At last the world has slowly woken up to the fact that cheap means someone is paying a price. In life, there are no such things as a bargain and generally, you get what you pay for. Chasing price and pushing suppliers and factories on cost results in either lower quality or someone along the supply chain isn’t being paid the going rate.
Many new start-up brands have become aware of the tactics low end brands have use to help drive down their cost price to look competitive and this usually leaves a bad taste in consumers mouths. Customers are requesting more transparency and are becoming more loyal to the brands that are responsible about their supply chain and the environment.
Brand loyalty is incredibly important to brands. It reduced overheads and advertising spend as maintaining custom is far cheaper than having to advertise for new. Therefore, what you stand for and your “Promise” has never been more important and it’s therefore vital you know your activewear factory and the trims, fabrics and branding is all sourced ethically.
Nominating suppliers is one way to do this. Never leave it up to the factory to select fabrics if you want full traceability and quality assurance. Factories will usually source from their preferred supplier who makes their life easier and costs less. If you nominate the fabric supplier, then not only are you aware of their “Promise” and ethics but you are also in full control of the quality and testing assurance.
The same goes for trims, labels, badges, zips etc. Nominate these and you know what you’re getting and where you’re getting these from.
The factory that produce the finished goods also needs to be vetted to make sure their “Promise” lives up to your expectations and the workers are paid and looked after the way you would if you owned that factory. All of our factories are audited by an authorised industry third party and many factories are then audited again by some of their larger clients.
These audits are usually to cover ethics and technical.
An ethical audit looks at working conditions, hours worked, fair pay, no child labour or bonded labour and environmental compliance.
A technical audit then looks into the quality and maintenance of machines, safety, fire procedures, medical, training, lighting and general risk assessment.
All of the factories we work with have these audits completed on an annual basis and they also produce sportswear for some of the leading brands, which gives us further reassurance that additional audits are in place that are usually more stringent that the3rd party audits.
If you are looking for an ethical sportswear factory, make sure you ask for the latest audit reports and if you are working directly with the supplier, ask for a copy of the audit and contact details of who carried out the audit and then contact the auditors for confirmation they actually did this and approved the factory. You will be surprised how many suppliers we see on Alibaba that use photoshopped audits or very los res, poor quality photos so you cannot see the detail.
Make sure you are working with ethical suppliers across the board on every component that goes into the garment. Lots of brands just focus on the final factory that cut and sew the garments, however the fabrics, trims and components will make up at least 50% of the value of your product so it’s important you look further than the final factory.
If you are looking for an ethical sportswear factory and care about the entire supply chain, then please contact us here