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In the News

May 30--How Local Governments Are Using Their Purchasing Power to End Sweatshop Labor More>>

April 9--Do You Know Where Your Government Uniform Was Made? More>>

December 22--U.S. Flouts Its Own Advice in Procuring Overseas Clothing. More>>

December 13--Canadian government urged to adopt ethical sourcing policy. More>>

News and Updates

New San Francisco Report.  San Francisco's Sweatfree Advisory Group has released a report on the City's progress and challenges, including recommendations for next steps. More>>

The Bangladesh Safety Accord. The Consortium notes with sadness the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza factories.  The new Safety Accord reflects the Consortium’s Principles of Social Compliance.  More>>

Principles of social compliance.  The Consortium responds to the garment factory fires in Bangladesh and Pakistan.  More>>

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On One-Year Anniversary of the Rana Plaza Tragedy:

City of Madison Cooperative Contract Addresses Unsafe and Illegal Conditions in Apparel Factories

The City of Madison, Wisconsin, in consultation with the Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium has released a Request for Proposals  for various kinds of clothing worn by its firefighters, police, metro transit and other employees.  The contract is designed so that other state and local government agencies in the United States can purchase uniforms under the same terms and conditions for the life of the contract. This multi-government initiative is part of a larger effort to to eliminate unsafe and illegal working conditions in apparel factories worldwide.  More>>


"Uncle Sam's Sweatshops"

A major investigative New York Times report on unsafe, abusive, and illegal conditions in overseas apparel factories that supplies the federal government has sparked proposals to change the government’s buying practices.  The New York Times itself proposes: “Federal agencies can start by disclosing the names of all factories they use; Congress could then order an investigation of the labor violations in those facilities. Next, agencies should jointly develop a code of conduct for overseas factories as well as an inspection regimen. Washington might also consider joining the retailers who have agreed to improve building safety in Bangladesh."

Read the report and proposals here.

Check out Sweatfree LinkUp!

  This is a new database of apparel factories, manufacturers, and vendors in the government procurement supply chain. It is a tool for increased transparency and labor rights accountability in the industry. More>>


Resources for Sweatfree Purchasing

  Is your government entity considering sweatfree purchasing?  Use the Consortium's new model policy as a starting point.  The premise of the model is that fair and open competition for public contracts and decent working conditions in the procurement supply chain go hand in hand.  More>>

Many cities, states and other government entities have worked for many years to ensure they buy products made in decent conditions.  We have assembled their resources in the new resource libary. More>>

Check out the online worker complaint form, our labor compliance questionnaire, and additional resources.  More>>


The government must do better. Federal agencies can start by disclosing the names of all factories they use; Congress could then order an investigation of the labor violations in those facilities. Next, agencies should jointly develop a code of conduct for overseas factories as well as an inspection regimen. Washington might also consider joining the retailers who have agreed to improve building safety in Bangladesh. In these and other ways, the federal government would improve the lives of millions of workers and set an example for the private sector to follow.

-The New York Times Editorial Board, December 29, 2013

The work of the members of the Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium is an important part of the effort to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not provided to entities that operate sweatshops.  New York is proud to be a part of this effort to promote sweatfree purchasing.

- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York
We have a moral obligation to ensure [the sweatshop] practice is not rewarded through state contracts and taxpayer dollars…. By using our combined state procurement power, we can impart real change.

- Former Governor Edward G. Rendell, Pennsylvania

Hear what members say about the Consortium.  Go here.