How does the WRC relate to licensees?

The WRC has built strong working relationships with many of the most important collegiate licensees. In all cases where WRC assessments have led to successful remediation, licensees have played a central role in the progress made toward improving conditions in these facilities. In many cases, the WRC and the relevant licensee(s) worked very closely on the remediation process. The WRC’s goal is not to embarrass licensees but to promote real improvements in factory conditions. For this reason, when violations are identified at a factory, the WRC generally seeks to give licensees an opportunity to address the problems prior to the issuance of a public report. In many cases, this allows the WRC to state that violations have been eliminated at the same time we report these violations publicly.

The WRC has often been asked why there are no industry representatives on the WRC Governing Board. The WRC believes that there is an important role to be played by monitoring organizations that operate independently of the apparel industry itself. The WRC therefore decided to maintain independence from licensees in terms of organizational governance and funding, while engaging in constructive dialogue and cooperation with licensees in the course of our work. The WRC’s independence is a crucial asset to the organization and to affiliate colleges and universities. This independence allows the WRC to get information from workers and worker advocates about factory conditions that other monitors cannot obtain. It helps factories and licensees communicate with workers and their representatives to resolve problems and disputes. Our independence enhances the credibility of the WRC’s reports. It also enables colleges and universities to report that their licensees’ supply chains are subject to investigations by an organization that operates entirely independently of the industry.