This document includes model sweatfree solicitation language, a sample compliance scoring methodology, a procurement process flow chart, and reference materials. The language can be adopted in whole or in part consistent with government entities’ own policies, statutes and regulations. The model process and language is a living document. We welcome feedback from government entities that use it or consider using it in their procurement.
The Sweatfree Purchasing Guide, Version 1, is intended to help procurement officials develop and implement policies and rules to achieve compliance with their public entity’s procurement laws and reach their goal of avoiding sweatshop products.
Government entities may require apparel and other contractors to state that they and their subcontractors have the capacity to comply with a sweatfree code of conduct. A code of conduct typically consists of core labor standards, acceptable conditions of work, and requirements relating to wages and remuneration. The scope and precise requirements of the code of conduct can vary from entity to entity, but the common goal is to use government purchases to create a market for decent working conditions by working with suppliers to improve conditions when needed, and avoiding purchases of products from companies that fail to eliminate sweatshop conditions. The Consortium has developed a common Declaration of Compliance form in order to help harmonize standards and procedural requirements.
Read more about the compliance process here. The Declaration of Compliance is available as an online form to public entities, manufacturers, and vendors that log in to this website.
The purpose of the questionnaire is to help public entities assess vendors’ knowledge of applicable labor standards and compliance levels in factories that produce goods under an existing or pending public contract. The questionnaire is not a substitute for factory monitoring and in-person investigations and cannot yield conclusive findings of compliance or violations. However, vendors’ awareness of standards and their knowledge of actual wages, hours, benefits, and conditions in a factory is an important benchmark of compliance. The questionnaire can help public entities assess risks of non-compliance and may indicate areas that need further investigation.
Anyone with knowledge of a possible violation of a government sweatfree purchasing code of conduct can submit the Consortium's online complaint form safely and confidentially. Generally, a violation of a government sweatfree purchasing code of conduct is a worker rights violation at a factory that makes uniforms or other apparel for companies that sell products to U.S. government agencies.
The Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium will notify all member agencies upon receipt of a genuine and legitimate complaint of a code of conduct violation. Individual member agencies may decide to conduct their own investigations. The Consortium may also itself conduct complaint investigations if at least one member purchases the products made in the factory in question and the complaint is pertinent to the member’s code of conduct. Investigations may vary in scope and extent, depending on the problems identified and the needs of member agencies.