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Mill Improvement Program

Reducing costs, improving quality, safety and social conditions

Business Challenge

The textile and apparel market is a very competitive industry where reducing production costs, improving product quality, reducing time to market and maximizing productivity are the keys to survival. Having good process and production controls and recognizing in-house test facilities at the mill level can go a long way in addressing many of these concerns.

At the retailer, brand and vendor level, how do you demonstrate that you are a responsible employer? How can you improve the quality and safety of fabrics? How can you work with the mill to recognize their in-house performance testing platform, facilitating a reduction in third-party testing costs? At the mill level, do you have good manufacturing practices? Do you know your market’s best practice? Can you quickly identify the “gaps” and fill them for improvement? How can you manage more of the testing in-house? Do you have an appropriate social compliance management system? How do you define the system details and requirements?

Our Approach

Following requests from many of the world’s leading brands, retailers and apparel factories/mills, Bureau Veritas has developed a Mill Improvement Program to help manage and mitigate risks for apparel buyers, sellers, manufacturers and mills. Our solution assists the entire apparel and textile product supply chain in identifying, mitigating and managing risk at the earliest stage; helping to prevent poor quality, unsafe or non-compliant fabrics from being shipped. Critically, our solution also facilitates mills with testing facilities to perform their own in-house performance testing and helps you demonstrate that your mill is in compliance with best practice labor laws.

Our Mill Improvement Program Modules

Laboratory Endorsement & Assessment Program (LEAP)
• For mills with their own in-house laboratory, this module provides the opportunity to perform testing in-house with reports that will be accepted by buyers (such as the brand / retailer), in lieu of the same provided by an approved independent testing facility.
• Retailers and brands benefit from improved quality of finished product and a reduced time to market.
• Tests not within the scope, including regulatory, fiber content, flammability and chemical testing, must be carried out by ‘approved’ third-party labs.
• Bureau Veritas will verify that the mill has an appropriate organizational structure, the correct testing equipment and qualified personnel to verify that testing and approval of fabrics is carried out in accordance with these requirements.

Quality Improvement (QI) / Process Controls
• Our factory assessment focused quality improvement / process controls module was designed based on the existing quality control programs used by global brands / retailers in the garment sector.
• In addition to the assessment of the quality management system, factory environment, calibration and product risk control, our assessment also covers mill-specific requirements such as spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing and printing. The end game is to drive greater process and quality controls that result in better quality finished textiles and garments.
• The assessment program is supported with a standard built on industry best practices, which is aligned with an appropriate risk weighted scoring criteria and is supported with training materials, coaching and self assessment tools.

Social Improvement (SI) / Working Conditions
• Designed to help demonstrate that a mills employees’ working environment and employment conditions are in line with their customers Code of Conduct, the local labor law and related legislation as well as industry best practices / requirements.
• Our standard is based on International Labour Organization (ILO) Core Conventions and the compliance programs used by leading brands and retailers

Why Choose Bureau Veritas?

Benefits of the Mill Improvement Program

To Vendors, Brands & Retailers:
• Improve finished product quality (eg, color fastness) and reduced returns / shipment delays
• Support your supply chain in improving working conditions whilst reducing the risk of negative publicity
• Reduce time to market by enabling mills to perform in-house testing
• Reduce cost in evaluating new mills

To Mills:
• Drive New Business – our web portal allows you to promote your commitment to quality, safety and social conditions to clients and prospects
• Drive continuous improvement
• Save cost by carrying out in-house testing accredited by Bureau Veritas
• Solution available in all major fabric and apparel producing countries globally
• Modules developed specifically for mills

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