RSN Updates

Read our updates to learn more about RSN’s work.

Wednesday
Jun152016

Change: It’s in Your Hands

The Body Shop, a UK based cosmetic company rooted in the belief that business can be a force for good, is entering the final month of its “Enrich not Exploit” campaign. Until the end of June, The Body Shop is selling a Limited Edition Hemp Hand Protector, where a portion of the proceeds goes toward a cause of your choice, allowing you to enrich the world with your pocketbook.  One of the organizations The Body Shop is donating money to through this campaign is Responsible Sourcing Network! When you purchase the Hemp Hand Protector, you will be instructed to vote for a type of cause that is closest to your heart.  The Body Shop gives you three options: Our Planet, Our Oceans, and Our People and Animals. Responsible Sourcing Network falls under the cause Our Planet. For RSN to receive the largest contribution from this campaign, please select the option Our Planet. This campaign allows you to protect not only your hands, but also our environment and those who inhabit it.

The money RSN raises through The Body Shop’s campaign will go towards transforming the cotton industry in Uzbekistan. Due to the mismanagement of water and exploitation of its citizens, the Aral Sea is now only about 10% of its original mass and nurses, teachers, and university students are forced to weed fields and harvest cotton. The depletion of the Aral Sea and Uzbekistan’s unethical labor practices are deeply intertwined. RSN is dedicated to understanding the complexities of the supply chains that are supporting these unfair and unsafe practices. Working side by side with retailers and companies, RSN is committed to ending forced labor and protecting the environmental health of the Aral Sea. By purchasing The Body Shop’s Hemp Hand Protector, you are choosing to support RSN’s efforts to bring transparency and tangible change to Uzbekistan.

In order to purchase The Body Shop’s Limited Edition Hemp Hand Protector and support RSN, follow these steps:

  1. Visit: http://www.thebodyshop-usa.com/change/
  2. Scroll down and Click “Add to Cart”
  3. Proceed to Checkout
  4. Either create an account with The Body Shop or continue as a guest 
  5. Complete shipping information and save address
  6. Proceed to payment
  7. After completing payment information, select “Our Planet” so a larger amount of proceeds will benefit RSN
  8. Ask your friends and family to do the same and promote on social media

Thank you for your purchase, your vote, your support of RSN, and for helping to enrich the planet and its people!

 

Tuesday
May312016

NEW Conflict Mineral Impact Infographic Sheds Light on the Importance of Achieving a Conflict-Free Supply Chain

Just why are Conflict Minerals disclosures important to investors, business leaders, consumers, workers and local mining communities? Our new infographic conveys the importance of private sector actions when working to achieve a conflict-free supply chain. Conflict-free business practices can improve the lives of many citizens living in mining communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and neighboring countries.

Download the infographic to see the basic steps – and resulting impact – companies can take to become conflict-free.



Here are some of the important takeaways from the Conflict-Free Infographic:

  • In order for a company to commit to conflict-free business, the cost must be understood. The social and financial losses in the DRC are motivating factors for a business to champion human rights. Did you know that just this past January, 35,000 people fled their homes in DRC in 2016?
  • When a company chooses to not be conflict-free, it hurts suppliers, buyers, consumers, and investors.
  • Many companies are already taking concrete steps to push human rights in their supply chains, such as contributing to the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Conflict Minerals.
  • Companies should communicate all the way up the supply chain with stakeholders such as in-region nonprofits, smelters, industry peers, and more.
  • Companies can invest in research, infrastructure, and regional governance to continue pushing for change.
  • 89% of DRC mines were declared conflict-free as of May 2016! While this is a sign of much progress, more must be done.
  • Promotes good business for everyone involved. Conflict-free business is GOOD business because it creates positive impact, lowers risks, and sets an example for responsible sourcing in an increasingly interconnected world.

Do you care about reducing and eliminating conflict in the DRC region? If so, share this infographic; one share can be one step toward a conflict-free world.

Wednesday
May252016

2016 Copenhagen Fashion Summit: Closing the Loop in the Fashion Industry

Earlier this month, Founder and Director of Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN), Patricia Jurewicz, attended the fourth biannual Copenhagen Fashion Summit, a culmination of a week’s worth of panels, meetings, and discussions on sustainable fashion. The Summit, held on May 12th in the beautiful Copenhagen Concert Hall, was organized by the Danish Fashion Institute on behalf of the Nordic Fashion Association under the patronage of HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. The event, themed “Responsible Innovation”, brought over 1200 people from 52 countries, ranging from industry experts to government officials.

