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Amazon finally reveals details about its supply chain

By Marjorie van Elven


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E-commerce giant Amazon has publicly disclosed the names and addresses of over 1,000 facilities which produce Amazon-branded products, following requests from organizations campaigning for more transparency in the e-commerce and fashion industries. The list of suppliers is available at sustainability.aboutamazon.com.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) have celebrated the move with official statements. “The decision by Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, sends an unambiguous message that transparency is critically important and here to stay and grow,” said Aruna Kashyap, Senior Women’s Rights Counsel at HRW. According to the 2019 Fashion Transparency Index (FTI), of the 200 major apparel brands surveyed, 35 percent publish their production locations, up from 12.5 percent of the 40 brands surveyed in 2016.

Despite welcoming Amazon’s initiative, both NGOs highlighted that the list is “not easily accessible, sortable or sufficiently specific to learn the type of products made in each of the listed facilities, limiting its value for consumers, workers, and labor advocates”, in the words of CCC. They urged Amazon to publish information about its supply chain in a way that complies with the standards set out in the ‘Transparency Pledge’, which means revealing not only the names and addresses of every factory working for them, but also the product type each of them manufactures, the number of workers in each facility, and their parent companies.

“Brands that don’t publicly disclose their supply chains may not know where their products are made, making it harder to determine whether they are acting responsibly, and where the disclosure is not easily accessible, they make it difficult for workers to report labor abuses,” explained Kashyap.

Clean Clothes Campaign
Human Rights Watch