner and engages on-the-ground in our work to bring lasting improvements to factories and in our strategic efforts to transform the industry."

- Dan Rees
Program Director, Better Work

Empowering artisans in partnership with Nest

In 2015, we joined the Nest Artisan Steering Committee – a coalition of fashion and home design retailers and brand owners committed to addressing the industry’s sustainability issues relating to craft, artisans and homeworkers. Facilitated by Nest, a non-profit committed to global artisan advancement through economic development, the committee includes retailers like West Elm, EILEEN FISHER and Patagonia. PVH will work with the committee to refine and pilot the industry’s first-ever standard for artisan and homeworker compliance, which will consider the unique context and challenges of artisan supply chains, including issues like worker health and safety in homework environments and living wage models for piece-rate transactions.

Empowering People Articles