In May 2018, the SLCP took on an internal research to check in on its Mission and Vision. Assumptions were tested and quantitative information on current audit practices versus the SLCP verification were collected. The outcomes provide great insight and have been fed into the SLCP 5 Year Strategic Plan. The research confirms the importance of the Mission and Vision that SLCP set out to achieve and highlights the substantial impact it can have.

For the past three years, SLCP and its signatories have been working hard to make the mission and vision formulated at the start of the project a reality: To create a converged assessment framework that supports stakeholders’ efforts to improve working conditions in the global apparel and footwear supply chain. The need for SLCPs Converged Assessment Framework (CAF) is clear; too many resources are spent on duplicated compliance audits, while there is a need to invest more resources on improving working conditions. The CAF will allow resources that were previously designated for audits to be redirected towards improving social and labor conditions.

But what is the scale of this problem that SLCP aims to address? How many times can facility assessment data be shared? And how many resources can be unlocked to redirect towards improvements? These are questions researched in the SLCP Mission & Vision Check. Based on a comparison of signatory brands’ supplier lists, manufacturer case studies and interviews with signatories, the Mission & Vision Check’s main findings are:

Of the facilities on 32 brands’ supplier lists, 11.6% supply to at least two of the 32 brands. 57% of the audits conducted in these shared facilities are duplications. Most of them are conducted in China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and India. For the whole apparel and footwear industry, consisting of around 32K facilities, it is estimated that on average 75% of the audits conducted are duplications, translating to a total of 98K duplicated audits that would be redundant if audit data would be shared (4 shares per facility).

SLCP verifications take on average 1.5 times as much auditor/verifier person-days spent on site as regular audits, which means that resources are already unlocked when two brands share one facility verification. SLCP’s adoption targets have been set at 1,750 verified assessments in 2019 rapidly increasing to 25,000 verified assessments in 2023. Taking person-days spent on site by auditors and manufacturers into account, as well as other associated costs, the resources unlocked can be estimated at: 1,800,000 USD in 2019 (assuming 1.5 shares per facility) and 130,000,000 USD in 2023 (assuming 3.9 shares per facility).

SLCP’s focus is on the creation and operation of the CAF. For redirecting the unlocked resources to improve social and labor conditions, SLCP can play an enabling role, facilitate collaboration, develop partnerships and anchor in signatory commitment.

The research confirms the importance of the Mission and Vision that SLCP set out to achieve and gives an idea of the substantial impact the project can have in the coming years on supporting stakeholders’ efforts to improve social and labor conditions in the global apparel and footwear supply chain.

This study informed the 5 Year Strategic Planning process for SLCP.