Shahi Exports Becomes the First Indian Mill to Undergo a YESS Assessment

New Delhi: Responsible Sourcing Network and Shahi Exports announce their
collaboration in promoting due diligence towards ethical cotton sourcing practices in the
garment industry. The partnership aims to build a transparent and forced labor-free supply
chain for cotton as countries across the world move to strengthen due diligence and sourcing
YESS: Yarn Ethically & Sustainably Sourced is an initiative by Responsible Sourcing Network
that dedicated several years to developing rigorous due diligence standards to achieve a
forced labor-free cotton supply chain for the garment and textile industry.
The YESS standards were officially presented in India on May 2, 2023 at a workshop in
Bengaluru, Karnataka, attended by multiple industry members. The workshop highlighted the
significance of due diligence in building an ethical supply chain for cotton sourcing and
furthering the goal of preventing forced labor.
“This joint effort represents a significant milestone in the pursuit of responsible and
transparent cotton supply chains. As we expand conducting assessments in India later this
year, we invite industry members to join this collective advancement and have their mills
trained and assessed,” said Patricia Jurewicz, CEO of Responsible Sourcing Network.
Following the workshop, YESS conducted its initial independent assessments in India at Shahi
Exports’ knitting and spinning facilities in Shivamogga. The YESS program assesses
management systems and inventory controls of mills to identify, assess, and mitigate the risks
of forced labor based on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) due diligence framework. In 2022, Shahi was one of the seven global suppliers that
piloted the YESS Standards and has now become the first mill in India to take the lead in
implementing robust due diligence measures.
“As India’s largest apparel manufacturer and exporter, Shahi is committed to producing goods
using ethical, fair, and sustainable practices. We are thrilled to embark on this journey and
align ourselves with global standards of due diligence. We recognize that efforts towards
traceability require industry collaboration, and we are confident that YESS will provide
valuable support in achieving this goal.” stated Anant Ahuja, Head of Organizational
Development at Shahi Exports.
While already operating with firm checkpoints for cotton sourcing, the YESS assessment
provided additional insights that enabled Shahi to further strengthen its management
processes in response to evolving legislation and growing consumer demand on traceability
against forced labor.
Spinners and textile mills play a critical role in facilitating visibility and due diligence in the
complex cotton-sourcing landscape as gatekeepers. YESS recognizes the position they hold
and values their partnership in connecting the industry agenda across the global supply chain.

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