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Gap Responds To AFWA Allegations

Gap has said it’s committed to improving its supply chain, after a report published this week accused the clothing retailer of not doing enough for workers’ rights in its supplier factories.

The Asia Floor Wage Alliance (AFWA) on Monday released a report titled “Precarious Work in the Gap Global Value Chain” that highlighted alleged rights violations in Gap’s garment supply chain in Cambodia, India and Indonesia.

“As a company committed to making a positive impact through our business, we have been working for more than two decades to improve working conditions in the factories that make our clothes,” Gap spokeswoman Laura Wilkinson said in an e-mailed statement.

The company will also continue working with other key industry members and world officials to improve workers’ conditions, she said.

“We know that we can’t tackle many of the challenges we face on our own, which is why we are engaging with a wide range of stakeholders–including garment workers, suppliers and factories, employees, unions, governments, multilateral institutions, non-governmental organizations, industry associations, investors, communities and others–to develop solutions that matter most to workers and contribute most directly to improving their lives,” Wilkinson continued.

Rights violations remain a prevalent issue among industry members. As organizations such as the AFWA continue to investigate giant retailers’ supply chain operations, companies may have to change their policies and advocacy approach. Gap, for one, has improved its Code of Vendor Conduct and established many programs over the years to benefit garment workers, including the Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E.) program, which benefits female factory workers by providing them with life guidance and career training.

Wilkinson spoke about Gap’s dedication to improving  its supply chain and the individuals part of the company’s apparel process: “We recognize that the global apparel industry still faces challenges, and Gap Inc. is determined to help drive progress for the garment industry and those who work in it,” she said.