In May 2017, Nike’s Chief Operating Officer convened 16 European and American brands from the sportswear, fashion and retail industry — representing over $750 billion in annual revenue — to discuss how we can work more effectively together to improve workers’ rights in our collective supply chains. The participating brands believe that workers’ rights are a core component of a successful manufacturing model that is resilient and future-proofed.
This first-of-a-kind convening aims to use the collective power of our brands to accelerate improved labor conditions by shaping a new manufacturing model where responsible business practices, strong manufacturer-brand partnerships, resilience in our supply chain, worker engagement, transparency and accountability are the norm.
At Nike, we were frustrated that fragmented approaches were undermining quick advancement of the critical issue of labor conditions. Despite many isolated efforts at alignment and collaboration among our teams, we were not realizing the necessary impact. We needed to come together at executive level in order to harness real change at a brand level. We created an industry summit, comprised of executive business and sustainability leaders, to unlock obstacles, align, or invest to drive the changes necessary, including within our own operations.
We recognize that brands are one kind of actor within a system, and that we have a key role in driving responsible business practices within our own operating models. We recognize the opportunity to more effectively collaborate, share best practices and accelerate their adoption and scale across the industry. We agree to focus on supporting current work and organizations and to avoid any duplicative effort.
In May 2017, the brands participating in the Industry Summit aligned on three priority areas of focus, all within anti-trust bounds. First, to support the development of an industry-wide compliance system that will reduce audit fatigue, increase trust in the data, and reduce risk. Second, to build greater efficiency and effectiveness in remediation. And, third, to improve the way worker voice is used in improving labor conditions. Throughout, we seek to engage with a variety of stakeholders as we drive improvements in the industry.
Our intent is to meet twice a year for the next two years and we will determine the most meaningful way to track and share our efforts and results.