In a move to improve the livelihoods of garment workers and help improve supply chain transparency and efficiency, Gap has started a bold new goal for all of its tier 1 suppliers approximately 800 factories in about 30 countries to make the transition from a cash-based system to digital payments by 2020.
More than 60 percent of Gap’s supplier factories already provide digital payments methods, such as online transfers to bank accounts or mobile wallets. The new goal will help scale this progress across the company’s global supply chain and positively impact the lives of more than one million garment workers.
According to the company, women make up about 80 percent of the world’s garment industry workforce but often live in a cash-only environment and lack access to formal financial services. Electronic wage payment methods have the benefit of drawing previously unbanked workers into the formal financial system, allowing women greater control over their finances and a safer way to save, send money, and invest. Suppliers benefit from increased efficiency and speed. All parties also benefit from increased accountability, transparency, and security.
The company’s focus on promoting an inclusive digital payment ecosystem is the latest move by Gap to partner with suppliers to improve the livelihoods of the garment workers who make its clothing. The company’s Supplier Sustainability team continues to move beyond an “assess and remediate” model to a more innovative approach – with more cooperative, productive, and positive working environments as the end goal.
Gap is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta brands.