Two long-time leaders in the industry spoke at the Summit, Rick Ridgeway of Patagonia and Hannah Jones of Nike. Rick described the four R’s that inspired Patagonia’s Worn Wear program: Repair, Recycle, Resell, and Reduce – the last of which he dubbed an “inconvenient truth” for the fashion industry. Hannah made an impassioned call for a complete overhaul of the industry’s current sustainability practices, asserting that “incrementalism and efficiency measures will not get us there; less bad is not good enough”. She emphasized the importance of sustainable innovation at the molecular level of the industry, explaining that “for sustainability to be transformative, it must be built in to what we create and how we design from the very beginning”.

Perhaps the most memorable presentation of the day came from the Youth Fashion Summit, a group of 116 fashion and business students from 40 different countries. In the 3 days prior to the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, these students worked to determine how to implement the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals into the fashion industry. The students drafted a Manifesto of 7 Demands for The Fashion Industry. The demands echoed the speakers’ calls for closed-loop systems within all facets of the industry and elimination of unnecessary harm in product creation. In essence, their message was that the youth will have to clean up the current industry’s mess, and so the current industry heads better start dealing with the mess they created now. The Manifesto underlined the clear urgency and necessity of putting into place all of the possible innovations discussed at the Summit.

The 2016 Copenhagen Fashion Summit, while full of brilliant minds and innovative ideas, is only one of many steps needed to create a wholly sustainable fashion industry. Getting high profile people of the industry in one room to discuss these issues is impressive, but now we must focus on making these innovations the rule rather than the exception. RSN is doing its part in this effort by looking to disrupt the opaque cotton value chain by developing a new initiative called YESS: Yarn Ethically and Sustainably Sourced. Please join us in not only demanding transparency and accountability, but by supporting a tool that will help eliminate cotton harvested with modern day slavery.

For more information on the 2016 Summit, check out these links:

http://www.copenhagenfashionsummit.com/ 

http://youthfashionsummit.com/

http://www.kea.dk/en/current-affairs/news/read-article/news/detail/News/we-demand-here-is-the-youth-fashion-summit-manifesto-2016/

http://www.patagonia.com/us/patagonia.go?assetid=68400

http://about.nike.com/pages/sustainable-innovation

Twitter: @CphFashSummit 

Instagram: copenhagenfashionsummit

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/copenhagenfashionsummit/?fref=ts

 

 

 

The Youth Fashion Summit presents their Manifesto to industry leaders.

Thursday
Apr212016

Conflict Minerals Leaders are Problem Solvers

Over 1,200 publicly traded companies are reporting their conflict minerals due diligence to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Yet, according to evaluations done by Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN), very few companies are doing what it takes to support responsible minerals sourcing and promote peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

This video first appeared on the Ethical Alliance Resource Centre.

Intel and Global Advanced Metals (GAM) are exemplary companies that prove that sourcing conflict-free minerals from the DRC can go hand in hand with profitability. These companies engage key stakeholders, promote wider adoption of due diligence tools, and take a proactive approach to risk mitigation. 

RSN partici[ated in a recent webinar hosted by ethiXbase; RSN, Intel, and GAM discussed some of the obstacles these leading companies have overcome on their path to conflict-free, and how they strengthened relationships with key actors in the supply chain.

Stream the webinar to learn more about how leading companies leverage conflict minerals compliance to improve the way they do business. Outcomes can be win-win-win when companies take a problem-solving approach to human rights risk.

Tuesday
Apr052016

Spring Blossoms of Human Rights Awareness

With spring comes new life, and this spring brings awareness of the many lives affected every day by the materials we use.  Woolworths Holdings is not letting grass grow under its feet when it comes to forced labor in Uzbekistan. Today, we are proud to announce that Woolworths Holdings and its brands Country Road, David Jones, Mimco, Trenery, and Witchery have chosen to stand proudly for human rights by choosing to sign RSN’s Cotton Pledge.

When major companies choose to take a stand for human rights, it’s not only a ray of sunshine for the affected communities, but also hope for the transformation of an entire industry. We are filled with hope that so many companies and brands care so deeply for the communities and people affected by their products. This in turn gives hope to the tens of thousands of nurses, teachers, bus drivers, and university students forced to do back-breaking work of planting seeds and weeding this spring.

We anticipate the continuous increase in pledge signatories as the awareness of the pledge grows throughout Australia, Japan, and mainland Asia. Stay connected, learn more about human rights, and let a just apparel industry give you hope by keeping up with us on Twitter and Facebook