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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Transparentem?

Transparentem is a U.S.-based non-governmental organization. Our mission is to advance the well-being of workers and communities by exposing hard truths to those with the power to transform industries. Our goal is to eradicate human rights and environmental abuses in global supply chains. We are a not-for-profit, public service initiative. We are philanthropically-funded by foundations and individuals and are tax exempt in the United States under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

What does Transparentem do?

We investigate evidence of endemic problems that affect the health and welfare of a substantial number of workers and communities. These abuses include, for example, human trafficking and other forms of forced labor, child labor, and gross environmental degradation. Once documented, we bring our findings to the attention of those with the leverage to address the problems, not only with their own supplier groups, but also with the industry as a whole. Currently, we are focused on the apparel, footwear, and accessories industry.

With whom does Transparentem engage?

Once our team has identified and documented abuses, we strive to inform brands, retailers, and importers, who could and should accelerate positive impact not only within their own supply chains, but throughout their industries. Following those company engagements, we share updates on the progress made by companies, governments, and other actors with select investors, regulators, advocacy organizations, and journalists.

How does Transparentem engage with companies on its findings?

After completing an investigation, our team first shares a Primary Intelligence Note (PIN)—a distillation of findings and best practices for remediation—with brands, retailers, and importers whose supplier groups are linked to identified abuses.

The written PINs present proof of the documented abuses in fuller context, but leave out the more sensitive, detailed information, including video footage, that we are only able to present during in-person meetings. In cases where a brand is unable or unwilling to meet, our policy is to share hard copies of the PINs with the intended recipient’s CEO and board members simultaneously.

After sharing a PIN, we offer companies a grace period to conduct their own investigations, develop corrective action plans, and collaborate with peer companies and other industry representatives.

How does Transparentem disclose its reports?

Our ultimate service is to the public. Though we do not directly disclose our final reports to the public, we do deliver them to those who we believe will use the information to advance positive change. Following the end of the grace period, regardless of company responses, we will release an update on brand/retailer responses through our Consolidated Intelligence Reports (CIRs) to others, including company board members, and select investors, regulators, advocacy organizations, and journalists.

CIRs aggregate and update the findings shared in the PINs across all suppliers, as well as company remediation plans and responses to the issues outlined in our investigation. The CIRs also include additional context, any new evidence that either confirms or is at odds with our findings, and any communication from suppliers. Critically, CIRs also reflect the responses and actions of initial recipients.

What happens after disclosure?

We commit to monitoring the impacts of our investigation and stakeholder adherence to remediation commitments. To this end, we may produce a one-year monitoring update, which is disclosed along the same lines as the CIR.

Does Transparentem accept fees or commissions from brands, retailers, importers, or other companies?

No. Transparentem neither solicits nor accepts fees or commissions from brands, retailers, importers, or other companies.

How does Transparentem set standards for its investigations?

We adhere to the highest ethical standards of investigative journalism and, to the extent consistent with our model and mission, with the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists. We are committed to delivering an intelligence report that is responsible, accurate, specific, valuable, and most importantly, pragmatically actionable.

Our operating procedures ensure our independence from the subjects of our work. Transparentem does not allow its funders to direct or interfere with investigations. Additionally, Transparentem has a formal conflict of interest policy applicable to all employees and directors that requires at a minimum, disclosure of any potential conflicts and recusal where appropriate.

How can interested parties partner with Transparentem?

Interested parties should email partner@transparentem.com for more information.