Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department aims to improve workplace conditions and environmental standards throughout our supply chain. Over the years, we have established systems and processes to ensure that our manufacturing and sourcing units fully comply with our benchmark requirements. We engage directly with suppliers, government representatives and other external stakeholders. This facilitates the flow of early-stage information regarding human rights and social and environmental issues. As a result, we are able to pro-actively address potential risks and the Management Board is aware of all health, safety and environmental liabilities.
The CSR team is directly involved in developing and updating corporate policies and operating procedures related to social accountability, product safety and compliance with environmental laws and regulations. The team plays a critical role in leading and advising the individual brands and group functions on delivering the group-wide Environmental Strategy 2015.
Our Standards, Our Supply Chain
Our CSR department monitors conditions at all suppliers. Our corporate policy is to uphold international standards on health and safety, minimum wages, paid overtime, child and forced labour, discrimination, environmental protection and corruption control. Our suppliers are subject to strict criteria and ongoing evaluation in order to meet our requirements.
The company is an active member of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), a certified stewardship body for social compliance in business. We are BSCI member since 2008 and we and our business partners work towards improving working conditions in our supply chains and integrating the BSCI Code of Conduct into our business culture. The BSCI Code incorporates the values and principles established by the Geneva Convention on Human Rights and standards published by the International Labour Organization.
We only co-operate with BSCI-compliant suppliers or, if the supplier is not yet compliant, we assist them in obtaining the required status. We have a corrective and sanctions policy in place and our local technicians and quality control personnel monitor and audit factories on a regular basis. In addition, we have developed a code of conduct that includes 14 non-negotiable standards, which our suppliers are required to sign and obey as part of our ordering conditions. It guarantees safe working conditions, adequate wages and salary, freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, compliance with working hours and overtime regulation, prohibition of forced or child labour, protection against discrimination and monitoring of environmental issues during the production process.
We are also a signatory to The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. The Accord is a legally-binding agreement that commits retailers, labour organisations and NGOs to a programme of measures to ensure a safe and sustainable garment industry in Bangladesh. Adherence to the agreement is certified by international safety inspectors.
We are in the process of implementing the Greenpeace Detox standards throughout our value chain. Our aim is to use only environmentally-friendly chemicals by 2020.
We have an Ethical Code of Conduct for those who work with us directly – click here to read it.
We continue to work with reputable companies that we trust and with which we have developed strong relationships over many years. We have jointly devised numerous action plans to improve the sustainability of not only our collections, but also our supply chain as a whole.
Our apparel is created to last. Our quality fabrics are sourced from mills that meet our stringent requirements and our styles can be worn for many seasons. Many of our garments are also made from sustainable fibres such as organic cotton and Tencel.