The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is launching new guidance (www.eti-ten.org/retailers.html) to retailers on how to trade ethically.
Advice ranges from initial pointers about the essential ingredients of a company’s ethical trading strategy plus tips for buyers on how to integrate ethical trade into their decision-making, to information on accessing the ETI Workbook – a step-by-step manual for companies – and ETI’s newly re-vamped Training Programme.
As well as providing information on how retailers can put ethical trade into practice, the www.etiten.org site, launched to mark ETI’s 10th anniversary this year, will also shortly feature free access to two new DVDs for retailers and suppliers respectively, called Ethical trade: the business case. The DVDs are based on interviews with workers, suppliers, retailers, trade unions, investors and journalists carried out earlier this year, and set out the business benefits of adopting ethical trade strategies.
These initiatives are part of several to mark ETI's tenth anniversary year, as is another new initiative,‘Be an ethical pest’ which gives guidance to consumers on how to help promote ethical trade in the retail industry. Says Julia Hawkins of ETI, “The issues around ethical trading are complex but more consumers are becoming interested in how the workers who made their clothes are treated. So we’ve put out some new guidance to show what consumers can do at www.eti-ten.org/ethicalpest.html, ranging from simple steps like checking what ETI member companies sign up to, to asking tough questions of retailers.”
The Ethical Pest initiative is being spearheaded by Tara Scott and Stacey Dooley, two of the six young people whose experiences working in the garment industry in India were filmed as part of the BBC series Blood, Sweat and T-shirts. Says Stacey, “We think it’s really important that shoppers think about where to spend their money when they go shopping. More people are becoming aware of what can happen to the workers who make our clothes and want to do something about it – this website helps them ask the right questions and be an ‘ethical pest’.”
Says Tara, "Compassion and responsibility should be fundamental in trade. Businesses have a responsibility to their customers and to the workers who make their products; both of whom they would not exist without. Honesty and transparency are crucial for a business to maintain a healthy relationship with its customers, and too many businesses have been caught red-handed breaching their ethical commitment. We need to make sure that companies who have made public commitments to trading ethically, including ETI members, are working hard for change.
Consumer pressure is something businesses can't ignore. They work for us, so make them! Be an ethical pest." ETI was established in 1998. Since its inception it has demonstrated that ETI members’ activities are starting to bring material benefits to workers; established itself as a global authority on corporate responsibility for workers’ rights and galvanised alliances that have brought about industry-wide change.
The Ethical Trading Initiative (www.ethicaltrade.org) is a ground-breaking alliance of companies, trade unions, charities and campaigning organisations that work together to improve working conditions in global supply chains. Since its inception in 1998, it has disseminated a raft of best practice tools and guidance on ethical trade, galvanised industry-wide alliances that have brought about widespread change for workers, and have demonstrated that its members' activities are bringing material benefits to the workers in their supply chains. Last year, member companies reported over 50,000 separate improvements to workers' conditions, collectively touching the lives of over 6 million workers.