Ethical Trade and compliance
Specialty Fashion Group (SFG) is committed to supplying our customers the highest quality product at the best possible price in the quickest possible time. We are committed to ensuring working conditions are suitable in our partner factories and are endeavouring to develop long term relationships with our suppliers. We believe in sharing our technical expertise with our supply partners and investing for the future. Better working conditions improve the efficiency of our supply chain. Fairly paid and treated workers that operate in a healthy and safe environment are more productive, and in turn deliver a higher standard of quality of product.
In 2014 we implemented our Vendor Code of Conduct which sets out SFG’s policies regarding the social, environmental and standard of compliance that we require from our business partners.
We are committed to monitor and audit against this code, providing training and communication of our key initiatives.
Our social policies include but are not restricted to:
freedom from discrimination;
freedom from slavery or servitude;
freedom of movement;
freedom of expression;
freedom of thought; and
freedom from invasive body searches or unwanted pregnancy testing.
We insist that all our partner suppliers and factories guarantee on behalf of their workers:
the right to rest and leisure;
the right to an adequate and safe standard of living in provided accommodation (if required);
the right to training to perform required tasks within the workplace;
the right to participate in the community;
a safe and healthy workplace;
the right to work, equal pay and the right to join a trade union if desired or available;
the right to collective bargaining; and
the right to refuse any dangerous or unsafe work.
We expect all factories and suppliers to fairly compensate their employees by providing wages, benefits and reasonable work hours that are consistent with local laws and standards.
Our responsible sourcing policies…
We pledge to ban the use of any cotton originating from Uzbekistan due to the known use of child labour.
We have banned the use of sandblasting in our denim manufacturing which protects workers from the ingestion of harsh contaminated fumes.
We have banned the use of angora fibre as angora farming practices have proven to be inhumane. We strive to ensure no animal cruelty is suffered through our manufacturing process.
We also ensure that any down or feather lined product originates from safe sustainable farming practices.
In 2013 SFG joined the Bangladesh Accord (the ‘Accord’) committing to the safety of workers in factories we use. We require all factories to comply with the minimum fire and building safety standards outlined by the Accord. The terms of the Accord are outlined and
published on the following website and are available to the public: www.bangladeshaccord.org
After a year of auditing and the remediation of factory fire and building safety conditions, our next phase will focus on educating factory workers of their rights. This focus is to train and help workers develop safety committees in line with international labour standards.
Product safety promise
SFG promises to deliver safe products to our customers. We ensure that within the manufacturing process, no worker’s safety is at risk. We have implemented and mandated a restricted chemicals list along with enforcing bans on any chemicals that could pose as a risk to either the workers handling the product or the end customer. In 2014 we enhanced our policy on the ban of AZO dyes whereby we now require all our suppliers to provide certification that their supply chain is AZO dye-free. In order to protect our customers and supply partners from any product harm or danger, we have implemented a fabric and garment testing program for banned chemicals.
Transparent supply chain
In order to ensure quality and compliance of standards, we regularly conduct factory evaluation visits and conduct pre-production, inline and final inspections of product (either by SFG personnel or an appointed agent). SFG is authorised to access all our manufacturing facilities as required. We require full disclosure from all vendors of all their manufacturing plants and subcontractors for audit approval. We have introduced a third party independent
auditing committee to conduct audits in addition to the internal audits we conduct ourselves.
We check the quality and compliance of factories by inspecting both the technical and social accountabilities of our vendors. We also monitor that workers are fairly paid and working hours adhere to the local laws.
We constantly review our packaging methods for all goods in order to reduce the use of polybags and cartons.
SFG insists on a standardised carton size which gives us efficient container loads and allows our warehouses to reuse cartons. We have re-engineered our carton markings to enable
SFG to reuse cartons from origin and to deliver product directly to store without the need to repack goods. We require all factories to have a strict adherence to waste management procedures and that the disposal of waste is not harmful to the environment. We encourage processes that reduce water consumption. As part of our audit process we require that no toxic or harmful chemicals are dumped into the environment.