Garment waste from other major Nike brands fuels toxic kilns in Cambodia

Right of reply

A NEXT spokesperson said: “As part of the contractual obligation, NEXT suppliers must comply with our disposal policy. An excerpt of the following: – Under Clause 8.5 of Next’s Terms and Conditions of Purchase, Suppliers CANNOT dispose of Rejected, Secondary, Excess, Sample or Canceled Inventory UNLESS the Inventory is sold through Next Clearance and Choice’s authorized clearance channels. This includes inventory that was produced but not shipped to Next.

It appears from your email that this violation may have occurred due to our suppliers in Cambodia’s non-compliance with the above policy. In this incident, may we ask you to share any additional details (photos of our branding/item number/contract number) that you found during your investigation, so that we can trace back to the supplier concerned.

We communicate our policies to our contracted suppliers and reaffirm the importance of compliance with standards. These form part of our contractual conditions with suppliers. Our directly employed ethics teams in the field regularly monitor our contract factories to ensure compliance with our ethical standards, but we also understand the challenges of tracing and tracking offcuts to a particular supplier, but in cases where we followed him, the necessary actions were taken.

NEXT is an active member of SAC (Sustainable Apparel Coalition) which is an alliance of over 250 leading apparel, footwear and textile brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, non-profit organizations, NGOs and academic institutions working to reduce environmental impact and promote social justice throughout the global value chain. NEXT recognizes the value of national legislation, which would help support the responsible management of textile waste by the textile industry to encourage the reuse of materials in new fibers and fabrics where possible.

OTB, parent company of Diesel Explain : “OTB constantly monitors the supply chain and applies, alongside its brands and companies, a specific code of conduct to all Group suppliers worldwide. This agreement provides specific rules in terms of compliance with all applicable environmental laws and also requires all suppliers to implement processes and systems to reduce the use of natural resources such as water and energy, and to minimize waste.

Compliance with the Code of Conduct and local regulations are the conditions for starting a collaboration between the Group’s brands and suppliers on a global scale.

Diesel has already launched an in-depth internal review to better verify the situation with its former suppliers in the country, since the brand no longer produces clothes in Cambodia for the moment.

Looking to the future, we strongly encourage national and local regulation on the subject, which could help brands and suppliers have a clear framework to work together to increasingly minimize the impact of clothing production.

They then added: “While reiterating that OTB continuously monitors the supply chain, which must apply to the specific code of conduct and all applicable environmental laws, we confirm that Diesel currently has no apparel production and no commercial relationship with suppliers in Cambodia. Furthermore, we confirm that no evidence has emerged on this subject from the recent internal review that we carried out with our former and only supplier active in the Country in 2020/2021.

In line with our standard, we also regularly visit our suppliers’ factories to verify that all audit information reflects current conditions; Unfortunately, due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, we were unable to travel to Cambodia and relied on audit reports and third-party information.

We take any questions of this nature very seriously and welcome any other evidence you are able to share with us. This will help us better contextualize the case you are referring to. Unfortunately, we know that in Cambodia there is also an active counterfeit market and therefore the possibility of finding tags and clothing scraps from non-genuine Diesel products.

We are very open to continuing this conversation and please contact us for any follow-up information.

A Clarks spokesperson said:At Clarks, we take our responsibility to the environment and the communities in which we live and operate very seriously.

We have strict codes of practice that ensure effective waste management systems are in place, preventing any pollution or detrimental impact on communities.

We expect our partners and suppliers to comply with these policies and practices, and we conduct regular and rigorous audits throughout our supply chain to ensure this is the case.

What is alleged goes against our values ​​as a company, our policies and our business practices. We are conducting a thorough investigation and believe we have identified the potential source. We believe that this incident is an exceptional event. Our ongoing investigation has led us to believe that, in accordance with our supplier code of practice, waste from the Cambodian factories involved was supplied to a government-licensed waste management services company. We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that all waste from our products is disposed of appropriately. »

A spokesperson for Michael Kors told Unearthed:Michael Kors is committed to conducting business worldwide based on the principles of ethical business practices and recognition of the dignity of workers, and we expect our supply chain business partners to do same.

Our Code of Conduct specifically requires that supply chain workers have a safe and healthy work environment and are free from hazardous conditions. We also strive to produce our products in an environmentally responsible manner and partner with our suppliers to reduce emissions, waste and other environmental impacts of our products.

Michael Kors, which has just been made aware of these allegations of potential non-compliance with its Code of Conduct and its environmental commitments, takes these allegations seriously and intends to investigate further with its Cambodian suppliers. . We will also reiterate to our Cambodian suppliers our expectations regarding the proper collection and disposal of apparel waste.

Also, to the extent that you have more details on the vendors who are involved in the alleged incineration of waste Michael Kors clothing as well as the locations of Cambodian brick kilns where waste Michael Kors clothing was allegedly discovered, we would appreciate receiving this information as part of our further investigation into this matter.

Authentic brand group, which completed the acquisition of Reebok from Adidas, said: “ABG has no knowledge of Reebok products being incinerated in Cambodia. We are investigating these claims to determine if they are potentially counterfeit products or if they are from a third-party source. ABG does not tolerate this disposal of waste clothing in brick kilns. »

Michael O. Stutler