California Transparency in Supply Chains Act.
Global supply chains bring unparalleled potential opportunities for economic growth, employment, skill development and career growth across the world. They have played an important role in changing the outlook and opportunities for millions of people including women and migrant workers. However, the outsourcing of manufacturing can also bring with it challenges with human rights violations and abuses including forced labour and human trafficking.
Aritzia is committed to upholding fair and safe employment and workplace conditions. We aim to work with best-in class factories and mills, defined by the quality of the product and by how they work. To achieve this, we build meaningful partnerships with those who share our values, and work to develop sustainable and long-lasting improvements that extend throughout our supply chain.
A well-managed and healthy supply chain is integral to building a stable, successful and sustainable business. Part of this commitment includes continually reviewing and improving our practices where necessary to respect human rights and safeguarding against slavery or human trafficking throughout our supply chain. We use the United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights to form the basis of our human rights approach and social impact program.
- A team dedicated to identifying, managing and mitigating supply chain risks and impacts including those posed by slave, forced and trafficked labour.
- Supplier Code of conduct in line with established international and industry frameworks including ILO Core Conventions amongst others.
- Cross functional assessment of new sourcing countries against criteria including human rights and environmental stewardship national frameworks and infrastructure
- An established monitoring program using expert independent, 3rd party assessors including Elevate, Impactt and through our Partnership with Betterwork, an ILO-IFC program with tripartite representation. All audits include worker interviews as standard.
- Worker Sentiment Surveys rolled out to factories in China and India between 2018 and 2019 to understand more nuanced and detailed experiences of working at suppliers.
- Human Rights training deployed to internal teams with regular contact with suppliers.
- Certification of all more sustainable raw materials and fabric production. Certification processes include assessment against labour standards.
Aritzia developed the Aritzia Supplier Code of Conduct using established international frameworks, including the International Bill of Human Rights and the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work — such as the Forced Labour Convention (No.29), Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No.105), Minimum Age Convention (No. 138) and Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (No. 182) amongst others.
Aritzia’s Migrant Worker Policy and Child Labour & Young Worker Policy serve to address specific risks for vulnerable populations. These policies include provisions to protect against forced, trafficked and slave labour in the supply chain specific to migrant, child and young workers.
The Aritzia Materials Sourcing Policy, signed by our supply chain partners, outlines our standards for sourcing raw materials and including compliance to local and national laws, labour standards, systems of due diligence and animal welfare standards amongst others.
Key Program details
- Aritzia’s Sustainability department supports the implementation of the Supplier Code of Conduct, signed by our supply chain partners.
- By working with Aritzia and signing the Supplier Code of Conduct, suppliers commit to, among other things, ensuring all work is voluntary and no forced, trafficked, illegal, prison, indentured, bonded or other forms of forced labour have been used and all workers are treated equally.
- If our suppliers choose to use a third party to recruit and hire employees, we require that only registered employment agencies be used. Furthermore, all fees associated with employment are the sole responsibility of the employer.
- To help deepen our oversight further down our supply chain we work with the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS), the Organic Cotton Standard (OCS), the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and the Global Recycling Standard all of which stipulate specific labour and environmental standards to which supply chain actors must adhere. We have set internal targets to increase the adoption of more sustainable raw materials in line with these standards and others.
Verification, Audits & Remediation and Certification
We work with approximately 80 finished goods suppliers across apparel and accessories in 13 countries, including China, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Romania, Italy, Peru ,Sri Lanka, Philippines, Portugal, Turkey, USA and Greece. To date our audit focus has been on finished goods suppliers. In 2020, this focus is expanding to include fabric and trim suppliers as we are conscious that certain employment conditions deeper in supply chains may represent a more significant risk of forced and trafficked labour. Aritzia source from approximately 120 suppliers of fabrics and 40 suppliers of trims globally including key countries such as China, Japan, Italy and others.
Key Program details
- We conduct a cross-functional country risk assessments to help inform our decisions when exploring new countries to source. Once we have entered a country we maintain ongoing communication to ensure we work cross functionally within the industry and other key stakeholders on monitoring and understanding and mitigating potential risks.
- For each new factory, an onboarding assessment is completed including a review of the factory’s employment practices and labour rights.
