Modern slavery and the importance of transparency in leather supply

United Kingdom
Published:  06 November, 2017
Chris Grayer

Chris Grayer, Head of Supplier Ethical Compliance at UK based High Street and online retailer NEXT PLC, will be presenting the topic of modern slavery and the importance of transparency at the upcoming Leather & Sustainability in Retail Conference 2017 taking place in central London on November 16. The presentation will provide an overview of the issues NEXT has faced as an organisation to tackle modern slavery.

The UK Modern Slavery Act (MSA) is a game changer. For the first time, accountability of supply chain corporate responsibility has been taken through the door of the Board Room, as the responsibility of the new legislation requires specific ethical commitments by the Board, to then be made public through a viable MSA statement. When combined with the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGP) on Human Rights, investors have for the first time been provided with a tangible metric for the measure of companies’ corporate responsibility performance.

Today’s fast fashion and polarised customer demand periods are changing purchasing practices, as well as supply chain structure and procurement processes in our fashion retail sector. Current supply chains are complex, multi layered and will inevitably involve sub-contracting, agency, migrant workers, as well as the risk of complicity, exploitation and even criminality and slavery.

This presentation will provide an overview of the brutal reality of the issues NEXT has faced as an organisation to tackle modern slavery. It covers the realisation and the impacts that modern slavery has had on NEXT, as well as the pathway and process the Company has taken to provide transparency, implement due diligence and ensure effective remediation. This presentation shows how these actions will provide a sustainable assurance of workers’ human rights and protect the value of the NEXT brand.

 About Chris Grayer

Chris Grayer has been involved in corporate responsibility and quality assurance for the last 30 years during a career spanning 20 years in the manufacturing sector and 17 years in the retail sector.  Grayer has worked for a number of prominent companies and has been collaborating with NEXT PLC as Head of Supplier Ethical Compliance for the past six years.

The Leather & Sustainability in Retail Conference 2017 is sponsored by Stahl, Smit & zoon and TFL, and is supported by Lonza. The half-day conference will be held on Thursday, November 16 at One Great George St., Westminster, London and is jointly organised by BLC Leather Technology Centre Ltd (BLC) and International Leather Maker (ILM). As well as a full speaker programme, delegates will be able to network with leading brands and retailers, as well as listen to a discussion panel of industry experts.

Click here to see the full conference speaker programme and full details about the conference.

Register your place today

The cost of the conference is £310 + VAT (€360) per delegate and will be invoiced at the time of registration. Discounts will be offered for multiple registrations. Do not miss out on this leading leather sustainability conference. Register your attendance today by completing the registration form and returning it to Deborah Taylor: deborah@blcleathertech.com

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