Our products should make people feel as good as they look.

That means partnering suppliers who share our standards, working together to create ever more responsible, sustainable products that our customers can enjoy with confidence and with a conscience.

Business for Social Responsibility

BSR
Myanmar Responsible Sourcing Working Group

Working with BSR (business for Social Responsibility) www.bsr.org alongside 6 other brands, M&S, Primark, H&M, Gap, The Children’s Place and Kappa, we are working on some of the more systemic issues left in Myanmar after years of sanctions. We are focussing on Freedom of Association and Child Labour remediation. We will work across other industry sectors already established in Myanmar. We are also working with UNICEF and the ILO to progress the work of the group over the next year.

Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety

ACCORD – on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh

Improving standards in the Bangladeshi garment industry

We continue to support the work of the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh www.bangladeshaccord.org. We are signatories to the Accord along with over 200 global retailers who source from Bangladesh and partnered with 2 global trade unions. The Accord was formed in April 2013 following the tragic Rana Plaza building collapse. It is a 5 year, legally binding agreement to improve standards in fire, electrical and building safety with the garment industry in Bangladesh. We were founding board members of the Accord and committed significant time and resources during the first year of set up. All our factories in Bangladesh have had independent reports done and are working through corrective action plans with our help. All of these are publically available to view on the Accord website.

Ethical Trading Initiative

Ethical Trading Initiative – Respect for workers worldwide

Working together with other retailers to improve working conditions

We continue to be active members of the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative). We participate in a number of programmes

  • Leicester – Along with a number of retailers we commissioned independent research into Leicester’s garment manufacturing sector. It was felt that some substantive research was needed to understand the situation before we decide on the relevant action. The report highlighted a number of issues surrounding excessive working hours, low wages and unauthorised sub-contracting. We are working on a programme to tackle all these issues raised working with trade unions and civil society. We are committed to support our suppliers in Leicester to raise the standards of the industry as a whole.
  • Tamil Nadu, Southern India – Working with other retailers and civil society we are tackling the wider Sumangali scheme. This scheme is where young, usually women workers, are attracted to employment in mills and factories in the Tiripur region with the promise of paid work, safe accommodation and a final cash lump sum payment at the end of the working period. However research has shown some of these schemes are bonded labour, with excessive working hours, poor living conditions and lump sums not being paid at the end of the scheme. We are working across the industry to set up a regulation, inspection and service model that can be used in all mills and factories. The project is engaging 2,650 workers across 6 spinning mills and 1 factory.

United Nations Global Compact

United Nations Global Compact
Signatories of the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative

We continue to be signatories to the the United Nations Global Compact which is the world’s largest corporate social responsibility initiative. This brings companies together to work jointly and align strategies on universal human rights, labour rights, environmental issues and anti-corruption. We have published our first Communication on Progress report. Also our Ethical Trading Manager represents the UK on the Advisory Group on Supply Chain Sustainability.