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Memo Exclusive: Pivot Point Promotes Rights

by MS Staff | November 3, 2017
Robert Passage and Sam Villa.
Robert Passage and Sam Villa.

A leader in hair and beauty education for more than half a century, Pivot Point International is now a pioneer in a different field of education—creating awareness in the beauty industry about social accountability standards. The company’s campaign, “Look for the Tag,” launches November 2017, and is supported by a video detailing how purchasing decisions impact laborers’ working conditions globally.

Look for the Tag
Four years ago, Pivot Point took the initiative of acquiring SA8000 certification on all of its manufactured hair
products. Established by Social Accountability International (SAI), SA8000 ensures Pivot Point mannequins are manufactured in a facility that:
• guards against forced and child labor.
• provides the workers with a healthy and safe working
environment.
• respects the rights of workers to join unions.
• practices zero tolerance for discrimination.

The “Look for the Tag” campaign encourages beauty professionals in all areas of the industry to make this type
of certification a priority. When you see the SA8000 tag on a mannequin, you are assured that the manufacturing facility meets high standards for working conditions.

“As the saying goes, you don’t know what you don’t know,” says Pivot Point Chairman and CEO Robert Passage. “Pivot Point had a longstanding relationship with a manufacturer in China, and didn’t question the working conditions there until one of our customers asked us to sign an affidavit stating that we manufactured our mannequins in an ethical manner. At that time, we could not sign that statement. So we stalled all of our manufacturing while we investigated. Not long after, we were able to have all of our hair product manufacturing certified. When that customer audited us, we passed with flying colors and signed the affidavit.”

Right Way to Do Business
The documentary video, which runs less than 15 minutes and will be posted at pivot-point.com and shown across the industry, shows footage from the plant where Pivot Point mannequins are produced.

“Our new facility is modern and comfortable,” adds Brandon Passage, hair product manager. “When we visited, we could tell that the workers were happy and had a wonderful work/life balance.”

Industry Voices Speak Out
The video also presents interviews with industry leaders and top hairdressers who use Pivot Point mannequins. Sam Villa, Eden Sassoon, Christopher Dove, John Simpson, and other top names give their reasons for making ethical working conditions a priority. Villa also asks a question that others may be thinking: Why not manufacture hair mannequins in the United States?

“We’ve been trying to produce the very best mannequins in the market for the past 50 years,” Robert Passage
explains. “Our mannequins are all produced by hand, the hairs implanted one at a time. A mannequin can take many hours to produce.”

In other words, the cost to produce mannequins in the U.S. would be prohibitive to stylists being able to use them.

Getting Certified
That level of labor was among the reasons Pivot Point chose SAI for the certification process.

“When any product is labor-intensive and a company is using offshore labor, SAI is a great place to start because it’s focused on the workforce,” Passage says. “As an industry leader, we continue to work hard to make ethical business decisions. Our moral compass must continually guide decision-making, including our commitment to operate ethically and lead with integrity. I encourage all manufacturers to look into certification, because it’s the right thing to do.”

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