RISE welcomes suppliers in its drive for gender equality in global garment supply chains Hero Image
Popi Khanam, Garment Worker, Bangladesh

Celebrating its first anniversary on International Women’s Day, RISE is expanding its membership to accelerate its gender equality mission. Launched in March 2023 by BSR’s HERproject, Gap Inc., P.A.C.E, CARE, and Better Work, RISE is a collaborative initiative to advance gender equality in global garment supply chains through industry action. 

Since its launch, RISE has been increasing its membership of brands and retailers, and is now inviting suppliers in the garment, footwear, and home textiles industry to become members.

RISE stands for Reimagining Industry to Support Equality, and for that to happen we need brands, buyers, and suppliers to work together to adopt the working conditions and business practices where women workers can thrive and be recognized as key to business success. We are inviting suppliers to become members of RISE to help drive industry change through topic-specific working groups and enrolling their factories in capacity strengthening programs,” said Christine Svarer, Executive Director, RISE.

RISE already has its first supplier members on board: Alpine Creations, a globally connected supply chain partner to many apparel brands, as well as ShinWon Corporation, a South Korea based apparel and fashion manufacturer. 

We are delighted to be joining RISE as an inaugural supplier member. Our collaboration with RISE underscores our commitment to championing equality in our industry. Beyond enriching our own team members expertise, our partnership signifies a collective endeavor to effect transformative change across the value chain, ensuring a more equitable and sustainable future for all.” Clare Woodford, Head of Impact and Engagement at Alpine Creations comments.

One year ago, I had the honor of joining as a steering board member for RISE, where I proudly contribute my perspectives as a supplier. Collaborating with RISE has been an extraordinary journey, and I firmly believe that it will persist in fostering a better environment. I eagerly anticipate another remarkable year, with RISE continuing to drive positive changes for women employees in our industry. Congratulations on our achievements, and here's to the inspiring work ahead!” said JJ Park, CEO of ShinWon Corporations. 

Brands and retailers supporting RISE in 2024 include Abercrombie & Fitch Co., AEO Inc. (American Eagle and Aerie), BESTSELLER, Boden, Carter’s, Columbia Sportswear Company, Dôen, EILEEN FISHER, Hanna Andersson, Gap Inc., Inditex, Macy’s Inc., Marks & Spencer, New Balance, Nutmeg (Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc), Primark, PVH Corp., Ralph Lauren, Tapestry, Inc. (Coach, Kate Spade New York, Stuart Weitzman), Target, The Children’s Place, The Walt Disney Company, Victoria’s Secret & Co., VF Corporation, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

RISE supports its mission to empower women workers in global garment supply chains through three core strategies: (1) strengthening knowledge and skills for factory workers and managers; (2) transforming business practices to include gender equality, and (3) influencing public policy and other key actors. 

During 2023, RISE delivered:

  • 147 workplace programs
  • In eight countries – Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Pakistan, Vietnam
  • Trained 808 managers 
  • Trained 8,399 Peer Educators
  • Trained 304,387 workers (188,352 women; 116,026 men)

As well as supporting women workers in their workplaces, buyer and supplier members benefit from greater industry multiplier leverage and collaboration opportunities when working with RISE.

For example, in Cambodia’s garment sector, 5 years ago, it was estimated that only 22% of factories paid digital wages *, compared to 65% today**. RISE has worked in collaboration with Better Factories Cambodia, garment manufacturers, global buyers, as well as financial, government and development sectors with a common goal of increasing the number of factories paying digital wages. Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth^ and GIZ^^ have both supported RISE in this ambition. 

This is important because wage digitalization, when accompanied with gender-intentional financial capability training, leads to benefits for both women and business. This is demonstrated by the results of RISE workplace programs. In Cambodia, RISE helped 17 garment factories with over 25,000 workers (85% women) to digitize their wages, enabling women and men workers to access, use and benefit from their accounts, and creating efficiencies for factories. There was a 58 percent increase in women having a savings account, and a 38 percent increase in women who started to save each month. For business, there was an 84 percent reduction in administration costs dedicated to preparing and disbursing payroll. Employers reported saving on average $16,000 a year on payroll costs through wage digitization. 

RISE will be sharing similar data and insights with industry leaders at the UN Commission for the Status of Women 68 in New York City, at its NGO CSW Forum 68 Parallel Event “Do Better with Data: Accelerating Financial Inclusion in the Garment Industry”.


* New data gathered from the Higg Index from 3,000 factories in 58 countries
**Better Factories Cambodia
^Mastercard Impact Fund, with support from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth
^^The FABRIC Cambodia project – commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.