With the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh a few days away we want to show our support of Fashion Revolution Day, a campaign set up by an ethical-trade entrepreneur, Carry Somers. The campaign is asking consumers to challenge their favourite brands on their supply chain ethics and where their clothes are manufactured.

In the year since the Rana Plaza collapse we’ve been working hard to increase the transparency of our supply chain. Whilst we have not, and do not, use the factory and suppliers affected in the disaster we recognise that the issue is wider than this incident.  We want to be clear with our customers about our current manufacturing ethics and provide an update on the work we are currently doing with our suppliers and extended supply chain.

So, who makes our clothes?

Our clothes are made mainly in China, Turkey, India and Portugal but we do also manufacture in other Far East and European countries for some of our products. We have Ethical Auditors in each of these countries who work with us to ensure our suppliers are adhering to our Ethical Code of Conduct. The Code helps us deliver continuous improvements over time in areas such as safe working environments, compliance to legal minimum wages and work hour regulations. We check there is no child labour and that workers are treated fairly and not experiencing discrimination in the workplace. We also speak to workers directly to check they know their workplace rights, and should they want to, know they can organise to bargain collectively.

Do we manufacture in Bangladesh?

We have two factories in Bangladesh that manufacture White Stuff products. Since the Rana Plaza factory collapse we have looked closely at our business practices to see if improvements can be made. Here’s what we have done in the past year:
  • We have added a buildings safety inspection clause to our auditing procedure
  • Given our auditors guidance on this new clause through training
  • Continued to audit our two factories with heightened focus on structural safety; both have been ethically audited with satisfactory results
Over the coming year we will be continuing to work closely with our suppliers and the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) to develop our supplier relationships and ongoing commitment to ethical trade. We are also continuing to sell our Made for Change bags in our shops and online; to date we have provided educational scholarships for over 330 of our factory workers’ children.

More information about the work we do with the ETI and our Ethical Code can be found here.