Ethical Code of Conduct
ETHICAL SOURCING AUDIT POLICY AND PROCEDURE AGREEMENT
Suzanne Grae takes very seriously the issue of Ethical Sourcing. We have embarked on a journey and learning, where we will continue to review and improve our processes. This document represents where we are currently up to in that journey and will evolve over time.
We believe that the employment opportunities provided by sourcing our products from low wage countries can lead to improvements in the life style of the people employed by factories that produce our garments and the overall economy of those countries. Our challenge is to balance the ethical requirements of a developed country like Australia with the realities of production in a low wage country. We are very careful to ensure where we source in certain low wage countries that the workers are respected and avoid countries where we are not satisfied appropriate standards are maintained. Our buying and executive teams visit factory locations regularly to review and check on production.
As a means of addressing this challenge, Suzanne Grae requests each supplier producing goods for sale in Suzanne Grae to respect, understand and adhere to the Code of Conduct for manufacturers. This is be done by signing the Audit Policy and Procedures document, which outlines the procedures for ensuring compliance with the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct has been based on the European Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).
The aim of the audit program is to support suppliers in a process of continual improvement in their progress towards the goal of ethical production processes. Factories will be encouraged in their movement towards total compliance with the Code of Conduct and their progress will be monitored through the audit program. This will include identification of shortfalls in adherence to ethical standards and the setting of goals for improvement by the next audit.
Compliance with the Code of Conduct will be monitored through an audit program to be carried out by an independent auditor. The audit procedures and requirements for compliance are outlined in this document.
CODE OF CONDUCT
The Suzanne Grae auditing program is based on the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) code of conduct with addition of an environmental section. There are ten (10) sections to be evaluated during the audit. Within these 10 criteria, there are three areas that Suzanne Grae sees as Non Negotiable and grounds for immediate cessation of business with the factory and reporting to authorities. These three areas are;
Employment must not be forced and must be free of restrictions such as deposits and restrictions on after hours movement.
Child labour is not allowed and young people under 18 years of age, shall not be employed at night or in hazardous areas. No one younger than 16 years of age shall be employed at any time.
Treatment in the work place
Physical abuse of workers is prohibited.
The ten areas of that will be covered in the audits are:
- Employment is freely chosen.
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected.
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic.
- Child labour shall not be used.
- Living wages are paid.
- Working hours are not excessive.
- No discrimination is practised.
- Regular employment is provided.
- No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed.
For Suzanne Grae these standards represent a minimum and not maximum standard and should not be used by companies to avoid achieving even higher standards.
Companies applying this code are also expected to comply with national and other applicable laws and, where the provisions of law and, where this Code of Conduct addresses the same subject, to apply that provision which affords the greater protection.
In response to a global investigation and the Justice & International Mission correspondence August 2012, our company implemented a process of confirmation and Supplier commitment that our production does not include any cotton harvested from Uzbekistan including a process of mill assessment by an independent Auditor to confirm such compliance.
Suzanne Grae can confirm that no Azo Dyes are used in any of our denim production.
Concern has been raised for the humane treatment of Angora Rabbits in the production of garments containing Angora Fur. We do not use Angora Fur in any of our company’s products.
Our company does not use animals for testing of our products.
Australian Packaging Covenant
Suzanne Grae is a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC), a federal government initiative which is focused on reduction in packaging and increase in recycling to reduce that which reaches landfill. As a signatory you are required to submit a five year action plan aimed at achieving key milestones and objectives in this area. Our detailed action plan can be viewed on the APC web site.