Our Ethical Policy
When sourcing our garments, we have two major considerations:
- The quality of the garment
- Whether we are happy that the garment has been manufactured to ethical standards
In terms of quality, feedback from customers is consistently very high regarding our super-heavyweight 185gsm 100% ringspun cotton t-shirts*. However, we are often questioned about the sourcing of our products, and asked for assurances that no "sweatshop" labour is used in their production.
We hope you take the time to read below. We welcome any comments or questions….
We source our garments from four different manufacturers: Starworld, Continental Clothing, SOLs and AWDis. All four manufacturers' facilities are WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) certified. This guarantees that our products are produced under lawful, humane, and ethical conditions.
WRAP's "12 Principles" required to achieve certification are as follows:
1. Compliance with Laws and Workplace Regulations
Facilities will comply with laws and regulations in all locations where they conduct business.
All facilities will comply with the legal requirements and standards of their industry under the local and national laws of the jurisdictions in which the facilities are doing business, along with any applicable international laws. This will cover all labor and employment laws of those jurisdictions, as well as laws governing the conduct of business in general, including rules and standards of ethics dealing with corruption and transparency, and any relevant environmental laws.
2. Prohibition of Forced Labor
Facilities will not use involuntary, forced or trafficked labor.
Facilities will maintain employment strictly on a voluntary basis. Facilities will not use any forced, prison, indentured, bonded or trafficked labor. This will include ensuring that any workers they hire will be under labor contracts that fully comply with all relevant legal requirements and do not impose any form of coercion (including imposing substantial fines or loss of residency papers by workers leaving employment or restricting a worker’s ability to voluntarily end his/her employment). In addition, when hiring workers through an employment broker or agency, facilities will ensure that the workers’ passports are not withheld, all written contracts are in the native language of the workers, and recruitment fees are not borne by the workers themselves.
3. Prohibition of Child Labor
Facilities will not hire any employee under the age of 16 or under the minimum age established by law for employment, whichever is greater, or any employee whose employment would interfere with compulsory schooling.
Facilities will ensure they do not engage in any form of child labor, including, but not limited to, the internationally recognized worst forms of child labor. Facilities may not employ any person at an age younger than the law of the jurisdiction allows and in any case not below the age of 16, even if permitted by local law. In addition, facilities will adhere to local legal requirements regarding mandatory schooling. Further, if, where permitted by local law, a facility employs young workers (defined as workers whose age is between the minimum age of employment and 18 years), the facility will also comply with any applicable legal restrictions on the nature and volume of work performed by such young workers, as well as any other requirements imposed by law, including ensuring that such young workers do not perform any hazardous work (e.g., chemicalhandling or operating heavy machinery).
4. Prohibition of Harassment or Abuse
Facilities will provide a work environment free of supervisory or co-worker harassment or abuse, and free of corporal punishment in any form.
Facilities will ensure a workplace that is respectful of a worker’s rights and dignity. This includes ensuring that no corporal punishment or physical coercion be used. Facilities will not engage in or tolerate sexual harassment, indecent or threatening gestures, abusive tone or language or any other kind of undesired physical or verbal contact, such as bullying. In particular, facilities will ensure proper training at all levels - including management, supervisors and workers - to secure a workplace free of harassment or abuse.
5. Compensation and Benefits
Facilities will pay at least the minimum total compensation required by local law, including all mandated wages, allowances & benefits.
Facilities will ensure proper compensation for their employees for all the work done, by providing in a timely manner all the wages and benefits that are in compliance with the local and national laws of the jurisdiction in which they are located. This will include any premiums for overtime work or work done during holidays, as well as any other allowances or benefits, including any mandatory social insurance, required by local law.
6. Hours of Work
Hours worked each day, and days worked each week, should not exceed the limitations of the country’s law. Facilities will provide at least one day off in every seven-day period.
Facilities are required by local law to adhere to any limits set on regular working hours as well as any limits set on overtime work.
