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The environments in which our products are made and the materials used to make them form a critical part of our ethical responsibility. As part of The Cotton On Group, our Ethical Sourcing Program underpins all the decisions we make when sourcing our
As a business, we are proud of what we've been able to achieve on this journey thus far.
At the same time, we know we are on a path of continuous improvement and need to continually find new and better ways of operating.
For our team members and customers to trust and respect us, we need to demonstrate that profitability can't come at the expense of operating ethically.
This means that we have a responsibility to our customers, our people, our suppliers and our business partners globally to provide them with transparency across our operations and assurances on the way we conduct our business.
Ethics is not something new to us. From day one, a deep sense of family and social responsibility has run at the core of Factorie and The Cotton On Group. We know that as our global operations continue to grow, we need to make responsible decisions
at every turn – not only because it's the right thing to do, but because it's the best way to do business.
Factorie and The Cotton On Group's operations are guided by our Ethical Framework, developed to solidify our focus and make sure our teams are part of our journey to impact positively on people's lives globally – across our customers, our suppliers,
our partners, our team members and the community more broadly. The framework sits hand-in-hand with our Ethical Sourcing Program, including our 14 Rules To Trade supplier code of conduct, which guides and governs the ethical supply of our products.
We view our supplier base as an extension of our family and that those who work for our suppliers, work with us. We maintain long-term relationships with selected suppliers to ensure their commitment and understanding of our 14 Rules To Trade.
As part of our people-first approach and drive to get better at what we do, we increasingly invest in resources and infrastructure, working with our suppliers to educate them on the importance of 14 Rules To Trade and focus on improving workers' conditions.
In instances where remedial action is required, we work closely with suppliers to ensure corrective action is implemented and improvements are made.
Our current goal is end-to-end mapping of all suppliers and materials used in our products, including raw materials. So as we delve deeper into our supply chain, we've set a goal to achieve 100% public disclosure across all stages of production by
the end of 2018. A transparent and sustainable supply chain is an important part of our commitment to responsibly made product, but we also genuinely believe it's the right thing to do.
Factorie is part of The Cotton On Group’s brand portfolio and therefore sources materials from the same suppliers.
View the Group’s current supplier list here.
We strive to be better every day so each year we benchmark our audit process against international standards which cover the areas of Fire and Safety, Management Practices, Worker Rights, Factory Conditions, Waste Management and the Environment.
We implement the required updates as part of our continuous journey of improvement.
Worker interviews also form a major part of our responsible sourcing program ensuring we listen to the workers' needs.
In addition, our program also includes third party auditors who carry out independent checks of our supply partners.
In FY16, we completed over 700 factory inspections in Factorie and Cotton On Group suppliers' facilities globally, including over 500 ethical sourcing audits.
To assist our suppliers to understand Factorie's expectations for responsible sourcing and also provide practical assistance to corrective actions, the Cotton On Group has a Supplier Technical Guide for our business partners to ensure these requirements
are clearly defined. Suppliers and buyers also have a self-check audit available to allow them to conduct self-evaluation to undertake their own assessment.
Our values underpin everything we do and we only partner with people and organisations that share this thinking.
To help guide and educate our suppliers, we've developed 14 Rules to Trade, to ensure our partners can clearly understand our ethical expectations.
Before partnering with a supplier, we ensure they understand and abide by our 14 Rules To Trade.
The Cotton On Group has zero tolerance of any supplier breaching the following rules:
In January 2014, in addition to our Rules To Trade, we introduced a more robust Cotton On Group Ethical Sourcing Audit. This audit covers in detail the areas of Fire and Safety, Worker Rights and Conditions, Environment, Waste Management and Worker
Interviews. We continue to work with suppliers to educate them on the importance of meeting these Audit requirements.
Our suppliers are an extension of our family, and face-to-face communication plays a critical part in the way we do business.
For the last 25 years we've been establishing long-term, meaningful relationships and investing in the future of these partnerships.
Our people strive to be better every day, and we encourage our suppliers to share this value. Each year we hold supplier conferences in our sourcing hubs, with participation from all areas of the Cotton On Group business. These conferences provide
the opportunity to engage our suppliers with Factorie’s journey, as well as understand more about the Group, our strategy and expectations and how we can collectively work together to achieve our ambitious goals.
The conferences help us to maintain effective two-way communication with our suppliers, while giving them a platform to voice the challenges they face and support they require. It also allows us to recognize and thank high performing suppliers and
Importantly, these events also see each supplier recommitting to the Cotton On Group's 14 Rules To Trade, which they must adhere to in order to do business with us.
Factorie is a proud member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a not-for-profit organisation stewarding the global standards for Better Cotton, and bringing together cotton’s complex supply chain, from the farmers to the retailers.
BCI works with a diverse range of stakeholders, from farmers to retailers, to promote measurable and ongoing improvements to social, environmental and economic issues in cotton-farming communities in 21 countries around the world. By 2020, BCI aims
to have five million farmers involved in the initiative – producing 8.2 million metric tonnes of sustainable cotton which is 30 per cent of global cotton production.
The Cotton On Group uses thousands of tonnes of cotton each year to bring our customers the products they love, and as one of the first Australian retailers to join the program, we believe there is enormous opportunity for us to make a difference
in the world and change people’s lives.
As a business, we are striving to create an ever-better supply chain. It is a long journey but our short-term goal is to have thirty per cent more sustainable cotton, sourced from BCI and Kenya Cotton, by 2019.
Our involvement with BCI is the latest initiative in a comprehensive sustainability program that also includes disclosing the details of our suppliers, which commenced in late-July 2016 with the goal of full disclosure by the end of 2018.
The Cotton On Group’s commitment to using more sustainable cotton is further strengthened by the success of our existing sustainable cotton initiative – Kenya Cotton. In partnership with Business for Development, we are working closely with Kenyan
farmers to help them transition from subsistence farming and improve their livelihood through sustainable cotton production.
In addition to funding the training and setup of each farm, the Group is committed to purchasing 100 per cent of the cotton lint, and since the project began in 2014, farmers involved with the initiative have already doubled their income. We are committed
to supporting more than 10,000 Kenyan farmers by 2020.
The initiative, together with being a member of BCI, will give our business increased transparency in our supply chain, providing greater confidence in the environments from which our raw materials are being sourced.
For more information, visit the Cotton On Group’s website www.cottonongroup.com.au and Better Cotton Initiative’s www.bettercotton.org. Factorie is part of the Cotton On Group’s brand portfolio
and is therefore also a member of the Better Cotton Initiative.
As part of our supplier agreements, our supply partners are required to comply with the Group's Ethical Sourcing Audit, which includes environmental practices.
This audit provides us with measurements and feedback on how our suppliers are performing and what improvements have been implemented, if required.
We encourage our suppliers to be environmentally conscious and improve their way of operating on an ongoing basis. Where remedial action is required, Factorie and The Cotton On Group works with its partners to remedy the breach to deadline and to