Benefits of Local Procurement
The Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) sector globally is at high risk of unethical labour, modern slavery and poor environmental practices. By procuring TCF products locally in Australia, these risks can be assessed and mitigated. Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) can support your business by providing manufacturing contacts for the supply of TCF products such as uniforms, workwear and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Utilising ECA-accredited manufacturers ensures your business is legally compliant with a range of OH&S requirements, the TCF award, and other relevant legislation to avoid common issues such as underpayment and exploitation of workers.
Procuring Textile, Clothing & Footwear in Australia using an ECA-accredited manufacturer has many benefits including:
• Strong visibility of your supply chain and quality control
• Faster turn around and delivery times
• Smaller minimum order quantities and short notice access to production runs
• Improved capacity for customisation, alterations and repairs
• Direct engagement and stronger relationships resulting in greater trust in suppliers
• Supporting and strengthening the local industry and assurance of ethical labour practices
• Minimised risk of modern slavery in your supply chain
Action Items for Procurement Managers
• Ask your current TCF suppliers about where their products are made. Even if the supplier is based in Australia, many products sourced in Australia are not necessarily manufactured locally.
• Ask your suppliers if they have any independent certifications or accreditations (as opposed to a self audit) relating to the workers employed in their supply chain, that covers pay, entitlements, policies and safety conditions.
• Develop a procurement policy or ‘model clause’ in regards to ethical TCF suppliers and explore how this may work within your existing policies and guidelines.
• Review ECA’s list of accredited manufacturers and reach out to those who have the capability to locally manufacture the required items.
• Start off with small changes if an overall supply chain re-structure is not possible. For example, start by bringing one product line or value-adding service onshore to be produced by local manufacturers.