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Saturday, February 24, 2024

RSN transitions YESS to membership model

With an aim to eliminate forced labor in the cotton industry, the non-profit organization Responsible Sourcing Network (RSN) has transitioned its YESS (Yarn Ethically and Sustainably Sourced) project, to a multi-stakeholder membership model.

RSN the US-based Non-profit developed YESS over several years with multiple support it got from various quarters including brand sponsorships; grants from Humanity United, Disney, and the Fair Labor Association; and backing from the US Department of Labor-funded Verité STREAMS project.

The RSN says the switch was made after 70 percent of its sponsor, participating mills, and other stakeholders supported the move. They saw opportunities for greater and more diverse engagement with YESS.

The new YESS membership model will allow participation from different types of stakeholders, including mills, industry associations, and civil society organizations (CSOs), in addition to brands and retailers. As the project evolves and expands, it will offer increased capacity building, working groups, and collaboration opportunities designed to better meet the needs of the international due diligence community.

Although conducting due diligence is always a company’s ultimate responsibility, YESS can help build capacity with mid-tier suppliers, provide a forum for collaboration through working groups and partnerships, and assess where further efforts are needed. Companies can include in their due diligence reporting the activities they are undertaking with YESS.

Earlier this year, RSN carried out the first YESS assessments of two yarn spinning mills in Pakistan, and then later expanded the project to India. The long-term vision is to broaden its scope beyond cotton and forced labor to a variety of materials and risks at the raw commodity level.

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