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What New Balance is Doing Right When it Comes to Ethical Sourcing

New Balance is making sure ethics and compliance are mainstays in its supply chain.

On Monday, the Fair Labor Association(FLA) announced the reaccreditation of the athletic company’s social compliance program, which certifies that New Balance has policies and practices to monitor and correct any labor abuses in its supply chain.

The reaccreditation means New Balance will continue as one of the accredited companies in the FLA’s network, counting itself among brands including Adidas, Nike, Patagonia and Hanes.

“Reaccreditation by the Fair Labor Association is a major achievement. It signifies a deep commitment to ethical sourcing for the products that bear New Balance’s name,” FLA president and CEO Sharon Waxman said. “The FLA assessment of New Balance revealed a sustained and serious efforts to protect workers by ensuring compliance in its supply chain and driving change to achieve better working conditions.”

According to the FLA, its accreditation program is the “gold standard” for a systems-level approach to human rights compliance and social responsibility. To make the cut, companies have to regularly assess their supply chains and manufacturing facilities for adherence to international labor standards, and continue to make improvements.

At New Balance, the company’s leadership is committed to protecting and upholding workplace standards, FLA said.

“FLA assessors reported that New Balance provides confidential reporting channels via local service providers to ensure worker grievances are received and resolved. Further, New Balance engages with local civil society organizations to examine ways to make improvements to workers’ lives,” FLA said. The footwear company was also recognized for analyzing pay data from samples of its factory workers in particularly high-risk countries to identify wage gaps, which FLA said is a key step in driving strategic decisions for fair pay.

As part of its supply chain promise, New Balance says its committed to doing business with manufacturers and suppliers that share its commitment to “strong labor and environmental practices,” and any supplier looking to do business with the brand must undergo a compliance inspection before any production orders are placed.

“We strive to have a positive impact in the communities in which we operate, and this includes a commitment to ensuring that the people who make our products—no matter where they are in the world—are treated with dignity and respect,” New Balance notes on its website.