That means the people who work in our head office, our distribution centres and our shops. It also means everyone involved in our supply chains, from the people growing or making the raw materials that go into our clothes to the factory workers around the world assembling components of our garments.
While we can't control every aspect of this indirect work, we have real, meaningful measures in place to ensure we know what is going on further down our supply chains. And we can take steps if something isn't right.
There are currently 98 factories across Europe and Asia that manufacture White Stuff products, and they employ nearly 60,000 people. These are what's known as 'tier 1' suppliers. We have a code of conduct for each of these factories, which is translated into local languages and must be displayed where workers can see it. It covers things like non-discrimination principles, wages and working hours, prevention of forced or child labour, and freedom of association. Tier 1 factories are regularly audited to check the code is being adhered to, and that workers are safe, treated fairly and properly paid.
Tier 2 factories supply components or processes (such as garment dying or fabric printing) to factories in tier 1, while tier 3 factories supply tier 2. In 2021-22, accreditation programmes were completed for tier 2 and 3 suppliers in India. Auditors were trained, supply chains were mapped and audit reports produced. Some tier 4 suppliers (farmers and producers of raw materials) were also audited. We've also been rolling out tier 2 accreditation and auditing in Bangladesh and Turkey during the course of 2022-23, and are planning to do the same in China and Cambodia.
We are committed to the Fairtrade Sourced Cotton model, meaning a proportion of the cotton we buy every year is Fairtrade. Fairtrade sourcing supports the people at the beginning of the supply chain, so that the farmers who sow, grow and harvest the raw cotton have decent and safe working conditions. It means they earn at least the Fairtrade Minimum Price for their crop (to protect against market fluctuations).
They also earn the Fairtrade Premium -- additional funds that farmers’ cooperatives spend on things like schools for their children, better irrigation systems, better access to doctors and better quality seeds.
All transactions are tracked on a system called Fairtrace, which allows us to monitor our progress against our targets and also means we have transparency across the entire production process -- from seed to shop shelf.
We have been members of the Ethical trading Initiative since 2013. This organisation brings companies, trade unions and NGOs together to tackle the many issues and challenges associated with modern, global supply chains, and to promote respect for workers.
WORKING FOR WHITE STUFF
Our dog-friendly head office is in Oval, south London. Our designers, buyers, marketing teams and the people who run our website are all based there. Our distribution and customer care centre is in Leicester. And we have full- and part-time workers at over 120 shops in the UK and Germany.