As sourcing patterns evolved over the latter part of the 20th century, companies around the world began leveraging production in developing countries to meet rising demand and navigate rapidly evolving regulatory requirements.
In the 1990s, prominent brands and retailers found themselves grappling with concerns over workers’ rights amid allegations of sweatshop conditions in manufacturing units around the world. There was a need for a credible entity that could promote safe and sustainable manufacturing, one facility at a time. In 2000, our organization was founded to do just that.
Our origins trace back to a multi-stakeholder exercise led by the American Apparel and Manufacturers Association (AAMA; now the AAFA — American Apparel and Footwear Association). They convened a committee which engaged in extensive consultations with brands, retailers, suppliers, NGOs, academics, and government officials. This culminated in the formation of WRAP, a program free of influence from special interests, lobbying, and profit motives.
Today, we are the largest independent certification program for sewn goods, apparel, textiles, and related industries. Our Board of Directors — mandated by our bylaws to be majority non-industry, ensuring our organization is accountable and that our work is objective — and staff across the globe work every day to support companies striving to improve their factories, operations, and the longevity of their brands.