Traceability of the supply chain

Traceability is a cornerstone of supply chain management. At Inditex, we work with external suppliers and their factories with the aim to guarantee that every item is manufactured in maximum compliance with legislation on labour, the environment and product health and safety.

Traceability is even more important in the context of the sustainability of a global supply chain such as Inditex’s. By identifying every production unit, Inditex is capable of carrying out programmes that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production). This is because all of the Group’s sustainability policies and standards – such as the Code of Conduct for Manufacturers and Suppliers, and product health and safety standards Clear to Wear and Safe to Wear, as well as the environmental strategies Water, Biodiversity, Energy and Climate Change – apply to all suppliers and factories that make up the supply chain. So identifying suppliers and manufacturers is critical, whether they come from the first level of suppliers that have a direct business relationship with Inditex or from other manufacturing levels.

In 2015, the Group’s 1,725 direct suppliers registered 6,298 factories involved in production, where awareness-raising and sensitization campaigns were jointly run. Registration of fabric factories increased as a result of the emphasis placed by Inditex teams on ensuring traceability right up to the last link of the chain.

In 2015, work was done to standardize methods of ensuring traceability, collecting the best practices from the teams working to verify traceability. The goal is to develop a comprehensive and standardized model with the maxim that traceability must always be guaranteed and must satisfy the needs of all of the company departments involved in its management, which include sustainability teams, departments dealing with logistics, and purchasing.

Inditex is also working hard on the identification of raw materials, developing a number of different projects and initiatives in this sphere. For example, Inditex’s Forest Product Policy ensures the traceability of raw materials deriving from forestry in order to avoid using materials from primary or endangered forests, illegal felling, or forests providing a habitat for endangered species. The Group works with the major global suppliers of forest-based artificial fibres such as viscose, modal and lyocell to ensure that only fibre complying with this policy is used in the products sold by Inditex.

Number of suppliers with purchase and factories in 2015 (*)