It has been a priority for our business for many years that we ensure workers in our partner factories are treated fairly, with good working conditions. Since 2012, we have been a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) where we joined as a foundation member.
All corporate members of ETI agree to adopt the ETI Base Code of labour practice, which is based on the standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
Since May 2017, we have maintained "Achiever" level by ETI standards, highlighting our progress on the ETI landscape. This reflects the amazing work we are doing in our factories. The ETI base code is the standard we aim to adhere to across all of our supply chain.
As part of the ETI we actively listen to shared experiences, attend working groups, evaluate our factories regularly against set standards and pilot new initiatives across our supply chain to establish good ethical practice.
We are very proud that we have set up workers participation committees in key factories to ensure our workers have a voice. This is a really huge step.
As a Group, we have very good purchasing practices in place, including:
- Discussing factories capacities, shipment schedules and purchase orders
- Planning to ensure agreements with factories are kept and they are not overloaded
- Increasing minimum orders to help improve factory efficiency and productivity
- Increasing lead times
- Agreeing price increases in line with worker wage increases
- Making designers aware of the impact of last minute designs on the production process
- Seeking alternative shipping routes/methods to shorten lead times without pressuring factories
These are all genuine ethical trading actions that relate to how we are creating a more enabling environment for decent pay and work.
We also have a programme in place to train factory managers in health & safety and have 2 full time members of staff who ensure that factories are inspected and all remediation work is carried out timely.
Our Health & Safety training workshop has already reached over 14,000 workers.
In 2017, we launched the ILO Score project which develops HR strategies within factories, working directly with line workers in one of our factories. We will have completed the first module in 2017 and will be monitoring its effectiveness with a view to rolling it out to further of our factories.
We are really proud of our long term commitment to our suppliers. 50% of our suppliers within the Group have worked with us for over 5 years, and 35% for over 10 years. Across the Group we have inspected over 116 factories to ensure 40,000 workers are covered by the ETI base code across 9 countries.
We realise that to take control of our supply chain, we must understand where our product comes from.
We have managed to map out our major material and component supply chains to ensure that we have full visibility of those suppliers who assemble our products and the fabric and accessories that are included.
The following map shows our supplier mapping:
We try to ensure that everyone is treated fairly with dignity, honour and respect. We have a diverse culture and pledge to embrace diversity and not discriminate against employees or potential employees on the grounds of race, colour, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, age, ethnic origin, political opinion or disability. We work with HR to ensure that we are an equal opportunity employer and help people get into employment who might otherwise struggle.