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Social Responsiblity

Responsible Sourcing

Where a t-shirt comes from defines how it feels when you wear it. That’s why we work hard to provide apparel and accessories that you can be sure are made ethically and responsibly. To accomplish this, we purchase products from long-term, reliable and responsible partners and work with respected independent third parties to continuously improve our factory monitoring program.

Factory Monitoring

As our business and supply chain continues to grow we have taken great care to ensure our suppliers share our standards and operate in an ethical and responsible manner. By making social responsibility fundamental to our sourcing decisions, we ensure our suppliers take our Global Operating Principles (GOP) as seriously as we do.


Our factory monitoring program includes third-party verification, engagement with multi-stakeholder initiatives and providing factories with training and resources when opportunities for improvement are identified. Third-party verification of our Global Operating Principles is rigorous and further strengthened by the independent, random monitoring of certain factories by the Fair Labor Association (FLA).

The Fair Labor Association

The Fair Labor Association is a collaborative effort of socially responsible companies, colleges and civil society organizations to improve working conditions in factories around the world.

In November of 2012, the FLA recognized SanMar (FEDS Apparel's Main Supplier) for its dedication to the Fair Labor and Responsible Sourcing Principles when it accredited our compliance program. In March 2023, SanMar’s Factory Monitoring program received re-accreditation from the FLA. We are proud to be one of only a small number of companies to hold this level of distinction.

 As the highest level of programmatic evaluation by the FLA, accreditation recognizes that we have corporate systems in place to identify and remediate unfair labor practices in our global supply chain. SanMar’s accreditation included evaluation against the FLA Principles of Responsible Sourcing.

SanMar continues to be an active participant of the FLA today, demonstrating our commitment by:


  • Upholding the FLA’s Code of Conduct and established systems to identify and remedy ethical violations.


  • Working with the FLA to develop and improve social compliance systems that flag issues and lead to sustainable solutions when workers are at risk.



  • Monitoring our supply chain partners to ensure they meet strict labor standards.


  • Engaging with local CSOs and NGOs to address regional challenges.

For a complete list of the Fair Labor and Responsible Sourcing Principles that guide our sourcing activities and the FLA’s Workplace Code of Conduct, please visit fairlabor.org.

Responsible Purchasing Practices

We know that our purchasing decisions have a direct effect on working conditions, so we provide training to our product creation teams and seek to understand how our actions impact our suppliers.

 In addition to this ongoing training, SanMar has been working with the Better Buying Initiative since 2019. Better Buying is a unique system that enables suppliers to communicate with their buyers and rate purchasing practices anonymously, providing clear, relevant, transparent and timely information and analysis about good purchasing practices.

In 2021, SanMar became the first Better Buying subscriber to publish our scorecard publicly. Learn more about our ongoing work with the Better Buying Initiative.

Sustainable Manufacturing

SanMar is proud to work with suppliers who invest in renewable energy, minimize water use, manage chemicals effectively and reduce waste in their operations.

While we know that much of apparel’s environmental impact results from the manufacture of raw materials and textiles, we also are seeing tremendous innovation and activity in the supply chain to address those issues. As we grow with our existing suppliers and seek out new partners to work with, we assess whether they are taking steps in these areas.

SanMar joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition in 2017, and we have been using their Higg facility tools since then to assess suppliers for environmental compliance as part of our factory onboarding process. We implemented a requirement in 2022 for all facilities to use the Higg Facility Environmental Module (FEM), which measures their performance on factors including ensuring environmental management systems are in place and investments in renewable energy.

SanMar’s Commitment to Fair Compensation

The United Nations and its International Labour Organization (ILO) have declared living wage a basic human right. SanMar is committed to ensuring that the people who make our products are treated with dignity and respect. Our commitment includes fair compensation, the principle that every worker has a right to compensation for a regular week that is sufficient to meet the worker’s basic needs and provide some discretionary income which, for example, can be used to pay for medical costs, towards education, and transportation. SanMar’s Global Operating Principles outline our standard and SanMar’s Factory Compliance Benchmarks provide details of our compensation and benefits requirements.

As a Living Wage Corporate Sponsor in support of the Anker Research Institute, SanMar shares a mission to advance knowledge to improve the living standards of working people and their families globally.

Supply Chain Disclosure

SanMar is committed to conducting business in a socially responsible manner. This includes acknowledging our responsibility to ensure that slavery and trafficking do not occur in our supply chain. We seek to comply with all applicable national laws where we do business and to respect international principles aimed at preventing and eradicating trafficking and slavery, as described in the 2000 United Nations “Palermo Protocol” and the 1926 Slavery Convention.

The 2010 California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (the Act), which became effective January 1, 2012, requires that companies disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from our supply chain. Our Global Operating Principles – a set of principles based on the International Labor Organization’s standards addresses forced labor, child labor, harassment or abuse, discrimination, wages, freedom of association and more to protect against the risks associated with the trafficking and slavery of workers.