Asos had partnered with GoodWeave International, a non-profit organisation working to end child, forced and bonded labour in global supply chains.
The collaboration will focus on fashion apparel and accessories suppliers in India. Asos will begin selling select products covered under the GoodWeave Standard in late 2023.
Initially, three strategic Asos suppliers in India exporting fashion apparel and accessories will be enrolled in the programme, with further suppliers added in the months ahead. Each supplier will undergo audits and unannounced inspections by dedicated GoodWeave staff trained to identify potential risks and issues of forced, bonded and child labour.
Asos said the new assessment strengthens its current approach to understanding and addressing risks of child labour and modern slavery through auditing and local engagement, and builds on its other NGO partnerships working in this space, including The Centre for Child Rights and Business in China.
Adil Rehman, head of ethical trade at Asos, said: “There can be no place for forced, bonded or child labour in the fashion industry, but these risks are always present within complex global supply chains. With this new partnership with GoodWeave, we’re taking our modern slavery and ethical trade work one step further through assurance and deep supply chain mapping, helping us to ensure that workers are protected and their rights respected.”
Rather than just focusing on the final-stage manufacturing facility, GoodWeave works to trace back each stage of a product’s manufacturing journey – including to subcontractors and even home-based workers, a key risk area for fashion apparel and accessories manufacture in India and often an invisible source of bonded, forced and child labour.
Nina Smith, CEO at GoodWeave International, added: “For nearly three decades GoodWeave has advanced working conditions in the rug and textiles sector, and we are proud to be launching this partnership targeted at apparel and accessories supply chains together with Asos.
“A number of reports indicate that child labour and modern slavery are high-risk in India’s garment industry. To combat this problem and meet the requirements of increased human rights due diligence legislation globally, it’s critical that fashion businesses partner with organisations like GoodWeave to prevent hidden exploitation in outsourced, subcontracted supply chains.”