A supply chain is not merely a mechanical process designed to create and ship products. It is a complex network of workers doing different jobs in many parts of the world. In the case of a T-shirt, for example, the supply chain includes everything from people working at farms where cotton is grown to the cut-and-sew factories where the garments are put together.
Decisions made at Gap Inc. headquarters can affect people in other parts of our supply chain. The supply chain is a system, not a linear collection of discrete events, and decisions that are made at one end of it can have consequences, positive or negative, elsewhere in the system.
Gap Inc. seeks to ensure that the people working at various points along the supply chain are treated with fairness, dignity and respect – an aspiration that is born out of the belief that each life is of equal value, whether the person is sitting behind a sewing machine at a factory that produces clothes for Gap Inc., working at one of our stores, or wearing a pair of our jeans.
We know that our efforts to improve the lives of people who work on behalf of our company help us to run a more successful business. People who work a reasonable number of hours in a safe and healthy environment not only have a better quality of life, but they also tend to be more productive and deliver higher quality product than those who work in poor conditions.
To achieve this aspiration, our Social and Environmental Responsibility department has a full-time staff of approximately 70 people dedicated to these issues, partnering with hundreds of factory owners and managers, NGOs, and industry associations worldwide that are experts in social and environmental issues.