Purchasing Practices

In line with the Target Forward vision, we are committed to pursuing fair, responsible and equitable purchasing practices. This includes measures to further responsible purchasing, broaden the diversity of our suppliers, elevate worker well-being across our supply chain and implement effective traceability measures.  

Our commitment to responsible business conduct extends to our expectations for our domestic and international suppliers. We have several mechanisms in place to provide guidance on implementing Target’s policies and practices for responsible business conduct, including Target’s Standards of Vendor Engagement (SOVE), our Applying Target’s SOVE manual, vendor trainings and our Responsible Sourcing and Sustainability inbox.

Driving impact beyond compliance 

Driven by the Target Forward vision, we are committed to a sustainable and inclusive supply chain that is just and equitable for all workers.

Building on our supplier DE&I commitments and ambition outlined in our Business Partner Code of Conduct, we plan that by the end of 2025: 

  • 100% of owned brand suppliers will have policies and programs to advance gender equity.    
  • 100% of owned brand suppliers will pay workers digitally.

The Just & Equitable Supply Chain (JESC) goals work together to improve working conditions and drive sustainable change. Creating a just and equitable supply chain benefits all workers and will require a holistic approach. Therefore, we are focusing on four levers as part of our JESC goal strategy:

  • Equitable systems for hiring and advancement 
  • Financial security (inclusive of digital wages goal) 
  • Effective anonymous channels for incident reporting (also known as grievance mechanisms) 
  • Access to gender-responsive health information and service

Gender equity goal

Women are an essential part of global supply chains - yet they occupy some of the lowest-paid and most insecure jobs which, combined with unsafe working conditions and limited bargaining power, make them more vulnerable to sexual harassment and violence. Empowering women in the supply chain presents an incredible opportunity not only to improve the lives of people making, selling, and buying products, but enhances the resilience of supply chains. 

Digital wage goal 

We believe transitioning from cash to digital wage payment systems is a critical step in the path towards financial inclusion for workers — particularly women — and to cost savings and improved efficiency for suppliers, as well as increased transparency for Target. 


We engage with strategic stakeholders to address issues that matter to supply chain workers. We believe collaboration leads to greater impact, especially when it comes to achieving our 2025 goals and beyond. This is why we focus on building meaningful partnerships with industry stakeholders, nonprofit organizations and other brands.   

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Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA)

We became a member of this UN-based alliance in 2022 to support our commitment that all tier 1 owned brand suppliers pay workers digitally by 2025, following responsible practices.  

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Target supports BSR’s HERproject to empower female supply chain workers through workplace-based health, financial inclusion and gender equality interventions.

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Target continues to partner with CARE International, designing strategies to drive gender equity throughout our sourcing practices and extended supply chain. Target is currently working with CARE and key suppliers to design and implement bundled in-factory interventions to address multiple barriers to gender equity through a harmonized approachIn addition, during COVID-19, CARE pivoted to deliver emergency response activities to benefit more than 25,000 people in these areas, with support that included cash assistance and cash-for-work opportunities, distribution of hygiene kits and PPE, roving medical centers providing essential medical services and establishing safe spaces for women to access information and support services during the pandemic.

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International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

Through our partnership with the advisory arm of ICRW, ICRW Advisors, Target conducted a baseline assessment of its supply chain using its Gender Equity Self-Diagnostic Tool. This industry-aligned resource helps factories assess their gender equity policies and processes and generates a customized scorecard on existing gender integration policies and practices to encourage continuous improvement. 

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In 2016, Target began a partnership with nonprofit Nest to serve the fashion and home industry’s global workforce who craft products in their homes or outside the traditional four-walled factory. Together, we developed industry-aligned standards — the Nest Standards for Homes and Small Workshops — which protect homeworkers’ safety, well-being and prosperity while giving brands visibility to the artisans in their supply chains. To date, Nest’s programs have reached more than 1,600 artisan businesses around the globe. 

We also teamed up with Nest to create clearer indicators for consumers that their products are ethically handcrafted. In 2018, the Nest Seal made its retail debut thanks to the Nest Ethical Handcraft Program and is now located on select items at Target — including handwoven baskets — and we look forward to seeing it on more products in coming years. To earn the Nest Seal, the handcraft business producing the products must meet a set of rigorous compliance standards.  

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Fair Trade USA

The Fair Trade Certified label on a product signifies that it was made according to rigorous standards that protect the safety and well-being of workers. Our partnership with Fair Trade USA is an investment in improving both the lives of the workers and communities behind our products and in the quality of those products. Look for the Fair Trade Certified factory or certification label across products. 

Training & assessment 

Through our partnership with Better Buying™, a nonprofit organization focused on improving purchasing practices throughout the global supply chain, we annually assess the impact of our purchasing practices on supplier sustainability through a financial, environmental and social lens. We leverage this assessment to better understand how our day-to-day purchasing practices are affecting our suppliers, their workers and the environment.  

In 2022, in partnership with Better Buying™, we rolled out a new educational training course to help teams across the enterprise understand what purchasing practices are, why they are essential and how decisions can impact workers worldwide.  

In the year ahead, we will continue to deepen our relationships with new and existing partners to achieve our ambitions.

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