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PhD student works with Pentland to take action on modern slavery

Amy Benstead

18 May 2016

A Management School student has begun a major new action research project with an international clothing and footwear company to develop anti-modern slavery tools.

Amy Benstead will be using her mix of academic and industry experience to work with Pentland Brands' corporate responsibility team on the project. Amy has seven years of experience in the apparel industry, most recently as a Senior Merchandise Manager at global sourcing company Li & Fung, based in Istanbul. She is now completing a PhD in Management Science under the supervision of Professor Linda Hendry and Professor Mark Stevenson.

The anti-modern slavery toolkit will include policies, training modules and risk assessment tools – following The UK Modern Slavery Act, which commits every company with £36 million or more in turnover to report on how it combats modern slavery in its supply chains. This will build on the work that Pentland has been doing to promote ethical trade and human rights over the past 20 years.

The project, which has come about thanks to the support of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business, will contribute to Amy’s research in Socially Sustainable Supply Chain Management.

Amy said: “Pentland is in a sector where sustainability is a core business concern and needs to be addressed in all manner of decisions, including those on the locations of manufacturing and suppliers.

“Manufacturing and sourcing location decisions in the industry are already complex. The sustainability agenda is adding to this complexity, with different locations having different implications for transparency and the risk of social problems. So it’s great that companies like Pentland are factoring it in.”