India is one of the largest suppliers of the textiles and apparels to the world. As the largest employment generator in the country, there is a need to ensure that the textile value chain is transparent and sustainable. Acknowledging Social and Labour Converges programme (SLCP) as a step in this direction, AEPC has partnered with Social & Labor Convergence for the launch of its operations in NCR & Tirupur.
The Social & Labor Convergence Program (SLCP) is an initiative led by the world’s leading manufacturers, brands, retailers, industry groups, (inter)governmental organizations, service providers and civil society organizations, to eliminate audit fatigue by replacing current proprietary tools with a standard-neutral Converged Assessment Framework. The mission of the SLCP is to improve working conditions by allowing resources that were previously designated for compliance audits to be redirected towards the improvement of social and labor conditions.
The SLCP is not a code of conduct or compliance program. The Converged Assessment Framework provides a data set with no value judgment or scoring. It is however compatible with existing audit systems and codes of conduct. This means that the same data set can be used by a wide-range of stakeholders & interpreted according to their interests and criteria. This eliminates the need for repetitive audits to be carried out on the same facility.
After three years of development, including three prototypes, two pilots, a public consultation and a successful “Light Operation” in 2018; the SLCP’s Converged Assessment Framework is now ready for use. Findings from research conducted by SLCP in 2018 show that adoption of SLCP could unlock resources worth over $1.5 million spent on duplicative audits in 2019 alone, rising to $200 million by 2023, for re-deployment to improve working conditions.
The 190+ SLCP signatories are now preparing for wide-scale adoption across apparel and footwear supply chains. In the first roll-out phase in late-May 2019, SLCP will launch operations in India as well as China, Sri Lanka and Taiwan. Towards the India launch, SLCP will be holding one-day seminars in Bangalore, Tirupur, Mumbai & NCR to introduce facilities and their business partners to the SLCP process. SLCP will be sharing 2019 Operations plans during the launch, while manufacturers associations will talk about the benefits SLCP brings to facilities, and signatory brands and retailers will present their SLCP adoption plans. Participation is open to representatives from facilities, vendors and brands that operate in the home textile, apparel and footwear industry.
The launch will be holding in NCR on 7.6.2019 at Apparel House, Gurgaon. “A productive and competitive business leads to healthy and happy workers. I wish this programme all the success and hope initiatives like this will encourage sustainable and innovative management systems which ensure holistic growth of all the stakeholders”, said Shri H K L Magu, Chairman of Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) while welcoming the SLCP programme in India.
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