From the conception of our brand “doing the right thing” has been important to our team and customers. We believe it is the responsibility of every individual to be a good citizen, and while being a small player in a global market can at times be daunting, we believe our impact on human rights can be just as significant as larger operations and that we can all make a difference.
For this reason, we are continuously developing our Responsible Sourcing Strategy and this year have made some amendments to our Code of Conduct to reinforce our zero tolerance position around bonded labour which unfortunately is inherent in some sourcing countries. We have also revisited our Child Labour Remediation protocol and worked to reduce the risk and vulnerabilities of women in the apparel supply chain, particularly in the lower tiers.
We have employed an experienced Ethical Sourcing specialist to shape and prioritise our strategy, to train and guide us through the more complex issues and importantly to drive the momentum.
In 2018 we decided to join the Amfori BSCI initiative, which incorporates all of our Code of Conduct including environmental sustainability. Through joining this program, we will be in a better position to support our suppliers with tried and tested training programs and we will have access to word class standards and tools to improve our own processes of supply chain mapping, monitoring, and remediation.
For a small New Zealand business, the opportunity to tap into a network of international like-minded brands will be invaluable in terms of shared learnings, experiences and increased leverage with suppliers. In addition, we understand that success in addressing the more complex issues involved with Modern Slavery cannot be achieved independently and therefore a collaborative approach is essential in developing solutions. Joining Amfori we believe is an important step towards this, and we are the first New Zealand business to do so.
Supply Chain transparency continues to be a priority and this year we have made significant progress, achieving 100% transparency of our fabric sources and 95% transparency of yarn sources and raw cotton agents. Further work needs to be done regarding building direct relationships with these tiers, which is ultimately necessary to achieve full transparency of our cotton farmers. However, this is becoming closer to reality with conversations initiated with our Australian Cotton Shippers Association, BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) and growth of our Organic Cotton Program.
While this year has been an important one for fast-tracking our Responsible Sourcing Program, we acknowledge we still have much to do and a lot to learn. Training and raising awareness is a vital part of our strategy as well as communicating with the broader team and our customers who are encouraged to bring ideas and challenge us moving forward.