The Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP) certification program was launched by American Apparel Manufacturing Association (now known as the American Apparel and Footwear Association) in October 1999. It is endorsed by apparel manufacturers’ associations in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Wal-Mart has also expressed its support for WRAP.
WRAP is generally condemned by labour rights advocates as a substandard program. The WRAP Principles are generally weaker than those in other codes, with few provisions requiring more than compliance with local laws. The provision on freedom of association limits it to zones where it is legally allowed.
Terry Collingsworth of the US International Labor Rights Fund calls WRAP “an industry-dominated project [set up] to avoid outside, legitimate monitoring. In short, it’s a dodge, and is so regarded by everyone except industry.” Michael Posner of the US Lawyers Committee for Human Rights has described WRAP as a “closed door” system because of its lack of transparency or independence.
WRAP places sole responsibility for seeking and achieving factory certification with the local factory owner. While WRAP is an initiative of large US apparel manufacturers, and key executive officers of those companies sit on its “Independent Certification Board,” the actual responsibility for seeking WRAP factory certifications, hiring auditing firms and bearing the costs involved in achieving certification lie with the actual factory owners, who are in most cases southern suppliers of the northern manufacturers.
A company with WRAP certification can expect some of the following benefits
- A highly motivated workforce, resulting in better workers conditions.
- Enforcing humane conditions may lead to higher quality products.
- Continual improvement and better supply chain management.
- Ina business environment where social issues are increasing,WRAP is a chance to gain a competitive edge,attract new customers and enter new markets while giving the company and its managers “social peace of mind”.
- WRAP will also give the company a better position in the Apperal market.The clear commitment to social and ethical standards will make it easier for a company to attract well trained and skilled staff a factor which is seen as The key success factor in the next illennium.
- WRAP Certification is evidence of Social, Environmental, Custom and Security Compliance.
WRAP is a way for organizations to maintain decent working conditions throughout its supply chain.
WRAP monitors the factory for compliance with detailed practices and procedures implied by adherence to these standards.
- Compliance with Laws and Workplace Regulations
- Prohibition of Forced Labor
- Prohibition of Child Labor
- Prohibition of Harassment or Abuse
- Compensation and Benefits
- Hours of Work
- Prohibition of Discrimination
- Health and Safety
- Freedom of Association & Collective Bargaining
- Customs Compliance