Brands sourcing from UK receive low sustainable sourcing rating

An index report from the Better Buying™ initiative has analysed the purchasing practices of a number of companies. The Better Buying™ Index Report 2019 has used data anonymously submitted by suppliers to measure the performance of brands in the apparel, footwear and household textiles industries. The report covers results from 2018’s fourth financial quarter. Out of the ratings that were submitted, the areas experiencing the worst purchasing practices included Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, Turkey, the UK and the USA. Suppliers in the UK experienced a Net Buyer Impact score of -9 in the report, significantly lower than Bangladesh suppliers’ score of +13. According to the report, only 35 per cent of British suppliers had been incentivised by their global retailers in these industries to comply with sustainable sourcing practices. In contrast, 62.8 per cent of Bangladesh suppliers had been incentivised to source materials through sustainable methods.

UK suppliers have also been experiencing some of the worst practices in terms of month-to-month order variation. Suppliers based in the UK reported the highest order variation of 92.5 per cent during the six-month period prior to the assessment (Q4 2018). This figure makes the UK the country experiencing the most variable order demand compared to other regions. This significant short term variation makes it difficult for suppliers to plan ahead and find ways to responsibly source materials.

The supply chains of numerous industries have often been criticised for sustainability practices. The report claims that a factor in Bangladesh’s higher Net Buyer Impact score is the industry’s ability to satisfy needs for low-cost, high-volume production of core products. On the other hand, regions like Hong Kong and the UK that experience some of the lower Net Buyer Impact scores tend to focus on providing any product for any customer at any time. The volatility of demand creates late forecasts and unpredictable monthly volumes and prices for suppliers in Hong Kong and the UK. The report encourages brands sourcing from these regions to adjust supply chain practices toward sustainability, for example, “sticking with suppliers for the long-term, rather than jumping from location to location in search of the best trade deal or lowest cost”.

NOTE: Following communication from Better Buying™, this article has been revised on 16/09/2019 to more properly reflect the content of the Better Buying™ Index Report.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories