Third-Party Certification of Garment Factories: Antidote for the Race to the Bottom?


In this case, third party certification of garment factories is examined as an approach for addressing compliance with labor, safety, and environmental standards of host countries. Through the certification efforts of Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), garment factories in developing countries such as Indonesia qualify for garment orders with retailers in the United States. As the largest independent certification program for the sewn products industry, WRAP’s efforts are discussed in this case as a strategy to address the race to the bottom in factories in developing countries. Issues around compliance and supply chain relationships are considered in this ethical examination of the garment industry.

This case was prepared for inclusion in SAGE Business Cases primarily as a basis for classroom discussion or self-study, and is not meant to illustrate either effective or ineffective management styles. Nothing herein shall be deemed to be an endorsement of any kind. This case is for scholarly, educational, or personal use only within your university, and cannot be forwarded outside the university or used for other commercial purposes.

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