HOW WE RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS
Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and more. Most importantly, they’re an entitlement of every person on the planet. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) sets out all the fundamental human rights that should be universally protected. If you’re in the mood for a read, you can find them here.
So, what do we do about human rights?
We use the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, focusing on fair labour practices, fair compensation, safe working conditions and no forced or bonded labour, particularly for the most vulnerable and exploited.
We take all the steps we can to identify, prevent or mitigate human rights risks that are linked to our operations. We also address any human rights impacts we find either in our supply chain or that are linked to our operations.
Ultimately, we believe that anyone involved in the creation of our brand and our products is not an asset in a headcount of employees, but a human being in a community of individuals. Because we are one community, from supply chain to squat rack.
The Better Work programme partners with international brands and operates in nine countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, Ethiopia, Haiti and Nicaragua. By sharing the results of actual on-the-ground work, Better Work influences policy makers and decision makers to promote decent work and better business.
And what does that mean for us?
Along with over 100 global brands, we work with Better Work to support the textile industry in improving working conditions.
In collaboration with suppliers, factories, trade unions and governments, Better Work has created lasting, positive change through capacity building, assessments, training and research focused on changing attitudes and behaviour.
Being part of this programme helps us to mitigate risks and improve poor working conditions, supporting suppliers to follow labour standards and laws. It also means we can get better transparency on compliance and get support for the development of stable and well-managed sourcing environments.
With Better Work, international brands become industry leaders in the movement to reimagine the global supply chain, where workers’ rights are realised and recognised.
With Better Work, we can make change and ensure our impact is a positive one.
WORKING WITH INTERNATIONAL ACCORD
Working to protect our people
To help us improve our due diligence for product suppliers, we became a Participating Company of the Fair Labor Association (FLA). But before we get into what this means for us, let’s take a quick look at what the FLA does.
Since 1999, the FLA has helped to improve the lives of millions of workers around the world. Joining together socially responsible companies, colleges and universities, and civil society organisations, the FLA creates lasting solutions to prevent abusive labour practices. This is done by offering tools and resources to companies, delivering training to factory workers and managers, independently assessing due diligence, and pushing for greater accountability and transparency from everyone involved in global supply chains.
Thanks to becoming a Participating Company of the FLA, we now have a better understanding of the measures we need to take. We know what controls and contingency plans we need to put into place to make sure we can identify, monitor and manage any risks.
And although we’re at the early stages of our journey to accreditation, membership of the FLA helps us know which tools and resources we need to train our staff. It means we can verify how efficient our programmes are. And it allows us to test ways we can protect our workers’ rights. Because every single person deserves safe working conditions.
These are the FLA principles we embed into our business and wider supply chain:
Principles of Fair Labor and Responsible Sourcing
- Top Management Commitment & Workplace Standards: Commitment to accountability and transparency through established workplace standards.
- Responsible Purchasing Practices: Commitment to align planning and purchasing practices with workplace standards.
- Responsibility & Head Office Training: Commitment to identify and train specific staff responsible for implementing workplace standards and responsible purchasing practices and provide training to all head office and regional staff.
- Supplier Training: Commitment to train relevant supplier management on workplace standards and track effectiveness of supplier workforce training.
- Monitoring: Commitment to conduct workplace standards compliance monitoring.
- Functioning Grievance Mechanisms: Commitment to ensure workers have access to functioning grievance mechanisms, which include multiple reporting channels of which at least one is confidential.
- Collection & Management of Compliance Information: Commitment to collect, manage, and analyze workplace standards compliance information.
- Timely & Preventative Remediation: Commitment to work with suppliers to remediate in a timely and preventative manner.
- Consultation with Civil Society: Commitment to identify, research, and engage with relevant labor non-governmental organizations, trade unions, and other civil society institutions.
- Verification Requirements: Commitment to meet FLA verification and program requirements.
As part of our membership, the FLA also carries out Sustainable Compliance Methodology (SCI) assessments across a random selection of our suppliers. This officially reviews our due diligence efforts and provides accountability for our commitments.
You can find those reports here.
And, in line with the FLA requirements, we’ve published our full vendor and factory list, helping us reach our goal to stay transparent on the factories we use. Not only is this a key step in strengthening our human rights due diligence, but it also means that you can see where all of our products are manufactured. You can find the list here.