Since July 2018 the Brazilian Textile Retail Association (ABVTEX), has partnered with Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) to bring international oversight credibility to the ABVTEX Audits Program. This program evaluates the social and labor standards of fashion textile and apparel sector in Brazil by encouraging sustainable development within the fashion value chain and by supporting signatory retailers in the monitoring and qualification of their suppliers. Through its Brazilian associate, BSD Consulting, SAAS provides oversight and management services, including shadow audits.
The ABVTEX Audits Program disseminates good practices and fights against the use of modern slave labor, child labor and other labor concerns. By supporting and assessing sustainable management in the supply chain, the program’s processes strengthen the relationship between different parties, making it possible to manage risks, achieve productivity improvements, and reduce costs.
Certification covers practices, commitments and management aspects related to the following topics:
- Child Labor
- Forced or Analogous to Slave Labor
- Irregular Foreign Work
- Freedom of Association
- Abuse and Harassment
- Health and Safety of Work
- Monitoring and Documentation
- Hours Worked
- Monitoring of Production Chain
- Environmental Management
What is the ABVTEX Audits Program?
ABVTEX promotes and manages the ABVTEX Audits Program, which evaluates and addresses issues related to working conditions in the retail supply chain through the certification of suppliers and their subcontractors. This initiative, arising from the concern of retailers and consumers, created a new governance environment in the fashion value chain. It seeks to improve labor relations and ensure better safety conditions for workers by means of audits performed by independent bodies at the suppliers and their subcontracted parties.
The ABVTEX certification is applicable to all suppliers and their subcontractors involved in the production process who wish to be part of the supply chain of the signatory retail companies or recognized for their commitment to social responsibility and human dignity. The textile retail companies that sign the Certification commitment understand that working together is the most effective way of moving forward. This sector-wide initiative has the potential of bringing about changes that benefit the entire supply chain and not just one company in particular. In an assertive and coordinated manner, ABVTEX Supplier Certification will drive credible social responsibility practices in the sector's supply chain.
The ABVTEX Audits Program is undertaken by five audit bodies and their auditors accredited by ABVTEX, namely ABNT, Bureau Veritas, DNV GL, Intertek and SGS. The Certification process used by the audit bodies includes an impartial and independent audit verifying the adherence of suppliers and their subcontractors to the established criteria and requirements.
What is the SAAS Role?
Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS) provides technical support for and qualitative evaluation of the ABVTEX audits Program. SAAS is the only global accreditation body whose mission is to support the implementation of social and labor standards, assesses the competence of individual auditing systems and auditors. By partnering with SAAS, ABVTEX effectively contributes to the sustainable efforts of the fashion industry to monitor and qualify its global supply chain.
What is ABVTEX?
Founded in 1999, the Brazilian Textile Retail Association (ABVTEX) brings together the most representative national and international fashion retail chains which sell apparel, footwear, handbags, accessories, as well as home textile goods. The purpose of ABVTEX is to promote sustainable fashion, making it more accessible from the development of a productive, fair, responsible, innovative, competitive and transparent chain.
Since 2010, the ABVTEX Program has been committed to fighting modern slave labor, child labor, and non-compliant foreign labor practices. Today, there are 3,992 companies approved in the ABVTEX program that represent more than 340,000 production workers. Each year, more retailers join the cause in order to offer more sustainable and affordable fashion products to customers.