Have Hong Kong garment companies improved their reporting on labour standards?
The research covers five categories:
- governance and risk management
- code of conduct
- stakeholder engagement
- auditing and reporting
- there has not been a marked overall improvement in actual reporting on supply chain social compliance, but leading Hong Kong garment retail companies are taking the issue more seriously and are in the process of putting practices, systems and internal communications in place before they progress towards public reporting
- the most influential stakeholder is the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKex) and companies indicated that if it required improved transparency they would comply
- many Hong Kong apparel companies supply globally renowned apparel brands, and their clients’ purchasing practices contribute to poor supply chain labour practices -a major obstacle to ethical supply chain practices is the price squeeze being felt by suppliers from large multinational apparel clients together with the increasingly stringent supplier codes of conduct requirements
The report also notes that Hong Kong apparel brands are mainly Asia-pacific focused and have had limited exposure to the added pressures of more mature markets, which include more stringent reporting requirements, heightened consumer expectations, and NGO and media scrutiny. It suggests that given the global potential of these brands, improved transparency is a powerful strategy for improving access to and opportunities in these markets.