We need your help to protect lives
I’m writing this letter to you as a fellow sourcing professional. Right now, we’re watching as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the world’s strongest economies and populations. But with supply chains located in some of the world’s most dense and least secure populations, we worry about the nearly unimaginable scale of human loss that could occur when people are forced — by the need to support their families — to return to work. Just as we are indirectly responsible for ensuring the social and environmental standards of our partner facilities, we are doubly responsible for ensuring that human beings are not risking a devastating outbreak to build our products. We must act now, and we must do it together as an industry.
Like many people in our industry, you have probably slept very little in the last couple of weeks, talking with your global production partners, explaining the hard decisions that have had to be made. The world we knew and operated in has transformed completely. It’s changed for everyone.
Right now, the catastrophic impact of the virus is being felt in places where the storefronts are located. But soon it will reach the places where products are produced. We’ve both been to these places. We have long-lasting friendships there. And if the virus is so devastating at the store fronts, it is sobering to realize the level of destruction it will bring to the places of production. There are no stimulus packages there, no extended lockdowns. There’s little chance that ventilators and safety equipment will reach our friends there.
Although these places are still at the early stage of the contagion curve, the data tell us that in a matter of weeks the virus will start hitting hard. Even more concerning, the peak of their contagion curves will likely occur right as the storefronts reopen. And with that, the resulting resurgence of demand will prompt thousands of factories to begin operations again, putting the lives of millions of workers and their families at critically high risk.
The vast majority of these populations live day-to-day, and each day the lockdown is extended is a day without food on the table. For those of us in sourcing, we recognize the only option left is to do everything we can to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in their workplaces.
We have a duty to act now. If we don’t, millions of lives could be devastated. Few people on earth can comprehend the scale of the potential tragedy as well as you. You have been to those cities. You have seen the density of the population, the lack of street sanitation, the public transport standards, the scarcity of resources. You know what will happen when the virus reaches them.
This cannot be the effort of a single company. This must be an industry effort. A failure to act now will destroy all the positive impact generated over these last decades of work.
This is why my company is now offering our Rise platform, which lets brands, retailers and suppliers remotely ensure safe working conditions for their partner facilities, for free. Four years ago, my co-founders and I embarked on a journey to modernize quality and sustainability in the global production chain. Today, each member of the Inspectorio team truly cares about this situation and has been willing to act on it. We’ve realized that Inspectorio Rise is now a critical resource. We are not doing this for business. We’re doing it to be part of an industry-wide effort to protect people and places we have developed deep bonds with through our work. In offering our product for free, our only goal is to prevent workers from returning to unsafe workplaces. In turn, this decision can’t be a financial one for the rest of us — we have an overarching duty to use any resources available to protect people. Find more information on the resource we’re offering here.
My company is doing its part. But it is simply not enough — we need you, your colleagues, and your company on board. This only gets done if we make a commitment to do it together.
Let us help your partners be prepared. Millions of lives can be protected if we work together and we do it quickly, so let’s send a clear message that this isn’t about business; it’s about building bridges and doing everything we can to protect each other. Contact Inspectorio to gain the tools and support you need to protect thousands of lives; let’s act now and make a difference together.