DATA

THE PROS:

The brand became a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in 2015 and works with the initiative to support more sustainably produced cotton – using less water and pesticides. American Eagle Outfitters reports that it is working with the brand’s cotton mills to begin to incorporate Better Cotton into their supply chain.

In 2015, Racked reported that American Eagle Outfitters was incorporating used coffee grounds into a range of its denim.

American Eagle Outfitters collaborated with the Better Work program and Business for Social Responsibility to support and fund the first HERproject in factories in Cambodia. The HERproject supports the health of female factory workers through a peer education model that raises awareness, increases health knowledge and provides information on accessible local health services. The HERproject trains peer educators on topics ranging from general reproductive health to the vital role of hygiene and nutrition.

THE CONS:

It is unclear if American Eagle Outfitters can trace its entire supply chain.

In 2012, more than 50% of the factories audited by the brand in South Asia and South East Asia had non-compliance issues related to hours of work, fire safety, health and safety concerning the work floor and dormitories and local law, and code and labour contract violations. American Eagle Outfitters has not reported how it has improved on its audit results since 2012.

We don’t have any recent information on what levels and how much of its entire supply chain American Eagle Outfitters monitors. When we checked, all the stats on the brands website relating to supply chain audits were at least 4 years out of date.

 

/ American Eagle Outfitters Inc. operates under the American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie for American Eagle Outfitters brands.

/ As of January 28, 2017, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. operated 943 American Eagle Outfitters stores.

/ As of January 28, 2017, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. operated 4 stand-alone Tailgate stores.

As of January 28, 2017, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. operated 1 stand-alone Todd Snyder store.

The brand reports that, during FY2016, it sourced its merchandise from approximately 300 suppliers around the world, predominantly in Asia. It states that it did not source more than 10% of its merchandise from any single factory or supplier during the year.

/ For year ending January 28, 2017, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. had a total net revenue of US$3,609,865,000.

/ We don’t have any information on how many people American Eagle Outfitters employs in its supply chain, lead times, how many garments American Eagle Outfitters produces a year, how many collections the brand releases annually and how long the brand’s  products are designed to last.

 

The brand publicly shares a list of countries in which its suppliers are located, however it is unclear what tiers of the supply chain this list applies to.

The brand does not share a public list of supplier names and addresses.

It is unclear if American Eagle Outfitters can trace its entire supply chain.

The brand shares the percentage of supplier non compliances by geographical region from 2011 and 2012.

In 2010, to demonstrate that it was committed to transparency and to guarantee that the brand received full, genuine reporting of supply chain issues, AEO informed suppliers that failure to show an accurate account of workplace conditions or attempts to hide any information necessary to the audit would result in a significant penalty, up to and including termination of the business relationship.

The 2017 Fashion Transparency Index gave American Eagle Outfitters a final score of 10%, broken down as:

    • Policy & Commitments: 21% ;Governance: 33% ; Traceability: 1% ; Know, Show & Fix: 12% ; Spotlight Issues: 0%
    • The scores indicate that the brand is not disclosing information about efforts to pay living wages or to support collective bargaining and unionisation, nor is it disclosing any details about their suppliers, and the brand did not publish information publicly about their raw material suppliers.

/ The brand has a publicly available Code of Conduct which it states all suppliers must contractually agree to before producing for it.

/ AEO signed the Bangladesh Accord in July of 2013. Prior to joining the Accord, the brand reports that it conducted its own fire safety, electrical and structural reviews of all its factories in Bangladesh.

/ In order to better measure the social compliance performance of its suppliers, American Eagle Outfitters developed a supplier scorecard in 2013. The scorecard aims to reward suppliers that issue their own public report demonstrating their remediation and sustainability programs. The complete criteria for the card has not been released yet, however the brand states that when it is, it will encourage suppliers to use resources such as the Global Reporting Initiative Guidelines. We do not have any further information on how this supplier scorecard has been applied since 2013.

/ In 2012, AEO worked with 176 apparel factories and of those factories, 130 received at least one inspection. 42 of the factories that were not audited were not active partners for the whole year. We don’t have any further information on the number of factories AEO worked with since 2012.

/ In 2012, more than 50% of the factories audited by the brand in South Asia and South East Asia had non-compliance issues related to hours of work, fire safety, health and safety concerning the work floor and dormitories and local law, and code and labour contract violations.

/ In its response to the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, the brand reports that the Fair Labor Association conducts independent external monitoring of American Eagle Outfitters Inc. suppliers. Information on the Fair Labor Association website confirms this. However, in a publicly available external assessment report the Fair Labor Association prepared for American Eagle Outfitters, the organization reports that the brand ended its affiliation with the Fair Labor association at the end of 2013.

We do not have any information on policies in place to reduce pollution and resources used for transport and whether or not the brand has a sustainable packaging policy.

