Nordstrom has both their own brand and also carries clothing from “branded vendors.” They have an abundance of information on their website about their corporate responsibility. They do not list where their products are made or what exactly their standards are for their “branded vendors.”
They do seem to have strict auditing and standards. However, there is something the way everything is written that does not sit well with me. For instance from their website:
“If we are unable to successfully remediate any unethical and unlawful labor practices with a vendor, we consider terminating the business relationship. Ending our association with a manufacturer may occur if a vendor is unwilling to cooperate and make improvements.”
The use of “consider” and “may” gives the impression that their standards are something that may be negotiated.
You can read more here: http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/nordstrom-cares?origin=tab-logo
Nordstrom responded soon after my post went up. Here is what they said:
Thanks for reaching out to Nordstrom to inquire about our sourcing. I understand you had a number of questions so I’m going to do my best to respond to them all. If you have other questions, please let me know.
Our private label and branded suppliers are required to adhere to our Partnership Guidelines, which I understand you may have already reviewed and discussed on your blog.
On this PDF, which is our annual ‘report’ on various social responsibility areas, you’ll find some more specific information about our private label Human Rights practices and reporting, including data on results from 2013 (the last year we reported out): http://i.nordstromimage.com/images/default/shop/image/shops/cares/2014/1006/SOP_2013_FINAL.pdf
You can read more about our approach to auditing, remediation and terminating relationships for our private label brands here: http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/nordstrom-cares-responsible-manufacturing?origin=topnav
In terms of branded vendors, we don’t recall an instance of having to terminate a relationship though we have had instances where we need to discuss and closely monitor situations that have arisen. Of course, if we became aware of an issue that did not meet our guidelines, we would work to address it immediately, up to termination of that relationship with the vendor if necessary.
Finally, you asked for a list of countries where we source. We are currently in 32 countries – listed below in alphabetical order:
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- Korea, republic of
- Macedonia (former Yugoslav)
- Sri Lanka
- United States
Please let me know if you have further questions or I can help clarify anything we provided here.
Thanks so much.