LONDON, May 24 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Adidas executive Aditi Wanchoo is on a mission – to wipe out any slavery in the German sportswear company’s supply chain, and she hopes giving workers the technology to speak out will help.
With a background in corporate social responsibility at consultancy firm Accenture, Wanchoo was hired 18 months ago in a new position created by Adidas, one of the first companies to set up a role dedicated to fighting slavery.
In recent years modern-day slavery has increasingly come under the spotlight, putting regulatory and consumer pressure on companies to ensure their supply chains are free of forced labour, child labour and other forms of slavery.
As apparel and footwear industries rely heavily on outsourcing, sportswear companies have faced growing scrutiny.
Wanchoo said Adidas had been actively working on this issue since it was revealed at the 1998 World Cup that footballs were produced by child labourers in India and companies realised they did not have control over their suppliers.
Governments are now trying to tackle the problem with new legislation, such as the UK’s 2015 law requiring companies to disclose how they are ensuring supply chains are slavery free.
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