May 18, 2024

Frances Jordan

Disruptive Business Models

Ethical Sourcing: My Top Ten Tips

7 min read

Introduction

Sourcing ethically is a must. I know it sounds like something your mom would tell you to do, but it’s true. If you’re going to buy a product, make sure that every single person involved in getting it onto your shelf has been treated with respect and fairness. Yes, this includes the workers who made the product as well as their managers and even their employers! It’s not always easy to get all of these details about where things come from or how they were made; thankfully there are some really great certifiers out there that can help with this process so we don’t have to worry about finding out for ourselves!

Check the validity of certifications.

Certifications are a great way to ensure that your products are ethically sourced. However, check the validity of certifications by making sure that they:

  • Are valid. You can do this by looking at the date on which they were issued, and comparing it with the current year. If it is older than three months old, then the certification may no longer be valid;
  • Are from a reputable certifier. Make sure that whoever issued your product’s certification has been accredited by an independent organization such as Social Accountability International or Fairtrade International;
  • Are not expired or fake–this means checking all these things:
  • That there is no damage on either side of the label (e.g., peeling off);
  • That there are no tears around its edges;
  • That there aren’t any missing pieces from anywhere else on its surface area (e

Check that your supplier is really a small business.

  • Check that your supplier is really a small business.
  • Check their number of employees, years in business, countries where they operate, and products they produce.

Do your homework on the certifiers.

You should also be sure that the certifier is accredited by a reputable organization. This means that they have been vetted by an independent third party to ensure their credibility, and their standards are regularly reviewed.

If you’re looking for a more transparent certification process, look for one that allows you to see how they reached their conclusions. For example, Fair Trade USA offers full disclosure on how they determine whether or not products meet their standards (they even provide this information online).

If you can use recycled materials, do so.

If you can use recycled materials, do so. It’s better for the environment, cheaper than buying new, and often of higher quality. Recycled products can be used in many different ways. They’re great for furniture or construction projects; they even make good fillers for potted plants!

Don’t allow child labor to be used in your supply chain.

Child labor is a serious issue, and you should be aware of it. It’s not only unethical, but also illegal. A violation of children’s rights and bad for the economy and environment.

It’s not just about being able to buy cheap products; child labor has been shown to have negative effects on society as a whole:

  • It reduces productivity in countries where it occurs (like most African nations) because kids aren’t getting an education or other opportunities that could help them out later in life.
  • The kids themselves are often injured, sickened or killed while working long hours under dangerous conditions with little pay or food–and sometimes no pay at all!

Find out if there are any human rights abuses in your supply chain.

  • Find out if there are any human rights abuses in your supply chain.
  • Make sure that the supplier is not using child labor, forced or indentured labor and slave labor.

Find out if there’s a living wage at all levels of your supply chain.

While you’re at it, find out if there’s a living wage at all levels of your supply chain. If you don’t know what that means and how to get it, here are some resources:

  • The Living Wage Calculator is a tool developed by the campaigning group Citizens UK in conjunction with KPMG. It allows users to input details about their company and employees’ pay, then calculates what they should be paid so they can live above the poverty line (and still be able to afford things like food).
  • The International Labour Organization has published its own set of guidelines on minimum wages across different parts of the world; these take into account local costs of living as well as other factors such as education levels and family structures.

Make sure there’s no forced or indentured labor in your supply chain.

It can be difficult to know whether or not your supply chain is free of forced labor. It’s important to understand what forced and indentured labor are, and how they can affect the products you sell.

Forced labor is when people are coerced into working through threats or intimidation, such as physical violence or threats of deportation. Commonly reported examples include workers who are told they must pay off debts by working in factories, or those who receive no wages at all but must still work long hours under harsh conditions because they owe money to their employer or agent. Forced laborers may also be held against their will through physical restraint, isolation from others (e.g., locked rooms), confiscation of documents/identification cards (e.g., passports) and confinement in company housing with limited freedom of movement outside the workplace environment.[1]

Indentured labor describes situations where workers agree upfront on an employment contract that includes terms like low pay rates; long hours without overtime compensation; poor living conditions; lack of benefits such as vacation days/paid sick leave etc… These agreements often require employees’ consent before beginning work so that employers can avoid paying legal wages.”

Know the names of your suppliers, and visit them if possible.

Visiting suppliers can be a great way to get a feel for the company, see how they operate and meet the people who work there. By visiting a supplier’s facility, you can learn about their processes and equipment, which will help you make better decisions about what materials are best suited for your project.

Visiting also gives you an opportunity to develop relationships with your vendors and build trust with them over time. A supplier that knows that you care about their business will be more likely to treat your needs seriously when problems arise (like when there’s been a change in regulations), which makes them more reliable overall!

Make sure that all employees are safe from abuse and harassment at work! The best way to ensure this is to conduct regular audits at all sites where your products are made, and talk directly with workers about their experiences at work as well as how they feel about their managers, supervisors and employers overall! You can also help ensure workplace safety by making sure any chemicals used during production or construction aren’t harmful for human health or the environment!

In order to make sure that all employees are safe from abuse and harassment at work, it is important to conduct regular audits at all sites where your products are made. You can also help ensure workplace safety by making sure any chemicals used during production or construction aren’t harmful for human health or the environment!

If you want your company’s ethical sourcing practices to be successful long-term, then you need to make sure that everyone involved in this process understands its importance–and knows how their individual roles contribute towards achieving those goals.

Conclusion

So there you have it! My top ten tips for ethical sourcing. I hope this has been helpful for you and your company, but if not then don’t worry! There are plenty of other resources out there that can help you learn more about how to make sure your supply chain is as ethical as possible.

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