FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION
Only sustainable materials and a great product are not enough for us. Our production chain is long and every single piece of clothing contains the work of many people. Above all, the sewing together of the fabrics into a finished part is still pure handcraft today.
Like most brands, we do not have our own factories where only ARMEDANGEL’s collections are sewn. That’s why it’s up to our partners and ourselves to create fair working conditions and fair pay for the people who make our products.
Our aim is to support our suppliers in ensuring permanently good working conditions for all employees. This is also one of the important reasons for our regular visits to the production facilities. The good contact and the proximity to the producers is enormously important to us, because it is the basis for what we do. We want everyone who works for us to understand what we are about as a brand and what our mission is. That is why it is so important that our partners question their own production processes and develop them on their own responsibility – with our support and the help of the initiatives in which we are members. Therefore, in addition to the audits, we also rely heavily on training concepts from the Fair Wear Foundation for workers and factory managers.
In addition, our design, purchasing, engineering and sustainability teams are constantly visiting our suppliers. Martin, the founder, is also regularly there to meet the suppliers in person and to deepen the partnership. Each colleague, however, takes the other’s topics with him, so that a cross-section of topics is always discussed. We always announce our visits and discuss the dates with the producers. Our suppliers are our partners and as such we treat them as well. That means above all, that we build a business relationship based on trust and not on control.
WHO IS THE FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION?
Since June 2015 we are happy to be a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. For us, this is an important step in pursuing our social responsibility even more purposefully and helping our suppliers to ensure permanently good working conditions for all employees. The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is an international multi-stakeholder initiative committed to working with all member companies to improve supply chains and working conditions in textile mills worldwide. A strict code of conduct called the “Code of Labor Practice” regulates, inter alia, the prohibition of child labor, the right to freedom of association, secure jobs, living wages and resource-efficient production – in all factories that come after material production. These are eg
The Code of Conduct is based in detail on the core labor standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and sets out the guidelines for fair working conditions:
- Free choice of employment
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
- No discrimination in the workplace
- No exploitation by child labor
- Payment of living wages
- Reasonable working hours
- Safe and healthy working conditions
- A legally binding employment relationship
Compliance with these standards is regularly monitored at our local factories, both internally and by FWF auditors. For this they use different mechanisms. Among others, these are:
- Operational controls (so-called audits)
- Complaint system for workers
- Stakeholder consultation in the production countries
SHORT TO THE BACKGROUND
The Brand Performance Check takes place once a year at all member companies of the FWF. He reviews the internal management systems to assess how the company has implemented the Code of Labor Practice (FWF) Code of Conduct with its suppliers. Within the scope of this control, both the management systems, such as production planning, purchasing, supplier relations, etc. are scrutinized and the monitoring of the production sites is checked. Monitoring is how we work with and support production, problem-solving and deficiencies to improve them.
Further aspects are the information management, the handling of complaints of employees of the production companies as well as the promotion of the transparency. The reports on the Brand Performance Checks are available to the public online on the FWF website. We had our first Brand Performance Check in May 2016. Now the results are finally available. We are very happy to have finished this year with the result “Good”. This shows us that we are well on the way to ensuring fair working conditions in our textile supply chain. Our goal for 2017 is already clear. We want to become a leader.
That’s what we just scraped past this year. Why?
We did not become a member of the Fair Wear Foundation until the middle of 2015 and only had 6 months to complete the work and the one-year assignments. Of course, that does not mean we were lying on the lazy skin before that. Of course, even before we joined the FWF, we attached great importance to social standards and worked together with all suppliers on these topics. Now we just had to integrate the Fair Wear Foundation system with us. In addition, our supplier from Morocco 2015 unfortunately had to close its doors.
A great partner with whom we worked together for a long time. It was also a difficult situation for us because we had to move our orders very spontaneously. But everything went well and we were able to transfer a large part of the orders to Portugal. However, as a result of this supplier change, we were unable to have enough audited sales volume (product manufactured in factories that have been audited by the Fair Wear Foundation) to become a leader.
Puuuh, we really tried hard to formulate that somewhat complex topic a bit easier. If we did not succeed, please write an email to [email protected] . Julia (our sustainability manager) will be happy to answer any questions.
We know we still have a long way to go, but it’s clear that you want to become the fairest fashion label in the world. But we have already achieved a great deal and we are very proud of that.
Click here for the detailed results of our first Brand Performance Check. In our very first social report you will find much more information about how we work and what mission we pursue … just click.