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Levi’s CEO John Anderson on doing the right thing

There’s an interesting, if a little predictable in terms of content, article on the Levi’s boss talking about how the company decided to start auditing the supply chain against and ethical code of conduct on the Insead website.

Here’s a quote from it you might find useful:

“The test of Levi’s commitment, says Anderson, came when the company introduced its so-called ‘terms of engagement’, a code of conduct for its employees, suppliers and contractors. This details Levi’s expectations of workplace conditions, including the prevention of child labour, and the promotion of the health and safety of workers.
“The cost for us went up 50 cents a pair of jeans. Those days we were making 400 million pairs of jeans,” Anderson recalls.
“Think about it, 50 cents, that’s what it went up. You can imagine the furore within the company: ‘We can’t afford to do it’.”
“But from the top down, we said ‘we’re going to do this, we’re going to take a leap of starts’ because we believe the industry will follow us. And guess what? Ninety per cent of the industry today is working with us after we implemented that. And our company survived just fine.”

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