Social reports are an integral part of FWF’s requirements on brand transparency. They are also important tools to communicate a brand’s effort towards improving working conditions. They give FWF member brands the opportunity to show consumers, customers and other stakeholders their achievements under FWF membership and other areas of Corporate Social Responsibility, strengthening accountability towards consumers and stakeholders.
FWF provides a template with the minimum information necessary for the social report, and member brands are free to include more information. FWF then collects and publishes the report, but does not verify its content upon publication. The quality of the social report is checked and reported on as part of the annual Brand Performance Check for each brand.
Anna van Toor has met most of FWF’s performance requirements. The brand monitored almost 93% of its total purchasing volume, which is well above the 80% required by members after three years of membership. The benchmarking score of 55 places Anna van Toor in the ‘Good’ category.
In 2018, Anna van Toor placed more orders at suppliers with which it has a long term business relationship. This stimulated good communication and therefore helped work towards implementing the FWF Code of Labour Practices. Anna van Toor places a constant flow of orders year-round, and production capacity and possible delays are discussed openly.
In order to start working towards living wages at its supplier locations, Anna van Toor gained more insight into the living costs of some workers at its Serbian supplier via interviews in 2018. Although this is a good first step, Anna van Toor needs to discuss living wages with supplier management and investigate wage levels for all workers at this supplier. Furthermore, for the brand’s other suppliers, more insight between the buying prices and wage levels is needed.
In 2018, Anna van Toor’s main suppliers in Turkey and China were audited. In order to comply with FWF’s risk policies for Turkey and other countries, more active risk mitigation measures should be taken. Furthermore, a systematic approach for evaluating Code of Labour Practices compliance of Anna van Toor’s entire supplier base should be implemented. Moreover, Anna van Toor is required to actively raise awareness about the FWF Code of Labour Practices and FWF complaints hotline among its suppliers. For the next Brand Performance Check, Anna van Toor needs to make sure it meets the monitoring requirements for its tail-end production locations. Anna van Toor could take additional advantage of FWF resources and participate more in events like stakeholder meetings and supplier seminars.
Nudie Jeans has shown advanced results on performance indicators and has made exceptional progress. With a monitoring percentage of 96% and a benchmarking score of 79, the brand remains in the ‘Leader’ category for the sixth consecutive year.
Nudie Jeans takes advanced measures to monitor all production locations, including subcontractors. In 2018, the brand invested in an online platform where both the brand and the respective suppliers can update information and track progress on activities (for example, putting up a worker information sheet at a factory) as well as update status of audit findings. This new system will provide the brand with an overview of the entire supply chain, common issues and support the brand in consolidating its efforts. Apart from that, the brand has strong integrated systems in place to do due diligence before placing orders in factories, and to support reasonable working hours.
Nudie Jeans has been paying its share of the living wage at two units of an Indian supplier since 2013. In 2016, another supplier in India was added to the living wage project. By the end of 2017, the spinning mill of the first supplier was also included in the project and received the first payout of the brand’s living wage contribution in early 2018. At the end of the year, the brand also retrospectively included the knitting unit and dyeing facility in the program. These efforts make them one of the front runners in the industry in working on the topic of Living Wage. Nudie Jeans is continuously trying to scale up its efforts by trying to involve other buyers. FWF encourages the brand to extend these efforts to raise wages of the workers who do not yet earn a living wage in other production locations and countries, like Tunisia. For Italy, Nudie Jeans knows the living wage levels in the different regions it sources from. Next steps would be to identify the gaps between wage levels at its Italian suppliers and the living wage benchmark and work towards the payment of a living wage.
Nudie Jeans is proactive on following up complaints, and where this involves suppliers shared with other FWF members, the brand usually takes the lead. FWF recommends that the brand invest efforts to work on preventive steps, for example by ensuring functioning HR, communication and grievance procedures at their suppliers.
Filippa K has shown progress and met most of FWF’s performance requirements. Filippa K’s monitoring threshold of 89% exceeds monitoring requirements (80%). With a benchmarking score of 59, Filippa K is awarded the ‘Good’ category.
This financial year Filippa K focused on returning the business to ‘ the essence of Filippa K’. In the production process, this practically means that the brand started sourcing at several new production locations and is planning to consolidate in the next years.
Filippa K introduced open costing for all their suppliers. The brand developed an open costing sheet, explained it to all its suppliers and also showed transparency about its own finances to them. The sheet is on the level of detail of CMPT cost and FWF recommends as the next step in the open costing sheet is to link the wages of the workers to the prices of the product. This will help Filippa K to systematically demonstrate the link between their buying price and wage levels and set target wages above the legal minimum wage with some key production locations. Filippa K is interested to know more about living wage and FWF encourages and facilitates the brand to take steps towards payment of living wage.
While Filippa K’s production planning system enables reasonable working hours at the factory-level, excessive overtime remains a challenge in its supply chain. FWF expects Filippa K to proactively work on this.
Filippa K is actively participating in an online tool called QuizRR, which is calculated in indicator 3.3 related to training. For next year, FWF expects Filippa K to develop extra activities to raise awareness about the FWF helpline as a grievance mechanism in the factories where the QuizRR training is done.
In Filippa K’s Code of Conduct a distinction is made between different labour rights which are placed either under the heading ‘must have’ or ‘should have’. This distinction is not in line with the FWF Code of Labour Practices and should be changed.
Picture has met most of FWF’s performance requirements. With a monitoring threshold of 86% using external audit reports and a score of 46, the member is in the ‘Good’ category.
Picture sources most of its products from two main suppliers: one located in China and one in Turkey. In its last financial year, the member consolidated its supply chain. However, it sources in quite a variety of countries, and thus still needs to pay close attention to its due diligence process.
