• Asos believes the four commitments are critical enablers to improving conditions across the UK supply chain.
Brands stocked by Asos with a UK manufacturing footprint have been asked to sign up to the Transparency Pledge and the Fast Forward auditing methodology

Brands stocked by Asos with a UK manufacturing footprint have been asked to sign up to the Transparency Pledge and the Fast Forward auditing methodology

Brands stocked by Asos with a UK manufacturing presence have been asked by the online fashion retailer to make four new ethical manufacturing commitments as a condition to their products being sold on the company's website.

The move sees Asos strengthen its third-party brand engagement programme, with the four commitments designed to bring the UK production policies of Asos' brand partners in line with those implemented by the company for the manufacture of its Asos Design products in the UK.

The country is an initial focus area for Asos as part of its third-party brand engagement programme, with further international plans to be rolled out over the coming months.

It has asked brands to commit to taking the following steps by the end of the year:

  • Signing the Transparency Pledge, joining Asos, H&M, Inditex, Next, Pentland Brands, and numerous others in regularly and publicly disclosing a list of manufacturing sites in their supply chain;
  • Mapping and having visibility on all parts of their UK garment manufacturing supply chain, and providing evidence of visibility to Asos;
  • Identifying risks within their supply base and strategies to mitigate this risk and, if necessary, sharing this information with Asos so it can support the partner with addressing these issues;
  • Joining the Fast Forward auditing programme and committing to tackle any issues identified through this process.

Fast Forward is a UK-focused auditing methodology Asos co-founded with other retailers in 2014 to specifically tackle issues facing UK garment manufacturing.

"When we launched our third-party brand engagement programme at the start of 2018, we set out Five Minimum Requirements that we wanted the brands we sold on site to sign up to by 2020," says CEO Nick Beighton. "We've been working hard to support our brand partners to achieve this aim, and with the target now in sight, we want to be even more ambitious – and ask those brands that manufacture in the UK to bring their supply chains in line with our own, if they are not already.

"We believe the four commitments we have set out this week are critical enablers to improving sourcing standards across the UK. We hope that our brand partners will join us in striving to reach this goal, with the continued support of Asos, Fast Forward, and other leading lights in UK manufacturing."

The retailer says it will continue to share its expertise and experience to help its brand partners reach these commitments. 

As such, it will host a collaborative workshop together with the Fast Forward audit organisation and Fast Forward members next month to support its brand partners in signing up to Fast Forward in the coming months.

In the last financial year, third-party brands accounted for approximately 60% of the products sold on Asos.

The business was among a number of major online fashion retailers to drop the Boohoo Group's brands from their websites last month after claims of exploitation and unsafe conditions emerged at one of the company's UK supplier factories.

The allegations prompted Boohoo to launch an immediate independent review of its UK supply chain and a warning it would cut ties with factories found to be breaching its supplier code