Western consumers are increasingly aware of the links between high street retailers and sweatshops in some countries.

A UK campaign on the issue persuaded MPs to add a supply chain clause to the Modern Slavery Act of 2015.

The clause requires businesses with a turnover of more than £36 million to publish an annual statement confirming that human trafficking and slavery are not taking place in their supply chains, or declaring that no steps to confirm the existence of these practices have been made.

Slavery is not of course the only working condition that could harm a brand’s image. The Rana Plaze collapse in Bangladesh in 2013 highlighted health and safety risks in supply chains.

Retailers who care about responsible sourcing and whose supply chains meet exacting standards have been working alongside campaigners and charities to improve standards across the board.

Jack Wills, a British fashion retailer and member of the Ethical Trading Initiative, runs its own campaign, ‘The Fabric of Jack’, aimed at promoting supply chain transparency and the International Labour Organisation’s conventions on labour practices.

Steph Green, Brand, Ethical & Compliance Officer at Jack Wills will be sharing expertise in the harmonisation of ethical trade and brand protection at the Retail Risk – London conference on March 23rd.

Steph will be giving a joint presentation with Marie McMorrow, a partner at HGF Limited EU Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys and HGF Law LLP, Solicitors, looking at the range of issues covered by the brand, ethical and compliance role – including counterfeiting, intellectual property actions and corporate social responsibility.

They will be exploring how these considerations expand the remit of Asset Protection and Risk Management beyond the traditional parameters – presenting loss prevention professionals with new challenges and opportunities.

To register for Retail Risk – London on March 23rd, just click here