- Our current practices require that all suppliers need to receive prior written consent from Aritzia before sub-contracting any work. All suppliers or homeworkers proposed as subcontractors must also meet the standards outlined in our Code of Conduct and the same monitoring process applies.
- Once on-boarded, we assess supplier performance against our Code of Conduct, using local and independent specialists including Elevate, Impactt and Better Work as our preferred partners. In an effort to build relationships based on transparency and trust, our preference is to conduct announced audits. On a case-by-case basis and when needed, unannounced audits may be conducted.
- All audits include voluntary confidential interviews with workers to ensure worker feedback and lived experience is included in assessing a factory’s working conditions and performance to laws and standards.
- Between 2018 - 2019, worker sentiment surveys have also been included in addition to audits conducted by Elevate in China and India. These surveys provide workers the ability to offer their insights on grievance mechanisms, supervisor relationships, sexual harassment, wages and working hours. We are now assessing how we can raise the bar to improve our understanding of worker experiences in the supply chain.
- Factories are graded according to the severity of the issues. In cases of critical non-compliances and if the factory is either unable or unwilling to make improvements, Aritzia may decide, as a last resort, to terminate the relationship. However, we will take care to ensure that the exit is responsible and does not adversely impact the workforce.
- Our teams also conduct visits to build relationships and trust with our partners and to ensure that remediation and improvements are both sustainable and upheld.
- Where we find opportunities for improvement, we work collaboratively with our suppliers to develop a corrective action plan. Aritzia provides additional support in the form of in-person consulting with local expert organizations and online training.
- If a supplier is unable or unwilling to rectify issues, we will reconsider our business relationship with them, while ensuring that the rights and best interests of the workers are upheld.
- The performance of the supply chain is integrated into the Product Leadership Team through annual targets focused on sourcing more sustainable raw materials, improved performance of social and environmental performance of suppliers and use of more sustainable packaging.
- The Sustainability Department and Social Impact team work closely with the Enterprise Risk Management Department to embed sustainability related risks including human rights risks corporately.
- In 2020 Aritzia is conducting an inaugural Human Rights Impact Assessment. This will include stakeholder review and the results of which will be shared later in the year.
- Aritzia’s Corporate Code of Conduct outlines consequences in the event that employees and contractors do not abide by laws, rules, regulations and any relevant Aritzia policies.
Training & Development
- We are committed to monitoring our supply chain, continually learning the contexts of each country we source from and building transparent and collaborative relationships with our suppliers and other partners in the industry. Online training rolled out to suppliers includes Health & Safety, Working Hours, Recruitment, Responsible Manufacturing, Wages & Benefits, Worker Engagement, Supervisor Skills, Code of Conduct, Supply Chain Management, Environment, Forced Labour, Responsible Purchasing, and Anti-Bribery and Corruption.
- Aritzia is aware that only through developing our own employees and building a culture of trust and transparency can we effectively implement our values. Therefore, we have developed an annual training and education program to ensure key employees at all levels throughout the organization — particularly those who interact and have relationships with our factories — understand the risks associated with manufacturing in a global supply chain and are aware of the systems and processes in place should any issues be identified.
- Annual training includes:
- all attendees to participate in online training prior to the in-person training session,
- update for attendees on all relevant company policies, practices and procedures,
- review what human rights are and the role and responsibility of governments and companies,
- examination of what human trafficking and forced labour is, the various forms it may take,
- an overview of our approach to supply chain management through a human rights lens,
- session on approaches to mitigate risks throughout our supply chain as a company and as individuals, and
- run through various case studies to put the learnings into practice.
As an organization committed to continuous improvement and raising the bar, we want to highlight 5 priority areas where we are determined to strengthen.
- Improving systemic visibility and traceability into the supply chain
- Expanding our Social Impact program into our tier 2 suppliers
- Enhancing grievance mechanisms and worker voice in the partners with whom we work
- Understanding the impacts of the business decisions Aritzia makes and the needs of workers in the supply chain
- Further deepening internal cross-functional partnership to embed sustainability into decision making through the Aritzia Supplier Scorecard
For more information on our Sustainability approach, impact and initiatives, please visit our Sustainability page.
We welcome your feedback and questions, please reach out to us at any time by emailing email@example.com.
This statement is made pursuant to the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 (SB 657) and sets out the policies and processes at Aritzia to prevent the occurrence of slavery and human trafficking in our supply chain and other operations.