Does manufacturing abroad have to go bad? Clarks are a well-known shoe company rooted in the UK. They traditionally produced all of their products in Somerset but as the 1990’s rolled around it was no longer feasible to produce locally and they were faced with the tough decision of where they would out source their manufacturing.

Clarks believes that, ‘It is our responsibility to know and understand the welfare and working conditions of those who make Clarks shoes’. Their strong belief in corporate responsibility goes beyond the needs of the consumer but is spread to shareholders, employees, and the surrounding communities. The have a strong desire to move forward as  a successful global business that is not at the expense of cheap labor.

Therefore, Clarks does have a code of conduct that all factories must sign along with a series of steps if this code is violated. Beyond auditing each factory, Clarks is committed to informal and formal training in each of their supplying factories.

The majority workers at the suppliers are female and Clarks has taken steps to protect the rights of these women in Cambodia, Vietnam, and India by supporting the HERHealth Project that provides in-factory health education to women.

Clarks’s is a good example of a company that has taken the power of their decisions into consideration and has a value for all of their employees along the supply chain. Along with creating great working conditions in the factories, Clark’s has also begun to look at their environmental impact, specifically, minimizing airfreight and travel costs.

Written By: Katelynn Behrens

SOURCES:

http://www.clarks.co.uk/historyandheritage_1990-present

http://www.clarks.com/csr/suppliers.html

http://www.emmawaight.co.uk/website/new-shoes-clarks-are-comfy-but-are-they-ethical/

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