An investigation of ethical sourcing practices : a case study on Levi's

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

An investigation of ethical sourcing practices : a case study on Levi's


Author: Wong, Kar-bun Eddie
Title: An investigation of ethical sourcing practices : a case study on Levi's
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1999
Subject: Levi Strauss and Company
Clothing trade -- Moral and ethical aspects -- Case studies
Business ethics -- Case studies
Social responsibility of business -- Case studies
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Institute of Textiles and Clothing
Pages: 100 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: In the last decade, apparel companies mainly focused on achieving the best FOB price, the best quality and the shortest lead-time for their products in order to achieve commercial success. As a result they sourced globally in order to optimize their costs. However, there arose a growing awareness of different sourcing criteria in the textiles and apparel industry. For instance, human rights issues and environmental requirements emerged as crucial factors in the selection of business partners. Addressing consumer concerns has recently became a very important strategy for apparel companies to pursue. They are therefore more concerned about products sourced from the third world which violate human rights and cause environmental damage. As a result, ethical and green consumerism will become the trend in the future. An increasing number of people prefer to buy products and services from companies that are socially responsible, and they are willing to pay a premium for them. A study by the Center for Ethical Concerns at Marymount University, Arlington, Va., showed that 84 percent of U.S. consumers would be willing to pay an additional $1 on a $20 clothing item if they knew it was guaranteed to be made in a legitimate shop instead of a sweatshop. Concurrent with the changes in individual purchasing behavior under the influence of ethical and green consumerism will be the increasing collective consumer pressure on producers of goods and services to produce ecologically-friendly products, using ecologically friendly materials and processes, which do not violate human rights or use child labour. The increased awareness of these issues has forced apparel companies, especially those with brands to develop specific guidelines or a code of conduct to ensure that their business partners comply with these newly established requirements. In this study, I conducted an industry survey to identify the critical and essential criteria for selecting and evaluating business partners. After the survey, I proposed a series of systematic business partner evaluation model. The feedback from the industry highlighted that there is need for a standardized and recognized ethical sourcing evaluation standard to be developed. As a result, all of these apparel companies can behave ethically and will improve the quality of life in the communities where we live.

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