Strategic Mills and Spinners Initiative

Initiated in 2010, RSN created the Strategic Mills and Spinners Initiative (SMSI) to ensure that company policies on Uzbek cotton harvested using forced labor of children and adults were monitored and adhered to by yarn spinners and fabric mills (if vertically integrated) throughout participating companies’ supply chains. Coordinated by the Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN), SMSI engaged select yarn spinners (and mills, where applicable) located in countries that import significant quantities of Uzbek cotton.

SMSI sought to make this connection by directly with the spinners and mills that were most likely to obtain Uzbek cotton on behalf of a group of brands. Due to minimal response from mills when contacting them from afar, we have decided to transition the SMSI into a more concrete interaction with spinners.

New Initiative: Spinner Verification

In 2014, RSN began to research and develop the Spinner Verification (SV) initiative. The SV initiative aims to create a verification system that will ensure yarn spinners and vertically-integrated textile mills are adhering to brands’ and retailers’ policies against forced labor in cotton harvesting. It does this by providing transparency at a critical point of the supply chain: where cotton is being purchased.

To read more about the SV initiative, see a 2-page overview.

In order to determine the best way forward and garner industry support, RSN has contracted MADE-BY to undertake a Feasibility Study. The study aims to benchmark spinner verification against other current initiatives interacting with yarn spinners and textile mills to determine the most appropriate way to harmonize the various efforts. The results of the study are expected to be completed by Q2, 2015. MADE-BY is an award-winning European NGO with in-depth experience and a thorough understanding of apparel and textile supply chains.