Forever New is committed to the principles of responsible sourcing and respect for the environment in the manufacturing of our products.
Our minimum standards are based on the core conventions of the International Labour Organisation, applicable legislation and the Ethical Trading Initiative base code.
VIEW OUR ETHICAL TRADE INITIATIVE BASE CODE
Forever New works in a partnership approach with our suppliers, some of which we have worked with for as long as twelve years.
We regularly visit our suppliers around the world to audit working conditions and processes, and monitor adherence to our Supplier Code of Conduct. Underpinned by the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code, this forms the minimum expectations with regard to the labour standards and workplace conditions of our supply chain partners.
This enables us to work collaboratively with our suppliers to understand, measure, report on, and help improve their organisations social and environmental performance.
Our goal is to drive continuous improvement within our supply chain and to help improve the lives of the workers that make our products. Forever New employs dedicated in-house ethical compliance teams in our main manufacturing countries. Our auditors are highly experienced and qualified to conduct audits against BSCI, SA 8000, ICS and SMETA methodologies.
In addition to checks by our own auditing teams, many of our factories commission independent audits conducted by a variety of third party auditors including Elevate, Accordia, Algi, Bureaux Veritas, Intertek, SGS and UL.
Many of our factories are also Sedex members. Sedex is a platform which allows audits and corrective actions to be shared between multiple retailers. This multi-stakeholder approach allows for greater transparency of the factory’s objectives and progress and reduces audit fatigue.
In partnership with an established NGO, we have implemented a confidential worker hotline in strategic factories in China to accompany existing factory-level grievance mechanisms. Findings from this programme inform our supplier engagement strategy.
For those suppliers who fully embrace our Code and Values, we commit to a continuous improvement approach over time, whereby we use our commercial leverage to influence and support any necessary improvements.
Whilst we will always prioritise this approach, Forever New reserves the right to terminate relationships with suppliers who do not commit to our values or demonstrate meaningful change when gaps in adherence to our Code of Conduct are discovered.
Our suppliers are very important to Forever New and integral to our work towards increased supply chain transparency and ethical trade.
VIEW OUR CEO’S COMMITMENT TO ETHICAL SUPPLY VIEW OUR SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIPS
In addition to expectations outlined in the ETI base code, Forever New does not tolerate bribery or corruption in any form and expects transparency from our suppliers at all times, including during audits conducted by or on behalf of Forever New.
Non-discrimination and gender equality
Discrimination in any form, including on the basis of gender, is not tolerated.
Forever New is committed to addressing any gender inequality in our supply chain. Our compliance programme monitors gender profile across permanent, temporary and migrant workers and provides special assessment of home workers [if applicable].
Forever New prohibits the use of child, forced or bonded labour. View our policies here:
YOUNG WORKER AND CHILD LABOUR POLICY FORCED LABOUR POLICY
We are committed to collaborating with our industry peers to collectively identify and resolve systemic issues.
LIVING WAGE COMMITMENT
Compliance with legal wage requirements is assessed as part of our factory audit and monitoring programs. Forever New monitors national minimum wage increases in the countries in which we operate and engages with our suppliers as well as buying teams to ensure they are across these increases for costing conversations.
Beyond these minimum requirements, Forever New is committed to providing living wages for all workers within our supply chain, a requirement which forms part of our Code of Conduct, agreed to by all suppliers.
Living Wage definition
A living wage should be earned in a standard work week (no more than 48 hours as a maximum) by a worker and be sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include adequate nutritious food, housing, healthcare, clothing, transportation, energy, water, childcare, education, other essential needs including some discretionary money and provision for unexpected events. A living wage should allow individuals to work and thereby lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Our commitment and milestones
Whilst we recognise there is no globally agreed living wage methodology, we acknowledge and benchmark our wage data against the Global Living Wage Coalition (Anker) calculations. We commit to completing this benchmarking and gap analysis for the first tier of our supply chain by Q2 2020.
We will use this data, learnings from the implementation of the Responsible Purchasing Policy and roll out of staff training, as well as best practice industry initiatives, to inform the development of our living wage strategy and discussions with suppliers.
We remain committed to promoting freedom of association, collective bargaining and effective wage management systems and recognize that a multi-stakeholder approach to living wages is vital. We continue to work in collaboration with industry organisations, NGO’s, peers and initiatives working towards best practice approaches to living wages.
By 2021, we plan to share our progress towards living wages for our first tier suppliers.
RESPONSIBLE SOURCING AND PURCHASING PRACTICES
Forever New works in cooperation with our suppliers with open dialogue, some of whom we have worked with for over 12 years. We hold direct relationships and do not use agents nor engage in price bidding.
We are committed to responsible sourcing and acknowledge that purchasing behaviour can play an important role in influencing working conditions for those making Forever New Products.
In order to build internal capacity across our design, planning and buying teams, in Q2 2019 we implemented comprehensive guidance on responsible sourcing through the development of a Responsible Sourcing and Purchasing Policy, guidelines and staff training. Ongoing, all new design and buying teams will receive this training and must align their practices accordingly. Staff are also required to complete and pass an online e-learning module.
Implementation of this policy across all functions of the design and buying cycle at Forever New includes a commitment to engage in accurate forecasting, mutually agreed lead times, capacity assessment and reservation, fair negotiations and payment terms, delivery flexibility, sampling accuracy, order placement consistency and responsible exiting.
Senior Management is responsible for implementation and compliance with this policy, which includes regular evaluation reviews. In 2020 we commit to undertaking an assessment of sourcing and purchasing practices as a result of this implementation to inform our living wage strategy and adjust processes where necessary.
VIEW OUR RESPONSIBLE SOURCING AND PURCHASING POLICY
BANGLADESH FIRE AND SAFETY ACCORD
We are a signatory to both the 2013 and 2018 Bangladesh Fire and Safety Accords and fully support all efforts towards factory safety for workers in Bangladesh.
A full list of signatories and details of the Accord can be found on the Accord website. Read more.
OUR PLEDGE AGAINST FORCED LABOUR IN THE UZBEK COTTON SECTOR
We are proud to collaborate with this multi-stakeholder coalition to raise awareness of this very serious concern and press for its elimination. As a signatory to this pledge, we are stating our firm opposition to the use of child and adult forced labour in the harvest of Uzbek cotton.
We commit to not knowingly source Uzbek cotton in the manufacturing of any of our products until the Government of Uzbekistan ends the practice of forced child and adult labour in its cotton sector.
Until the elimination of this practice is independently verified by the International Labour Organization, we will maintain this pledge.
VIEW OUR BAN ON COTTON HARVEST FROM UZBEKISTAN
All suppliers are required to comply with relevant environmental laws and regulations, including obtaining necessary permits and licences.
Environmental Management Systems, which consider water treatment, waste reduction and disposal, air pollution, carbon emissions and the management of chemicals must be maintained.
Our audits monitor handling and storage of hazardous substances, safe disposal of waste as well as the treatment of wastewater.
All suppliers must comply with all local and international regulations on the use of chemicals, including compliance with REACH and OEKO-TEX standards.
Forever New requires all suppliers to meet the requirements of our Animal Welfare Policy.
We expect the highest level of animal welfare as per best practice industry standards and require all animals be afforded the Five Freedoms, as recognised by the RSPCA:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from injury or disease
- Freedom to express normal behaviour
- Freedom from fear and distress
Any animal material used in Forever New products must be a by-product of the food industry. We do not use real animal fur, angora rabbit hair or exotic skins.