Shoe Company Creates App to Help Spot Human Rights Abuses in Factories

Today’s footwear brands know consumers are looking at more than the styling and quality of the products they buy. They are keeping an eye on the business practices behind the brands, especially when it comes to fair labor practices.

Pentland Brands, which owns SeaVees, Red or Dead and Mitre, in addition to serving as global licensee for Karen Miller footwear and Kickers in the UK, as well as a joint venture partnership for Lacoste footwear, has launched a new ethical trade app to help people throughout its supply chain spot potential trade issues.

The app, “Everyone’s Business,” is designed to engage and educate employees in responsible labor sourcing. It is a smart phone tool designed to help all factory-facing employees maintain fair labor standards and human rights across the supply chain.

The app educates users on the risks of modern slavery and facilitates the reporting of any issues of potential issues identified by capturing users’ observations and relays any concerns to a dedicated in-house corporate responsibility team. It provides a way to access timely and accurate information, engage with suppliers and encourage responsible labor sourcing.

The app can be used by merchandisers, quality managers and buyers, as well as employees that frequently visit suppliers. And, it can be used in any country where Pentland’s brands have suppliers.

“Whilst three are other freely available apps that provide information on supply chain ethical trade issues, what’s unique about ‘Everyone’s Business’ is that it facilitates a two-way conversation between us and our supply chains,” said Sara Brennan, head of corporate responsibility for Pentland Brands. “We’re really proud to be helping our colleagues to better understand, identify and report ethical trade issues as they arise. It allows our colleagues to speak up if they have concerns, in a consistent way that’s recordable and transparent. Ultimately, it helps us continue to operate to high labor and human rights standards. As a business, we believe in doing the right thing, not the easy thing, and this app helps us to make better, more informed ethical decisions.”

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