Our Ethical Policy
Our commitment to ethical trade
We have a dedicated team committed to ethical trade and, through their continuing efforts each year, we strive to make our business ever more ethically aware and responsible.
Wherever we do business, either in the UK or overseas, we are committed to doing our best to deliver a high standard of ethical conduct. We are longstanding members of the Ethical Trading Initiative and, for us, it's not enough to simply comply with legal requirements; we are constantly looking for new ways to improve our relationships with our suppliers and support their employees even further.
We strive to work together as one team across the world - from our head office in West London, to our warehouses in the UK and US, to our suppliers around the globe.
The ethical trading initiative
Back in 2008, we joined the Ethical Trading Initiative and adopted the ETI base code – read it here. All suppliers working with us sign up to this ethical commitment, which forms part of our terms and conditions of trade.
Factories producing Boden products are monitored through independent ethical audits to help them adhere to this strict code of conduct. To give the best possible support for our suppliers, we also work with them constantly to help develop improvement plans that will provide long-term benefits for their employees.
We believe that collaboration is an essential part of delivering long-term improvements, so we’ve continued to extend our networks by becoming BSR members in 2014. BSR is a global network of companies working collaboratively to improve ethical and sustainable trade across the world – find more information about that ongoing work here
Where your clothes are made
We work with suppliers all over the world: China, India, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Romania, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Thailand, Portugal, Taiwan, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Morocco, Spain and the UK.
Relationships are important to Boden. We always aim to work with suppliers and factories that share our responsibilities and values.
Ethical trade in practice
We’re always looking at new ways to engage and develop our relationships with our suppliers, whether through onsite project work or through conferences, workshops and brand collaboration.
Working in partnership with TAOS (an NGO that promotes humane production workplaces through training and mentoring), we hold ethical trade workshops that give suppliers the chance to discuss issues, challenges and best practice openly. TAOS also share case studies and examples of best practice from their considerable experience of working with factories on corporate social responsibility and ethical trade.
In our most recent workshop in Shenzhen, China, we collaborated with a fellow ETI member and held a joint workshop for suppliers. This gave all attendees an opportunity to understand issues across other industries as well as their own.
Listening to the views of our suppliers' employees and understanding their needs has become essential to our approach to ethical trade and we continue to explore new ways to do this. We have been working with Good World Solutions to implement the Labor Link tool, a mobile platform that collects anonymous, real-time data from employees about their working conditions.
Boden was one of the first companies to test this technology in China. Topics covered in the survey included worker-management communication, job satisfaction and opportunities for advancement. http://goodworldsolutions.org
Charities and initiatives
Our ethical trade team are constantly working to implement new initiatives that will help improve the lives of employees both inside and outside of factories.
THE HER project
It aims to increase knowledge, improve behaviour and provide wider access to critical health services for women working in factories.
Since it was started in 2007, the HERproject has reached over 250,000 workers in 250 factories, in 14 countries, including China, India, Kenya and Mexico. It’s now recognised as a leading innovation for women’s health by the UN Every Woman, Every Child initiative.
Boden is currently sponsoring four factories that are participating in the HERproject and our first factory in Zhongshan, China, has trained over 1,200 workers already.
Our plan for the next year is to engage four more factories in this programme including piloting HERfinance in India – a programme that trains the workforce in financial wellbeing.
We’ll be sharing more about this story as the project continues, but if you would like more information, please click here.
Bsr women in factories programme
In 2015, we were invited to nominate a factory to take part in BSR’s Women in Factories programme in China – an initiative that focuses on training opportunities that give women the tools and confidence to grow their career. The aims of this programme are:
Female workers are empowered with the skills and knowledge to improve their opportunity for career advancement.
Factories see the value of investing in female workers, and have the capacity to continuously improve their performance.
A vibrant and active community of WIF factories, trainers and stakeholders for mutual support and sustainability.
Verité health & safety training
Since 2014, we’ve been working with Verité – an independent, non-profit organisation that monitors international labour rights abuse in production sites with the view to provide a long-term solution to improve workers' lives.
We put forward a factory for a Verité programme, providing workers with accessible training to increase health and safety and wellbeing in the workplace.
45 workers attended the 4-day training; they all passed the exam and now have certification.
The training is now in its second phase where Verité are testing online training tools. http://www.verite.org/
We are always looking for opportunities to engage with local communities. Most recently we have worked with US charity No Kid Hungry, whose aim is to end child hunger in America.