Social aspects of Champion Production
Some companies fake transparency—they only disclose enough information to consumers to give the façade of ethical business. Champion, a company of Hanesbrands, provides extensive information on almost every aspect of its company directly through its website and Hanes for Good, and the company seems to be doing everything right at first glance, but further inspection of the company calls its practices into question.
Many companies advertise that the California Transparency in Supply Chain Act has changed the way they do business, but Hanes claims to have been meeting the Act’s criteria for years. The company claims to exert extensive effort and energy fighting forced labor, slavery, and human trafficking. Hanes even produces the majority of their products in company owned factories primarily in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, instead of outsourcing the work to other factories. By using company owned factories, Hanes believes they are better able supervise the practices occurring in their production facilities.
From a glance, Hanesbrands seems to be doing everything right. They recently partnered with USAID to progress development in the countries where they produce, and they even provide education and healthcare services to their employees at many different factory locations. Story after story, Hanes claims to significantly improve the community and environment in the several countries in which they produce.
Although the Hanes website boasts the company’s positive social impact, some of the company’s practices are still in question. Cases of child labor and abuse linked to Hanes factories have been reported in the last few years. Hanes might believe in ethical business, but recent stories regarding employee treatment in Hanesbrands facilities challenge their claims of sound business. Low wage reports of workers in Haiti, sexual abuse of employees in Jordan, poor inspections of Bangladeshi factories, and mistreatment of workers in the Dominican Republic, provide further reason to question Hanesbrands’s “ethical” business model.
Champion and Hanesbrands might believe in good business, but their belief statements need to be backed up by action, especially if Point Loma Nazarene University is going to print its logo on Champion apparel.
Written by: Audrey Hiatt