/ Beginning on Earth Day 2013, AEO partnered with I:CO (I:Collect) to create a zero-waste textile initiative for its employees. Employees can recycle all unwanted clothing, shoes and textiles with I:CO and these recycled items are then redistributed to developing countries or recycled and transformed into new products like reusable bags or insulation. The brand states on its website that it was rolling out this recycling program to customers in the U.S. and Canada in 2014. There is no updated information on the American Eagle OUtfitters website. A JUST staff member recently visited a store in Soho, New York and an employee of American Eagle Outfitters informed our staff member that they had discontinued the recycling program for customers.

/ In 2012, AEO conducted a greenhouse gas inventory of its offices, distribution centers, data centers and retail stores residing primarily in North America.

/ AEO developed the American Eagle Outfitters Wastewater Management Standard for all its production partners. This standard outlines practices and monitoring requirements for suppliers to ensure apparel is produced using responsible chemical management, and limiting water contamination during manufacturing. In 2014, the company launched Wastewater Management Standard trainings with key suppliers to begin full roll-out. To date, the brand reports that it has trained its American Eagle Outfitters sourcing and design teams to understand what the brand will be asking of its suppliers in the years to come and has piloted assessments and effluent testing with strategic suppliers.

/ In 2015, Racked reported that American Eagle Outfitters was incorporating used coffee grounds into a range of its denim.

/ By the end of 2017 the brand’s goal is to achieve a 20% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

/ The brand reported that in 2014 it would work with local advisors in South Asia to launch a program establishing a two-way channel of communication between factory management and workers. AEO states that this open channel would be a means to discuss and resolve reported workplace grievances and empower workers to voice their concerns about issues that arise. We don’t have any further information on this initiative.

/ The company became a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) in 2015 and works with the initiative to support more sustainably produced cotton – using less water and pesticides. AEO reports that it is working with the brand’s cotton mills to begin to incorporate Better Cotton into their supply chain.

 

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/ AEO was the first corporation to pledge $1 million to support the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC). An initiative of the Department of Interior, the program plans to provide 10 million students with outdoor educational programs, one million with volunteer projects and 100,000 young people and veterans with work and training opportunities. initiative.

/ AEO has partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2005 to support its mission of allowing children to realize their potential and create the lives they’ve dreamed of. During the 2012 holiday season AEO raised funds for the organization throughout the month of December by making a small donation for every gift card sold. The brand donated more than $117,000.

/ American Eagle Outfitters collaborated with the Better Work program and Business for Social Responsibility to support and fund the first HERproject in factories in Cambodia. The HERproject supports the health of female factory workers through a peer education model that raises awareness, increases health knowledge and provides information on accessible local health services. The HERproject trains peer educators on topics ranging from general reproductive health to the vital role of hygiene and nutrition.

/ In October 2013, American Eagle Outfitters partnered with GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) to launch “Spirit Day,” a national anti-bullying campaign focused on protecting the rights of LGBT youth. In New York City, the brand’s Times Square billboards went purple for the whole month of October, with anti-bullying messages splashed across the screens. In San Francisco the brand’s employees created window displays to promote GLAAD’s Spirit Day and affirm American Eagle Outfitters’ commitment to end the bullying of all youth.

/ American Eagle Outfitters Inc. is a publicly traded company.

/ In 2014, the brand’s CEO, Jay L. Schottenstein, earned $3,792,675 in total compensation.

/ In partnership with more than 40 other companies, UNAIDS, and the Global Business Coalition (GBCHealth), American Eagle Outfitters signed a CEO pledge calling for an end to travel restrictions for people living with HIV.

/ In 2014, Huffington Post reported that American Eagle Outfitters was being sued by David Anasagasti for “blatant, unlawful and pervasive infringement” of his artwork.

 

/ AEO partnered with Cotton Incorporated in 2011 and 2012 on the From Blue to Green denim recycling program in which AEO customers and employees were invited to bring any type of denim from any brand to stores across the U.S. which was converted in UltraTouch Denim Insulation that could be used in home building projects. AEO customers and employees donated 132,672 items including unwanted jeans, shorts and skirts, which helped to insulate 265 Habitat for Humanity homes.

/ AEO began a health and human resources training program for Chinese suppliers in May 2011 by joining forces with INFACT Global Partners and the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to create a program that enforced a production plan that reduced working hours and increased workers’ wages while maintaining factory productivity levels.

/ In February 2012, American Eagle Outfitters partnered with Sumerra and Openview Source Limited to conduct a training program for the brand’s Chinese suppliers. This training included an overview of new legal requirements for workers’ health and employer resources for maintaining a safe environment for all workers. Training also covered the occupational health requirements within each factory and necessary safety equipment needed on-site.

VOICES

Forbes logoTREFIS TEAM | FORBES

“A major part of American Eagle’s product portfolio comprises of basic logo products that no longer entice fashion conscious teenagers and young adults. Due to this, the retailer has seen a number of its customers switch to fast-fashion brands such as Zara, Forever 21 and H&M, which are currently among the best performers in the U.S. apparel market.”  – 03/05/2015

 


JANIE CAMPBELL | THE HUFFINGTON POST

“… if American Eagle was truly interested in becoming authentic by affiliating its product with a street artist and tapping into a creative vein, they should have approached Ahol for permission and compensated him for his work.” – Books III Bischof | 08/21/2015

 

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