As I alluded to in my greeting, I believe that a spinning mill that establishes an effective due diligence management system to conform to the YESS standard can serve as a foundation for addressing additional issues over time.
For example, among other requirements, the YESS standard requires spinning mills to:
- Embed responsible business conduct in enterprise policy and management systems.
- Conduct due diligence on their suppliers and the cotton lint they source.
- Train staff on their duties to uphold the enterprise's sourcing policy.
- Undergo annual third-party assessments to ensure their management system is appropriate for their sourcing strategies and effective and identify continuous improvement opportunities.
By allowing a spinning mill to begin focusing on one specific issue - forced labor in cotton production - the YESS standard will help the mill to focus on developing an effective management system without becoming overwhelmed and bogged down with trying to make their initial system work for myriad other disparate environmental and ethical requirements. Once the spinning mill has implemented the well-established management system (that focuses on one issue), they will find themselves in a better position from which to incorporate additional requirements over time.
Creating global solutions for every environmental and ethical issue across the entire cotton sector is a massive undertaking, but we must start somewhere. I believe YESS is an important first step in creating a holistic and more comprehensive solution.
Access the draft YESS standard and learn more about YESS through its Concept Note and Frequently Asked Questions here.