Ethical Sourcing & Production

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ETHICAL SOURCING – PART OF OUR DNA

 

Who are we

Brand Collective is a leading guardian of some of the most recognised footwear and apparel brands in Australia including Clarks, Hush Puppies, Julius Marlow, Grosby, Volley, Mossimo, Elwood, Elka Collective and Superdry.

What we stand for

At Brand Collective, we get that our customers want to buy ethically sourced apparel and footwear. That is why we have an Ethical Sourcing team, with offices in Australian and Asia, dedicated to ensuring that all products sold to our customers are ethically sourced and that our suppliers and manufacturers treat their employees fairly in accordance with local laws, both in terms of the wages they pay their employees and the working hours and conditions their employees enjoy.

We demand that our suppliers and manufacturers ensure that in relation to their product and workforce, basic labour and human rights are met, environmental impacts are managed and they behave ethically at all times.

What we expect from our suppliers

We require our suppliers and manufacturers to participate in our Ethical Sourcing Program by meeting the following five key principles:

Mandatory participation – all production locations producing finished goods for us (including licensed products) must participate.

Communication – Suppliers and manufacturers must notify us of all locations used to produce products.

Compliance with local laws and Brand Collective policies – Suppliers and manufacturers are responsible for complying with local laws and our Code of Conduct set out further on

Transparency – We must have access to all areas of a supplier and manufacturer’s facility, confidential access to employees, and transparency of all necessary documents for audits and visits, and Corrective actions and cooperation.

Suppliers and manufacturers must cooperate with Brand Collective and any related parties we engage to resolve any identified non-compliance issues with our Ethical Sourcing Program.

Suppliers and manufacturers must provide evidence that issues are being addressed properly and promptly.

We publicly commit to only engage with suppliers who pay their workers a fair wage and we audit our suppliers to ensure their compliance with this important principle.

At the end of the day, we expect our suppliers and manufacturers to be transparent in their dealings with us and to take a proactive approach in addressing non-compliance issues.

We are proud to publish our current Supplier List – view list here.

 

Our Code of Conduct (COC)

 

We have developed a 10-point Code of Conduct which we require all suppliers and manufacturers (including their subcontractors) to read, understand and sign. Our suppliers and manufacturers must ensure that:

  • Employment is freely chosen with supplier’s and manufacturer’s employees provided with a written legal contract properly negotiated.

  • Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected.

  • Working conditions are safe and hygienic.

  • Employees are aged 16 or older – underage labour is NOT used.

  • Wages are paid in full at regular intervals in accordance with local Government obligations.

  • Regular working hours are not more than 48 hours per week and overtime hours do not exceed a further 12 hours per week.

  • No discrimination is practised based on gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital or pregnancy status.

  • Regular employment is provided.

  • No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed.

  • Suppliers must not assign or sub-contract in part or whole any manufacturing.

Our Ethical Sourcing team ensures that our Code of Conduct is understood by all suppliers and manufacturers that we engage

 

Sourcing Gender Equality Policy

 

At Brand Collective, we are committed to improving the lives and working conditions of all workers in the global garment industry, the vast majority of whom are women. In promoting workers’ rights, we are committed to challenging the gender inequality and sex discrimination faced by garment workers throughout our supply chain.

We recognise that workers’ rights must take into account the vital role women play in households and communities around the world to support and care for others; unpaid work that they do in addition to their role as paid workers.

We recognise that gender inequality takes many forms, from overt practices such as sexual harassment to more covert practices such as denial of maternity leave or disparity in payment of wages between men and women.

With the aim of improving conditions for garment workers and supporting their empowerment, we are committed to:

  • Take gender perspectives into account in all our work and address issues influenced by gender.

  • Include gender considerations in all our activities, particularly focused on supply chain, and highlight gender discrimination experienced by women workers

  • Work to make the experiences, needs, and struggles of women workers at all levels of garment production visible, particularly those at the bottom of supply chains, such as home-based workers, and push for recognition of their status as workers.

  • Ensure equality of pay conditions between men and women both working for our company and in our supply chain.

  • Implement throughout our supply chain specific affirmative anti-discrimination requirements including no forced pregnancy tests for any worker.

  • Pursue complementary legal strategies to expand the rights of women working in the garment industry.

  • Monitor global social and economic trends, as well as supply chain practices, and raise awareness of their impact on women working in the garment industry.

To implement our commitments, we will incorporate the following practice into our factory training regime:

  • Sexual harassment.

  • Leadership skills for women.

  • Skills training for career advancement of women.

  • The principles in this policy apply to all Brand Collective locations and businesses.

 

Responsible Purchasing Practices

 

In managing our suppliers and manufacturers, we always act professionally and ethically and we expect our suppliers and manufacturers to:

  • Abide by all local legal requirements and not engage in any form of corruption or fraud.

