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Six Lankan companies among Levi's active suppliers

Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&CO.) on October 11 published a list of all active owned-and-operated and contract factories producing Levi's(r), Dockers(r) and Levi Strauss Signature(r) branded products.

The Company has provided names and locations of more than 750 factories including its suppliers in Sri Lanka along with other detailed sourcing information and documents.

Levi's has taken this decision in order to ensure greater transparency within the supply chain which will provide additional momentum for its efforts to improve working conditions in apparel factories worldwide.

Among the producers of Levi's branded products in Sri Lanka are Brandix Casual Wear - Seethawaka Industrial Park, Finitex Textile Finishing - Ratmalana,

Greatways Apparels - Kaluthara, Hidaramani Industries - Kaluthara, Seethawaka, Imperial Garments - Kadawatha and Rusirumal - Avissawella.

Levi's, senior vice president (Global Sourcing) David Love said in a news release that the Company's hope is that this level of transparency will become standard across the apparel sector, fostering greater collaboration among brands in shared factories.

In 1991, LS&CO. was the first multinational company to enact a global code of conduct for suppliers. Codes of conduct are now an apparel sector norm and have significantly contributed to improved conditions for workers and the decline in issues such as child and forced labour.

Meanwhile, Global Union representing workers in the clothing industry worldwide hailed the Levi's decision.

General Secretary of the Brussels-based International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF) Neil Kearney, said in a news release that it is noteworthy that Levi Strauss has come to recognise that such disclosure will help improve working conditions in its supply chain.

"When Nike published its list of suppliers in April, we expressed the hope that others would follow suit. Progress has been slow, but now appears to be gathering momentum. Other companies in the sector should now follow the example of Nike and Levi Strauss.

"Companies genuinely concerned about ensuring a clean supply chain must recognise that sweatshop conditions can only be eliminated if companies are transparent about how they operate, by providing information on working conditions as well as making available details of their suppliers', Kearney said. - (CK)

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