|WRAP: Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production|
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WRAP is a civil society organization (a “501[c]6 corporation”) dedicated to promoting humane, ethical, and lawful conditions and practices in manufacturing facilities all over the world. The organization achieves this in two ways. First, the Certification Program certifies individual factories for compliance with WRAP's principles and procedures concerning, fair pay, workers' dignity, safe and secure conditions, and environmental impact. The Apparel Certification Program has operated since 2000; programs for other industries will be added in the future. Second, various training programs educate workers, factory managers, government inspectors, and others about issues related to global supply chains and their workers. Apparel producers face growing pressure from retailers, governments, consumers, shareholders, the media and others to be held accountable for their global production practices. Labor standards and factory conditions in industries ranging from toys to sporting goods have become the subject of standard-setting and monitoring initiatives.
Recognizing the potential for individual manufacturers to adopt inconsistent standards and unnecessarily duplicate monitoring efforts, several prominent apparel producers approached the American Apparel Manufacturers Association to coordinate the industry's role in addressing these issues. In August 2000, the AAMA merged with the Footwear Industries of America and The Fashion Association to become the American Apparel and Footwear Association, the fashion association. The AAFA is the largest and most representative sewn products trade association in the United States with over 700 member companies, including blue chip manufacturers Sara Lee Corporation, Jockey International, VF Corporation, Russell Corporation, OshKosh B'Gosh, Tropical Sportswear International, Gerber Childrenswear. AAFA members produce more than 85% of sewn products sold at wholesale in the U.S.
Years back, the industry began a process to demonstrate its commitment to responsible business practices and to ensure that apparel is produced under lawful, humane and ethical conditions. The process has reached out to many interested constituencies outside the apparel manufacturing community, including retailers, human rights advocates, public interest organizations, development agencies, and the licensing community.
The first result of this process was the development of the Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production Principles -- basic standards that address labor practices, factory conditions, and environmental and customs compliance. The WRAP Principles received the public endorsement of the AAMA Board of Directors in 1998. More recently, the Principles have been endorsed by groups representing apparel manufacturers from 18 countries around the world. Global support for WRAP from consumers, manufacturers and governments grows monthly. Recently, WRAP received the endorsement from manufacturers in Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Guatemala. In November 2001, WRAP welcomed the endorsement of the Textile and Apparel Manufacturers from Turkey.
In addition to the endorsement of the WRAP Principles, the manufacturing associations and member manufacturing companies are actively participating in the WRAP Certification Program. The WRAP Certification Program is the only independent and globally supported factory certification program requiring manufacturers to comply with the 12 universally accepted WRAP Production Principles assuring safe and healthy workplace conditions, and respect for workers' rights.
As of November 2003, WRAP has over 700 international manufacturers with over 1300 participating factories in the program and has certified 570 factories. Certifications are valid for 12 months and all participating plants are subject to unannounced compliance inspections as mandated by the certification program. Many manufacturers have commented that WRAP has not only resulted in more reliable social compliance, but has contributed to greater productivity, lower turnover, improved communications between management and employees, safer working conditions and improved morale. Today, WRAP is being recognized by many retailers and manufacturers as the most reliable, yet economically efficient factory compliance system to assure lawful, ethical and humane manufacturing.
The WRAP Good Factory Seal of Approval continues to grow and gain acceptance by sewn products manufacturers, retailers and governments around the globe.
Apparel Certification Program PrinciplesThe objective of the Apparel Certification Program is to independently monitor and certify compliance with the following standards, ensuring that a given factory produces sewn goods under lawful, humane, and ethical conditions. Note that it is not enough to subscribe to these principles; WRAP monitors the factory for compliance with detailed practices and procedures implied by adherence to these standards.
Compliance with Laws and Workplace Regulations - Manufacturers of Sewn Products will comply with laws and regulations in all locations where they conduct business.
Prohibition of Forced Labor - Manufacturers of Sewn Products will not use involuntary or forced labor -- indentured, bonded or otherwise.
Prohibition of Child Labor - Manufacturers of Sewn Products will not hire any employees under the age of 14, or under the age interfering with compulsory schooling, or under the minimum age established by law, whichever is greater.
Prohibition of Harassment or Abuse - Manufacturers of Sewn Products will provide a work environment free of harassment, abuse or corporal punishment in any form.
Compensation and Benefits - Manufacturers of Sewn Products will pay at least the minimum total compensation required by local law, including all mandated wages, allowances and benefits.
Hours of Work - Manufacturers of Sewn Products will comply with hours worked each day, and days worked each week, shall not exceed the legal limitations of the countries in which sewn product is produced. Manufacturers of sewn product will provide at least one day off in every seven-day period, except as required to meet urgent business needs.
Prohibition of Discrimination - Manufacturers of Sewn Products will employ, pay, promote, and terminate workers on the basis of their ability to do the job, rather than on the basis of personal characteristics or beliefs.
Health and Safety - Manufacturers of Sewn Products will provide a safe and healthy work environment. Where residential housing is provided for workers, apparel manufacturers will provide safe and healthy housing.
Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining - Manufacturers of Sewn Products will recognize and respect the right of employees to exercise their lawful rights of free association and collective bargaining.
Environment - Manufacturers of Sewn Products will comply with environmental rules, regulations and standards applicable to their operations, and will observe environmentally conscious practices in all locations where they operate.
Customs Compliance - Manufacturers of Sewn Products will comply with applicable customs law and, in particular, will establish and maintain programs to comply with customs laws regarding illegal transshipment of apparel products.
Security - Manufacturers of Sewn Products will maintain facility security procedures to guard against the introduction of non-manifested cargo into outbound shipments (e.g. drugs, explosives, biohazards, and/or other contraband).
Learn more about WRAP at http://www.wrapapparel.org/
Learn more about apparel industry inspections.
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