7. Prohibition of Discrimination
Facilities will employ, pay, promote, and terminate workers on the basis of their ability to do the job, rather than on the basis of personal characteristics or beliefs.
Facilities will ensure that all terms and conditions of employment are based on an individual’s ability to do the job, and not on the basis of any personal characteristics or beliefs. Facilities will ensure that any employment decision - involving hiring, firing, assigning work, paying or promoting - is made without discriminating against the employees on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or other similar factors (pregnancy, political opinion or affiliation, social status, etc.).
8. Health and Safety
Facilities will provide a safe and healthy work environment. Where residential housing is provided for workers, facilities will provide safe and healthy housing.
Facilities will provide a safe, clean, healthy and productive workplace for their employees. Facilities shall prioritize worker health and safety above all else, and proactively address any safety issues that could arise. This will include a wide variety of requirements, such as, ensuring, among other things, the availability of clean drinking water (at no charge to workers), adequate medical resources, fire exits and safety equipment, well-lighted and comfortable workstations, clean restrooms. Further, facilities shall adequately train all their workers on how to perform their jobs safely
9. Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
Facilities will recognize and respect the right of employees to exercise their lawful rights of free association and collective bargaining.
Facilities will respect the freedom of each employee to choose for him- or her-self whether or not to join a workers’ association. Facilities cannot discriminate against workers based on whether or not they choose to associate. Both the facility and the workers shall ensure they conduct themselves in accordance with all relevant laws in this regard. Facilities will ensure an effective mechanism is in place to address any workplace grievances.
Facilities will comply with environmental rules, regulations and standards applicable to their operations, and will observe environmentally conscious practices in all locations where they operate.
Facilities will ensure compliance with all applicable legally mandated environmental standards, and should demonstrate a commitment to protecting the environment by actively monitoring their environmental practices. In particular, facilities will ensure proper waste management, including monitoring the disposal of any waste material - whether solid, liquid or gaseous - to ensure such disposal is done safely and in a manner consistent with all relevant laws.
11. Customs Compliance
Facilities will comply with applicable customs laws, and in particular, will establish and maintain programs to comply with customs laws regarding illegal transshipment of finished products.
Facilities will ensure that all merchandise is accurately marked or labeled in compliance with all applicable laws. In addition, facilities will keep records for all materials and orders, as well as maintain detailed production records.
Facilities will maintain facility security procedures to guard against the introduction of non-manifested cargo into outbound shipments (i.e. drugs, explosives biohazards and or other contraband).
Facilities will ensure adequate controls are in place to safeguard against the introduction of any non-manifested cargo. In this regard, WRAP recognizes the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP)’s C-TPAT Guidelines for Foreign Manufacturers as a best practice program, and has adopted those guidelines under this Principle.
It should also be noted that compliance does not stop at these twelve principles, but goes way beyond the accepted standard of Certification, embracing every opportunity to reduce the impact on the planet, whilst contributing positively to the well-being of the local community. Environmental awareness is a key objective; these initiatives include state of the art water treatment systems for dye baths, minimum of 80% recycled packaging used and all excess cardboard recycled as standard. Excess yarn is recycled and sold on to carpet manufacturers at subsidised prices. In this way, not only is waste minimised, but local businesses are also helped to grow and develop more employment opportunities for local people.
All employees are trained in-house and receive a comprehensive programme of education which includes aspects such as health and safety, continuous improvement, career development, and support for obtaining professional qualifications. All garments are manufactured by trained personnel, operating under fair, safe and well-paid working conditions
Our products use only Oko-Tex – certified dyestuffs and all our products conform to OEKO TEX 100 Standard, which is one of the many internal controls our garments must pass before being ready for customer use.
*Nb. Our Sport Grey men's t-shirts are a 90% cotton/10% polyester mix. Our 100% Recycled t-shirts are a 60% Recycled pre-consumer cotton organically grown/40% Recycled post-consumer polyester mix