Since 2001 we have worked actively with a Code of Conduct with our suppliers. We believe that developing long-term relationships with our suppliers is the best way in which to develop issues of this type. Of our 30 or so suppliers, we have worked with 80% of them for more than ten years. If you have this type of relationship, then short-term decisions and actions from suppliers are impossible, as suppliers must try to fulfil the demands we place on them in accordance with the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization's rights at work conventions.
Wages, overtime and compensation in accordance with employment legislation
Freedom of association
Ban on discrimination
Health & safety
Ban on child labour
Ban on punishments
Environmental and safety issues (e.g. chemicals)
Management information systems
An important factor to us in our choice of suppliers is that we want our products to be of a high quality. We want suppliers who are capable of creating complicated products and use qualified, skilled staff. There is absolutely no excuse for the use of child labour. When you are talking about needlework (embroidery done completely by hand) this is often carried out in workers' homes. Then there are no absolute guarantees that there are no children in the background. Just as things are here in Sweden when children help out at home in farming or other small business capacity. But wages for craft workers have to be high enough so that families can afford to send their children to school.
BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) is an organisation that we have been engaging since 2007 to take care of regular inspection of our suppliers' compliance with our Code of Conduct. Through our membership, we as a company gain a broader knowledge of these fairly complicated issues, as well as a support network. Through regular meetings, we also receive information and are able to act as a pressure factor in a number of humanitarian, environmental and employment legislation issues. At least 70% of our production that takes place in risk countries (China and India) is now processed through BSCI. You can read more on their website https://www.amfori.org/content/bsci-code-conduct.