Promoting Sustainable Fashion in Brazil's Garment Supply Chain

From December 2019 to May 2020, a team of six graduate students from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) assisted the Brazilian Association of Textile Retail (ABVTEX) in providing technical recommendations to improve the quality and effectiveness of its auditing standards and procedures while converging with international best practices. The SIPA team worked with ABVTEX to carefully assess its Program, audit standards, and audit procedures. The team also conducted intensive interviews, surveys, literature reviews, stakeholder analysis, and benchmarking analysis of the ABVTEX system against international audit mechanisms. The SIPA team concluded that the ABVTEX Program has a positive impact on the Brazilian garment industry. Nevertheless, the team provided the client with critical recommendations suggesting the Association shift towards a multi-stakeholder capacity-building approach and increase the workers’ voice through improved grievance mechanisms and participation in audit facilitation.