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Better Buying & ETI support responsible buying of garments
Apr '18
Courtesy: Ethical Trade Initiative
Courtesy: Ethical Trade Initiative
Better Buying and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), a leading alliance of companies, trade unions, and NGOs that promotes respect for workers’ rights, have joined hands to promote responsible buying practices within garment industry supply chains. Better Buying is a unique system for suppliers to communicate with their buyers about purchasing practices.

Over an 18-month period, the partnership will invite Bangladeshi suppliers to anonymously evaluate their buyers using the Better Buying online rating platform.

The Better Buying platform gives buyers anonymised ratings from suppliers on seven key aspects of purchasing practices; planning and forecasting, design and development, cost and cost negotiation, sourcing and order placement, payment and terms, management of the purchasing process, and CSR harmonisation.

According to ETI’s apparel and textiles lead, Martin Buttle, joint ETI and International Labour Organisation (ILO) research shows that purchasing practices can negatively impact wages and working conditions in global supply chains. ETI believes Better Buying scores and analysis will therefore serve as an independent method of determining strengths and weaknesses within brands’ procurement cycles.

Martin Buttle said, “We are seeing increasing debate about the impact of buying practices on the ability of suppliers to maintain good labour standards. International retailers and brands can therefore only gain from this initiative, in terms of underpinning sustainable business for all, building their reputation and improving conditions for workers.”

Clothing company, Bonmarché started engaging with Better Buying in the fourth quarter of 2017 by providing Better Buying with a list of strategic suppliers together with a letter inviting its suppliers to evaluate the company’s performance. The results from all suppliers that rated were then aggregated. The anonymised findings were analysed by the Better Buying team and provided to Bonmarché earlier this month.

Better Buying and ETI expect the information and analysis that will result from the supplier ratings to help companies understand which purchasing practices are working well and which may benefit from focused efforts to improve.

Marsha Dickson and Doug Cahn, Better Buying co-founders said, “By using Better Buying, brands will be able to identify how their buyers, product developers, and others responsible for bringing product to market can improve their day-to-day business activities, thus helping their suppliers uphold better labour standards.” (GK)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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