Recognizing the potential for individual manufacturers to adopt inconsistent standards and unnecessarily duplicate monitoring efforts, several prominent apparel producers approached the American Apparel Manufacturers Association to coordinate the industry’s role in addressing these issues. In August 2000, the AAMA merged with the Footwear Industries of America and The Fashion Association to become the American Apparel and Footwear Association, the fashion association. The AAFA is the largest and most representative sewn products trade association in the United States with over 700 member companies, including blue chip manufacturers Sara Lee Corporation, Jockey International, VF Corporation, Russell Corporation, OshKosh B’Gosh, Tropical Sportswear International, Gerber Childrenswear. AAFA members produce more than 85% of sewn products sold at wholesale in the U.S.
More than eight years ago, the industry began a process to demonstrate its commitment to responsible business practices and to ensure that apparel is produced under lawful, humane and ethical conditions. The process has reached out to many interested constituencies outside the apparel manufacturing community, including retailers, human rights advocates, public interest organizations, development agencies, and the licensing community.
The first result of this process was the development of the Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production Principles — basic standards that address labor practices, factory conditions, and environmental and customs compliance. The WRAP Principles received the public endorsement of the AAMA Board of Directors in 1998. Later the Principles were endorsed by groups representing apparel manufacturers from 18 countries around the world. Global support for WRAP from consumers, manufacturers and governments grows monthly.
In addition to the endorsement of the WRAP Principles, the manufacturing associations and member manufacturing companies are actively participating in the WRAP Certification Program. The WRAP Certification Program is the only independent and globally supported factory certification program requiring manufacturers to comply with the 12 universally accepted WRAP Production Principles assuring safe and healthy workplace conditions, and respect for workers’ rights.
Many manufacturers have commented that WRAP has not only resulted in more reliable social compliance, but has contributed to greater productivity, lower turnover, improved communications between management and employees, safer working conditions and improved morale. Today, WRAP is being recognized by many retailers and manufacturers as the most reliable, yet economically efficient factory compliance system to assure lawful, ethical and humane manufacturing.
More information about WRAP Certification, including factory registration and monitor accreditation applications can be found on this website. For more information please contact Info@wrapapparel.org