In the modern globalized world, suppliers to US-based clients face fierce competition from manufacturers all over the world. This is especially true in the apparel, footwear, and sewn goods industries. These industries are highly competitive, with competition focusing on operational efficiency and profitability as well as the ability to meet modern demands for ethical manufacturing practices.
Suppliers need to be highly efficient and profitable to stay in business, and they need to meet demands for social responsibility and ethical manufacturing to generate demand.
When it comes to demonstrating social responsibility and ethical manufacturing, this isn’t always easy. Often, outside help and engagement with third-party certification programs is required.
WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) is an example of an outside organization that provides third-party certification. WRAP provides a globally recognized, independent certification program for ethical and responsible manufacturing of sewn products, apparel, and footwear. One way for suppliers in these industries to achieve social responsibility and ethical manufacturing goals is by obtaining WRAP certification. Certification with WRAP demonstrates that ethical, humane, and lawful practices are followed in manufacturing facilities. Suppliers must undergo a comprehensive WRAP audit (based on the 12 principles of WRAP) that evaluates their compliance against standards that the organization has developed over its 20 years of operation.
In addition to helping a supplier meet these ethical guidelines, a WRAP certification may also be used to show that the facility is in compliance with the security requirements of a C-TPAT audit – thus helping avoid cargo seizures and costly delays when their products go through a US Port. In some cases, a WRAP audit covers both the ethical compliance audit and the C-TPAT security audit requirements. By doing them at the same time, suppliers can reduce interruptions to their production schedule and potentially reduce costs as well.
WRAP certification is accepted by more than 700 other global brands and retailers including Best and Less, Big 5, Cintas, Costco, Disney, Fruit of the Loom, Jockey, Kontoor, Tailored Brands, Walmart, Woolworths, and many more. Just one WRAP audit can help qualify you as a supplier to hundreds of potential buying companies.
WRAP certification will demonstrate your commitment to responsible business practices as well as benefiting workers at manufacturing facilities.
First and foremost, WRAP certification can help suppliers improve working conditions at production facilities.
By carrying out WRAP audits, suppliers are ensuring there is a work environment that treats workers with dignity and respect as well as promoting their health and well-being.
The certification process may identify issues that affect workers at a production facility. If so, these issues can be addressed, and worker well-being will be enhanced as a result. Morale amongst workers will be improved. In turn, this can lead to increased productivity, higher-quality products, and lower staff turnover rates.
As well as identifying issues in the first instance, ongoing auditing will prevent issues from recurring.
Training in responsible production is also available through WRAP for buyer and manufacturer staff.
By implementing WRAP’s best practices for social responsibility and ethical manufacturing, suppliers can gain an edge by openly demonstrating their commitment to responsible sourcing.
Brands are more likely to source from suppliers that use WRAP certification. By sourcing from WRAP-certified facilities, brands can provide transparency into their supply chain and boost their own reputation.
For suppliers in competitive industries, like apparel, footwear, and sewn goods, certification in ethical practices can be very helpful in securing differentiation from competitors. Brands are under pressure from consumers and, increasingly, from regulators. Suppliers that fit with this have a higher chance of attracting new clients.
Getting WRAP certified also reduces the risk of a serious incident associated with unethical practices occurring in your supply chain. Product recalls, lawsuits, or other problems that can be costly and difficult to overcome will be avoided. As well as this, unwanted negative media attention and reputational damage associated with these kinds of issues will be avoided.
By having facilities audited, suppliers will be able to reduce the risk of facing these kinds of problems.
With WRAP audits being so widely recognized, the need for repeated auditing through other programs is often removed. If a supplier obtains WRAP certification, they can often sell their products to brands and retailers in the US without requiring an additional audit, such as a C-TPAT audit.
Competitiveness is enhanced in the global market at the same time as audit fatigue and costs are reduced.
WRAP certification demonstrates that ethical, humane, and lawful practices are followed in manufacturing facilities. This can help suppliers attract new sourcing customers and boost reputation. WRAP certification is recognized by over 700 global brands and retailers.
WRAP audits save you time and money by helping you avoid costly delays and recalls and helping you streamline audits to reduce audit fatigue.
WRAP certification can help suppliers improve working conditions at production facilities, and thus reduce the risk of incidents associated with unethical practices.
At QIMA, we offer WRAP certification and we can help your business demonstrate that it meets WRAP's high standards for ethical and responsible manufacturing – thus ensuring you meet the ethical compliance standards for over 700 global retailers.
Contact us to learn more.
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