Workers' Rights and Labor Compliance in Global Supply Chains: Is a Social Label the Answer?, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Workers' Rights and Labor Compliance in Global Supply Chains

Is a Social Label the Answer?, 1st Edition

Edited by Jennifer Bair, Doug Miller, Marsha Dickson


310 pages

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Paperback: 9781138212732
pub: 2016-08-03
Hardback: 9780415843850
pub: 2013-08-17
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pub: 2013-11-26
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This book provides insight into the potential for the market to protect and improve labour standards and working conditions in global apparel supply chains. It examines the possibilities and limitations of market approaches to securing social compliance in global manufacturing industries. It does so by tracing the historic origins of social labelling both in trade union and consumer constituencies, considering industry and consumer perspectives on the benefits and drawbacks of social labelling, comparing efforts to develop and implement labelling initiatives in various countries, and locating social labelling within contemporary debates and controversies about the implications of globalization for workers worldwide. Scholars and students of globalisation, development, corporate social responsibility, human geography, labour and industrial relations, business ethics, consumer behaviour and fashion will find its contents of relevance. CSR practitioners in the clothing and other industries will also find this useful in developing policy with respect to supply chain assurance.


"Can consumer power be used to leverage improved working conditions and respect for labor rights in apparel global supply chains through social labeling? And, if so, under what conditions is social labeling likely to produce the best results? Combining an insightful historical perspective with a rich comparative analysis, the contributors to this volume convincingly suggest that social labeling can be fruitful if it is based on a global industry standard, with broad stakeholder engagement, and effective verification along the entire supply chain."Mark Anner, Penn State University, USA

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction and Historical Overview 1. To Label or Not to Label: Is That the Question? Jennifer Bair, Marsha Dickson, and Doug Miller 2. Consumers and Producers: Agency, Power and Social Enfranchisement Robert J.S. Ross Part 2: Social Labels in a Comparative Perspective 3. Ethical Labelling in Sri Lanka: A Case Study of Garments without Guilt Annelies Goger 4. Is There a Business Case for Improving Labour Standards? Some Evidence from Better Factories in Cambodia Raymond Robertson, Debra Ang, Drusilla Brown and Rajeev Dehejia 5. The Impact of the "Fibre Citoyenne" Label on the Moroccan Garment Industry and Its Workers Arianna Rossi 6. From a No SweatShop Label to Ethical Clothing Australia: A Snapshot at Six Months Patricia Brien Part 3: Towards an Ethical Garment Trade: Industry and Consumer Perspectives 7. Identifying and Understanding Ethical Consumer Behaviour: Reflections on 15 years of Research Marsha A. Dickson 8. The Strength of Weak Commitments: Market Contexts and Ethical Consumption Ian Robinson, Rachel Meyer, and Howard Kimeldorf 9. Social Labelling on the Web: How Fashion Retailers Communicate Information about Labour Practices to Online Consumers Llyr Roberts 10. Motivations and Concerns for Public Reporting about Corporate Social Responsibility and Compliance with Labour Standards: A Case Study of the Apparel Industry Theodora Pandelidis and Marsha A. Dickson Part 4: Contemporary Debates and Controversies 11. Providing Direct Economic Benefit to Workers through Fair Trade Labelling of Apparel the Fair Trade USA Apparel & Linens Pilot Project Heather Franzese 12. No Access to Justice: The Failure of Ethical Labelling Systems for Worker Rights Bama Athreya and Brian Campbell 13. Are Social Labels Symbols of Resistance?: A Case for Sweatshop-Free Procurement in the U.S. Public Sector Bjorn Claeson 14. Social Labelling and Supply Chain Reform: The Designated Supplier Program and the Alta Gracia Label Scott Nova and John M. Kline 15. Truth in Labelling: Towards a Genuine, Multi-Stakeholder Apparel Social Label System Eric Dirnbach

About the Editors

Jennifer Bair is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.

Douglas Miller is Professor of Ethical Fashion in the School of Design at the University of Northumbria, UK.

Marsha Dickson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the University of Delaware, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Business Ethics

Business ethics is a site of contestation, both in theory and practice. For some it serves as a salve for the worst effects of capitalism, giving businesses the means self-regulate away from entrenched tendencies of malfeasance and exploitation. For others business ethics is a more personal matter, concerning the way that individuals can effectively wade through the moral quagmires that characterise so many dimensions of business life. Business ethics has also been conceived of as a fig leaf designed to allow business-as-usual to continue while covering over the less savoury practices so as to create an appearance of righteousness.

Across these and other approaches, what remains critical is to ensure that the ethics of business is the subject of incisive questioning, critical research, and diverse theoretical development. It is through such scholarly inquiry that the increasingly powerful purview of corporations and business activity can be interrogated, understood and, ultimately, reformulated. This series contributes to that goal by publishing the latest research and thinking across the broad terrain that characterised business ethics.

The series welcomes contributions in areas including: corporate social responsibility; critical approaches to business ethics; ethics and corporate governance; ethics and diversity; feminist ethics; globalization and business ethics; philosophical traditions of business ethics; postcolonialism and the ethics of business; production and supply chain ethics; resistance, political activism and ethics; sustainability, environmentalism and climate change; the ethics of corporate misconduct; the politics of business ethics; and worker’s rights.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Fashion & Textile Industry