• Better Buying and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) are to join forces on an 18-month programme in Bangladesh to promote responsible buying practices.
  • Local suppliers will be encouraged to rate international brands' purchasing practices.
  • Brands' buying teams will be asked to use supplier feedback to identify areas for improvement.
The Better Buying platform asks suppliers to rate the performance of apparel retailers and brands with the aim of creating "a race to the top" when it comes to purchasing practices

The Better Buying platform asks suppliers to rate the performance of apparel retailers and brands with the aim of creating "a race to the top" when it comes to purchasing practices

Better Buying and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) are to collaborate on an 18-month programme in Bangladesh to support and promote responsible buying practices within garment industry supply chains.

The partnership will invite Bangladeshi suppliers to anonymously evaluate their buyers using the Better Buying online rating platform, while brand's buying teams will be asked to use supplier feedback to identify areas for improvement.

Launched in 2016, the Better Buying platform asks suppliers to rate the performance of apparel retailers and brands with the aim of creating "a race to the top" when it comes to purchasing practices. It gives buyers anonymised ratings from suppliers on seven key aspects of purchasing practices – planning and forecasting, design and development, cost and cost negotiation, sourcing and order placement, payment and terms, management of the purchasing process, and CSR harmonisation. 

According to ETI's apparel and textiles lead, Martin Buttle, joint ETI and International Labour Organisation (ILO) research shows that purchasing practices can negatively impact wages and working conditions in global supply chains. He added that ETI believes Better Buying scores and analysis will therefore serve as an independent method of determining strengths and weaknesses within brands' procurement cycles.

"We are seeing increasing debate about the impact of buying practices on the ability of suppliers to maintain good labour standards. International retailers and brands can therefore only gain from this initiative, in terms of underpinning sustainable business for all, building their reputation and improving conditions for workers," he says.

Better Buying and ETI expect the information and analysis results from the supplier ratings will help companies understand which purchasing practices are working well and which may benefit from focused efforts to improve. 

"By using Better Buying, brands will be able to identify how their buyers, product developers, and others responsible for bringing product to market can improve their day-to-day business activities, thus helping their suppliers uphold better labour standards," adds Marsha Dickson and Doug Cahn, Better Buying co-founders.