The family-owned clothing retailer Gap came under fire when a UK media report accused the firm of using child labour in an unauthorised facility to produce a single garment.
Gap launched its own investigation and noted that a very small portion of a particular order placed with one of its vendors was apparently subcontracted to an unauthorised subcontractor without the company's knowledge or approval. This is in direct violation of the company's agreement with the vendor under its Code of Vendor Conduct.
Marka Hansen, president of Gap North America, made the following statement: "We strictly prohibit the use of child labour. This is a non-negotiable for us – and we are deeply concerned and upset by this allegation. As we've demonstrated in the past, Gap has a history of addressing challenges like this head-on, and our approach to this situation will be no exception.
"As soon as we were alerted to this situation, we stopped the work order and prevented the product from being sold in stores. While violations of our strict prohibition on child labour in factories that produce product for the company are extremely rare, we have called an urgent meeting with our suppliers in the region to reinforce our policies.
"Gap Inc. has one of the industry's most comprehensive programs in place to fight for workers' rights overseas. We will continue to work with the government, NGOs, trade unions, and other stakeholder organisations in an effort to end the use of child labour."