This week, we published our Pentland Brands Modern Slavery report. With over 40 million people worldwide living in slavery, the report outlines our commitments to protecting the people working within our supply chain.
Here’s how we’re addressing the important and complex issue of modern slavery, as part of our broader Positive Business strategy to take action for people and our planet.
Understanding our risks
We assess risk in our supply chain based on a number of factors including geography, political stability and worker demographics. We continue to use our In Good Conscience forum to evaluate risks and opportunities in our supply chain, including those related to ethics, integrity and the environment. In 2019 we also set up a Business Risk committee to evaluate broader risks across our organisation, helping us make coherent and informed decisions around our supply chain.
We want to create an ethical, transparent supply chain in which people are empowered. network of agents and over 200 homeworkers used by one of our suppliers. We continue to share what we’ve learned with other businesses and raise awareness about the importance of protecting homeworkers as well as ensuring they’re represented in supply chains.
To take steps to protect those working in our supply chain during the COVID-19 crisis, we paid for all existing orders in full and made no order cancellations during this period. Our commitments were verified in reports by the Business & Human Rights Centre and Baptist World Aid.
We’re committed to building the capabilities of our people. We’ve introduced a compulsory all-employee modern slavery online training module to support the understanding and identification of the types of modern slavery most prevalent in our industry. We also carry out regular internal training for factory-facing employees in the UK, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Vietnam.
Collaborating for success
We work in partnership with charities, NGOs and industry bodies to improve our approach to addressing modern slavery. In 2019 we joined the Social Labour Convergence Programme (SLCP) to promote collaboration and reduce audit fatigue. In doing this, we commit to supporting the creation of a framework for converged assessments – a shared audit process used by multiple brands and retailers.
We’re a founding of the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) and recently excelled to ‘achiever’ level from a previous grade of ‘improver’, due to a demonstrable uplift in factory activities, supporting our suppliers in delivering our ethical principles and a strong level of senior support.
We’re a founding member of the ACT Foundation, which is committed to transforming wages in the apparel and footwear industry. We’re working to meet ACT’s five purchasing practices commitments by the end of 2023.
Sara Brennan, Head of Corporate Responsibility, says: “Being a socially conscious business has never been more critical and we’re looking to develop initiatives that stand the test of time. We’re proud of the steps we’ve taken to address the complex and hidden issue of modern slavery and we continue to take action so we can make a positive impact on the people working in our supply chain.”
You can read the full report here.