Women sewing at long tables next to tall windows in a garment factory.

The horrific factory collapse at Rana Plaza in Dhaka has brought the business practices of global garment brands, as well their thousands of suppliers, into the spotlight.

At School of Data we noted that corrupt and missing data were part of the story. Data on building permits in Bangladesh is largely unavailable due to lack of state inspections. However, after years of pressure on global apparel brands from labor activists, the publishing of garment factory supplier lists is becoming increasingly standardized. We’re asking you to join us in mapping the data on garment factories.

Data Expedition: Mapping the garment factories 

When: Saturday May 25 – 12:00 BST to May 26 18:00 BST – link to your timezone

We’ll be looking for projects such as:

  • Mapping garment factories locally and globally

  • Exploring the global supply chain of garment export and imports

  • Mapping the ownership of local factories and global brands with open company data

  • Finding stories and patterns in the connections between global brands and local garment factories

Sign up here for the Data Expedition!

Please note that limited space is available. For more information about the Data Expedition format, we encourage you to read this article.

Before the Data Expedition – Help us build an open garment factory supply list

Before heading out on this important expedition, we’ll need to gather as much data as possible on garment factories. Labor activists and campaigners typically articulate the data in terms of “supplier lists.” Some brands, such as Nike, provide a list of all factories in their supplier network via Excel and JSON downloads; while others, such as Levi-Strauss, only offer lists in PDF format. In order to prepare a solid dataset for the Data Expedition, we’re asking you to help locate, clean, and merge the supplier lists from across garment brands into one comprehensive Open Garment Factory List.

Begin today by adding to the Open Garment Factory List and join us for a GoogleHangout on Thursday, 23 May at 19:00 CET, where we’ll be engaging in joint data collection.

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Data journalist, open government nerd and Community Coordinator at OpenSpending.