Unwavering labor standards are core to the American Eagle Outfitters ethic. To this point, we have put processes in place to promote safe and healthy working conditions for factory workers. Before any new factory can begin working with us, we first conduct a pre-sourcing inspection of their facilities - if a factory cannot meet our standards, it is not approved for production. Furthermore, we continuously engage our existing suppliers to meet our expectations for social compliance and remedy any issues they face. Our goal is to create long-lasting, supportive relationships with our suppliers as we work collectively to improve conditions within the supply chain.
Capacity building and remediation efforts are essential to our goal of building strong, ongoing relationships with our suppliers. We want those who work with us to view American Eagle Outfitters as a supportive partner as they enact genuine, lasting change in their factories.
In order to effectively support remediation efforts, we must know the full extent of any issue we uncover. For this reason, transparency is one of the most important qualities we look for in suppliers. In 2010, we took a strong stance to guarantee that we received full, genuine reporting of supply chain issues. We informed suppliers that failure to show an accurate accounting of workplace conditions (including real and correct books of records) or attempts to hide any information necessary to the audit would result in a significant penalty - up to and including termination of our business relationship. To encourage disclosure and illustrate our commitment to supportive relationships with our suppliers, we assured factories that the penalty of not showing accurate records would be far worse than any instances of non-compliance these records might reveal and that we were committed to working with them to tackle problems that were detected. Additionally, our teams provide ongoing support for existing suppliers to prevent non-compliance issues from occurring year after year in the same factories.
"While remediating non-compliances identified during audits, we communicate with factories so that they understand our expectations and we understand the challenges they are facing. In this open dialog, an appropriate remediation plan can be developed and the issues can be tackled step-by-step. I love my job because I can see the difference I make. I am very glad to see factories moving forward and making positive changes."
- Pel W., Supply Chain ResponsibilityAmerican Eagle Outfitters