Avedis Seferian, WRAP's President & CEO, spoke at the Public Forum hosted by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on October 1, 2021. Avedis joined Julia Hughes, President, USFIA, Matthias Knappe, Senior Officer and Program Manager, International Trade Centre, and Anna Walker, Vice President of Public Policy, Levi Strauss & Co. on a panel moderated by Dr. Sheng Lu, Associate Professor, Fashion and Apparel Studies, University of Delaware. The participants discussed how to "Develop a more sustainable and transparent apparel supply chain in the post-COVID world." (October 1, 2021)
WRAP is a leading voice for socially responsible sourcing in the sewn products industries. A facility with a WRAP certificate displays a commitment to ethical manufacturing and a focus on its workforce's wellbeing. For over 20 years, WRAP has led the drive for socially responsible and transparent supply chains. WRAP's team has grown steadily over its two decades of existence. Today, there are over 30 professionals located in several key global sourcing destinations. These individuals work with a wide range of stakeholders, including buyers (brands and retailers) factory ownership and management, and civil society to further the objective of promoting ethically managed supply chains.
Grüner Knopf (Green Button)
Grüner Knopf, founded in September 2019, is a certification label established by the German federal government designed to promote enhanced environmental and social due diligence in the apparel supply chain. A sewn goods product that possesses a Grüner Knopf has met the framework's rigorous environmental and social responsibility standards. This forward-facing program is designed to improve consumer confidence in the apparel supply chain's commitment to sustainability.
As of 2021, Grüner Knopf recognizes WRAP audits to fulfill its product-related social compliance requirements.
United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA)
The United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) represents brands, retailers, importers, and wholesalers based in the United States and doing business globally. Founded in 1989, USFIA works to eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede the fashion industry’s ability to trade freely and create jobs in the United States.
In 2021, the USFIA named WRAP as a Corporate Social Responsibility Sponsor, seeking to expand cooperation and communication within the U.S. apparel space.
Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF)
The Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF) is the national association for Canada's apparel industry. CAF brings together and provides services to firms from across the country. The organization engages on issues such as international trade, tariffs, competition policy, and product safety plus a wide range of other issues.
Beginning in 2021, WRAP is working with the CAF as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) partner.
Social compliance is a critical concern for supply chain professionals. No longer a secondary consideration for buyers (brands and retailers), it is now a threshold issue in determining the viability of engaging a production facility as a sourcing partner. Verifying and ensuring traceability and visibility within the supply chain is paramount for the industry. Actors within the sector must remain informed about the developing trends in responsible sourcing. WRAP looks to drive the conversation on important topics in this space and keep the industry up to date on evolving issues.
In June 2020, WRAP introduced the concept of “Symphonization,” a new approach to social compliance that recognizes the opportunity presented by the global COVID-19 pandemic to re-set the supply chain social compliance management paradigm.
Symphonization calls for buyers (brands and retailers) to move away from duplicative proprietary programs to an approach involving a handful of specialized, professional, independent organizations providing a menu-of-options for the supply chain as a whole. Leveraging the expertise of these organizations that have a proven record of certifying socially responsible production will reduce audit fatigue and enable buyers to curate a program that fits where they are in their social compliance journey, while freeing up resources locked up in pre-competitive due diligence functions to be utilized for consumer-facing, brand-building activities.
Professional Standards and Accreditations
To ensure the credibility of its certification program, WRAP actively seeks to maintain the highest professional standards for social compliance audits. This includes offering a comprehensive education and training program for auditors. These courses, led by knowledgeable social compliance experts, are designed to equip auditors with the skills and tools required to assess a facility in a manner consistent with WRAP's certification program. In addition to its internal training program, WRAP proactively works with stakeholders in the monitoring industry to develop and implement a robust accreditation framework for the professionals conducting social compliance audits.
Founded in 2015, the Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) is an industry association, whose members represent a substantial majority of the social compliance audit industry. APSCA’s mission is to enhance the professionalism, consistency and credibility of the individuals and organizations performing independent social compliance audits. WRAP is a strong supporter of, and contributor to, APSCA’s work, and requires all WRAP-accredited monitoring partner firms to be APSCA members.