Amazon Finally Reveals Who Makes Its Branded Products
Until now, there’s been no easy way to track where AmazonBasics really come from
Amazon has revealed the companies that make its branded products for the first time. The e-commerce giant published a list of suppliers on its website earlier this month that details the names and locations of manufacturers all over the world that produce official Amazon apparel, consumer electronics, and housewares.
The 51-page list is notable given that, like other major retailers, Amazon has previously concealed its supply chain from the public and its competitors, which made the human and environmental impact of its business difficult to comprehend. It also confirms OneZero’s report on the lifecycle of AmazonBasics’ AA alkaline battery, a popular in-house item produced by the Japanese-owned battery company FDK in West Java, Indonesia.
Hundreds of Amazon suppliers named in the document are located in China and India — places where inhumane working conditions at some factories and lax labor laws can drive down the cost of operations. At the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China, for example, Amazon Echo and Kindle products were made using illegal child labor, reported the Guardian.
Some of the countries where Amazon has only one or two suppliers still raise questions about the impact of its supply chain. In Madagascar’s capital of Antananarivo, for instance, Amazon employs two clothing factories, Aquarelle Madagascar SA and Gama Textile Madagascar Sarl, which are part of the island’s textile hub. Meanwhile, Madagascar has one of the world’s highest poverty rates.
Amazon also converted the list into an interactive map that can be sorted by the number of people working at a given factory.
It’s unclear why Amazon is only now disclosing this information.
“It is far from what I would deem as a full disclosure, but is a step in the right direction,” Alexis Bateman, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sustainable Supply Chains project, told OneZero.