Poor working conditions in leather supply chains, as well as practices conducive to forced labor (e.g., lack of worker contracts and forced overtime), have been well documented by human and labor rights organizations over the past years.
Today we published a case study examining how 10 footwear and luxury clothing brands address forced labor risks across their leather supply chains.
This case study follows our 2016 apparel and footwear benchmark which found a lack of transparency and action to address forced labor risks beyond first-tier suppliers, particularly in leather. Our study found that few companies target their efforts in sourcing countries where the risk is highest, despite efforts by some to be more transparent in addressing forced labor generally.
In countries with known risks where suppliers produce hides, leather, and manufacture leather goods, companies are doing very little to address forced labor, apart from auditing suppliers. From the manufacturing of footwear in China to cattle ranching in Brazil, some countries are known to have a greater risk and therefore require targeted attention.