  • Notify us as soon as any form of conflict of interest becomes apparent, and not offer unreasonable gifts when engaging with our employees in order to receive benefits.

  • In addition, we have created a number of policies that ensures our supply base remains ethical. These policies address, amongst other things, such issues as gender equality, responsible purchasing practices and remediation practices should child or forced labour be identified. The following policies can be found here:

 

Environment Impact Management

 

We value the natural environment and acknowledge the benefits responsible environmental management delivers our employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders and the broader community. Our Environmental Sustainability Policy communicates our commitment to ensuring a sustainable environment through active management of the inputs and outputs of our processes.

Click here to download a copy of our Environmental Sustainability Policy.

We always partner with suppliers and manufacturers who:

  • Meet legal obligations in relation to environmental performance

  • Establish objectives, targets and key performance indicators to improve their environmental performance

  • Maintain management systems to plan, document, monitor and review their environmental performance, and

  • Identify and assess and manage the environmental hazards which arise from their activities, products and services.

 

Traceability

 

Our suppliers and manufacturers must employ a system that allows traceability of labour and human rights compliance (including worker’s wages and conditions) throughout their manufacturing process including third party input supplier’s country of origin.

We must be able to monitor our supplier and manufacturer’s systems on reasonable notice and do so through our Ethical Sourcing Audit program.

For more information on three key footwear suppliers’ company structure and audit programme – view document here

We commission a range of reports to monitor our suppliers. The reports include the following information:

  • Name of supplier’s parent company.

  • Type of products made.

  • Number of workers per site.

  • Percentage of female workers per site.

  • Percentage of migrant/temporary workers per site.

  • Date of last audit.

  • Audit findings and corrective action plans.

Set out below is information for three suppliers, including a copy of reports commissioned:

 

Ethical Business Practices

 

10 Rules to Trade

  1. Employment is freely chosen with supplier’s and manufacturer’s employees provided with a written legal contract properly negotiated.

  2. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected.

  3. Working conditions are safe and hygienic.

  4. Employees are aged 16 or older – underage labour is NOT used.

  5. Wages are paid in full at regular intervals in accordance with local Government obligations.

  6. Regular working hours are not more than 48 hours per week and overtime hours do not exceed a further 12 hours per week.

  7. No discrimination is practised based on gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital or pregnancy status.

  8. Regular employment is provided.

  9. No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed.

  10. Suppliers must not assign or sub-contract in part or whole any manufacturing.

 

Where We Source From

 

Getting to know our Suppliers.

Our Suppliers, some of which have been working with Brand Collective for over 8 years, are a part of the Brand Collective family and are the backbone of our business.

Over the years our growth and the continued needs of our customers have shaped how we source our products and as a net result this has seen our supplier base grow to XX+ suppliers

over several regions.

We currently source our products in factories located in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Spain, Indonesia, India, Laos, Thailand & Vietnam. We are extremely proud of the great relationships

we have with each of our suppliers, and continually work closely with them to ensure the environments in which our products are made are safe, fair, sustainable and responsible.

Did you know?

The majority of our factories are located in:

 
 

Our top 20 suppliers produce over

80% of our shoes

We have over

79 Footwear Suppliers

 

Grievance Mechanism

 

At Brand Collective, we believe that all of our team members including factory workers have the right to have their voices heard.

Under our Ethical Sourcing Program, Brand Collective encourages its suppliers to engage their workers through proactive two-way communication, which protects their rights and enhances their wellbeing.

In doing so, Brand Collective partners with its suppliers to ensure that each and every worker has access to a confidential grievance mechanism, which has been established under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

As part of this mechanism, workers have access to a confidential email address which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and allows them the opportunity to express themselves without fear of retaliation.

 

On-Boarding Process

 

We have developed a comprehensive suite of on-boarding documents that we roll out to all suppliers and manufactures. This pack is constantly being updated and enlarged and comprises the following documents:

  • Who is Brand Collective.

  • Service Level Agreement for Supply of Products:

    • Supplier.

    • Agent.

  • Supplier and Manufacturer Code of Conduct.

  • Supplier and Manufacturer Code of Conduct Guidelines Manual and Supplier On Boarding Procedure.

  • Factory Code of Conduct Assessment.

  • Factory Capability Assessment.

  • Corrective Action Plan template.

  • Footwear Quality and Procedures Manual and Safety Matrix.

  • Apparel Quality and Procedures Manual and Safety Matrix.

  • Banned Chemicals Regulatory Requirements – for Footwear and Apparel.

  • Supplier Packaging Specification Manual for:

    • Footwear; and

    • Apparel.