In its second year of membership, Picture was still working on gathering all the correct sourcing information, including that of subcontractors. Picture made improvements on its requirements by creating a Syrian refugee policy for Turkey. A FWF audit was conducted at the Chinese supplier, but because accurate working hours and wages data could not be collected, a lot of work remains to be done regarding legal minimum wage and living wage indicators.
Picture releases its factory list on its website, which good practice in terms of transparency. In the coming year, the member needs to explain FWF’s mission and methodology to both of its main suppliers in order to start working on CAPs.
Sol’s has shown progress and met most of FWFs’ performance requirements. The brand monitored 81% of its production, meeting the minimum required threshold for this Brand Performance Check. With a score of 58, Sol’s is in the ‘Good’ category for this past financial year.
Sol’s has very high leverage in – and long term relationships with – many of its production locations. The brand started with a new production location in Myanmar. Sol’s main focus for both production and FWF monitoring is in Bangladesh, where it has a local office (Dakha Liaison Office, DLO) that allows it to follow up on CAP remediation.
The member could show progress in CAP monitoring but needs to be vigilant about country-specific risks. For that, it should investigate how its agents conduct due diligence for potential new factories.
Sol’s is required to ensure the CoLP and questionnaires are returned by all factories before placing orders, and that Worker Information Sheets are also posted on the factory walls.
Sol’s explained that it hired new sourcing staff and will open an office in China to monitor production there. These new measures will be reflected in the next Brand Performance Check and should enable Sol’s to improve even more.
Bestex has shown insufficient progress in performance indicators. The brand’s total benchmarking score of 45 is below the required 50 points, therefore Bestex is placed in the ‘Needs Improvements’ category. It monitored 100% of its total purchasing volume, which is above the 80% required by members after three years of membership.
Bestex only works with one supplier, located in China, with which it has a long-term and stable working relationship. It has direct contact with the owner of its supplier and discusses social compliance during the bi-annual trade fair. In 2018, conversations about the follow up on the FWF audit took place. This resulted in the remediation of most of the audit findings in 2018, although this could not yet be verified by Bestex. Furthermore, Bestex discusses planning and order placements openly with its supplier, which is a good step towards establishing reasonable working hours at its supplier. Apart from their own production in China, Bestex sells clothing of other European brands. Two of these brands are also FWF members, accounting for 91% of the total volume of external brands sold by Bestex in 2018.
FWF requires Bestex to conduct due diligence at its supplier and implement a formal process to evaluate the risks of labour violations. A factory visit is highly recommended in this process. In order to verify the remediation of audit findings, Bestex must start collecting evidence on the remediated issues. It is also recommended to start documenting discussions on social compliance with the supplier. Moreover, Bestex is required to actively raise awareness about the FWF Code of Labour Practices and FWF complaints hotline at its supplier. FWF encourages Bestex to work more actively towards implementing a living wage at its supplier. The first step in this process is getting insight into the link between buying prices and wages through open costing. Then, Bestex should define a target wage together with its supplier and start implementing measures to close this gap.
This guide is meant to help you tell others about the good work that your brand is doing. It is mainly meant for communications, marketing and CSR staff so you can better incorporate FWF membership into your brand message. Of course it is always good if your colleagues throughout the supply chain also know at least the basics of FWF membership. We work with many types of companies that sell many types of products, and we understand there is no ‘one-size-fi ts-all’ solution for all our members’ communication needs. Nevertheless, we hope this communication guide is helpful and inspirational. If you have any doubts, you can always get in touch with FWF’s communication staff.
Stanley and Stella S.A. (hereafter Stanley/Stella) has met most of FWF’s performance requirements. The brand monitored over 96% of its production volume, thereby meeting the minimum monitoring threshold of 80% required for members after three years of membership. With a benchmarking score of 68 points, Stanley/Stella is awarded the ‘Good’ category.
With a vision to be able to work closely with their suppliers, the brand sources from a limited number of countries and a select number of suppliers. Eight active suppliers in Bangladesh make the brand’s core products, making up 99% of their total FOB. Six of these eight suppliers have been audited by FWF in the last two years. One supplier each in Portugal and China makes special category products where the brand has less than 1% of FOB.
Stanley/Stella has a nineteen-member local team in Bangladesh including a country manager and a sustainability coordinator. The brand’s monitoring system includes a systematic check that is performed during every production cycle. Apart from checking product quality and planning, the quality controllers also check working conditions, the results of which are documented in a monthly CSR report that is shared with the country manager. The CSR report includes evaluation information pertaining to working conditions, subcontracting risks, building and fire safety, health and environment risks.
The code of conduct of Stanley/Stella requires suppliers to pay wages over 50% of the required legal minimum wage. The brand strives to achieve this but has not yet been successful across the majority of workers at the supplier locations. The brand is doing a wage analysis of workers at supplier locations to understand the current wage levels. As a next step, FWF recommends that the brand define a clear approach to work on the topic of Living Wage with their suppliers.
The brand is not a signatory of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, but in principle only works with factories who are covered by the Accord. Despite this, two of the brand’s suppliers (with around 1% FOB) are not covered under the Accord programme. While the monthly assessment of the brand includes visual inspection of the building and availability of fire extinguishers, this is not enough to replace the monitoring of the Accord.
FWF requires that Stanley/Stella ensure credible fire and building safety inspections at all their suppliers in Bangladesh. These inspections must be based on the standards agreed on by Bangladesh’s National Tripartite Committee on Fire and Building Safety in the garment industry.
FNG International NV has met most of FWF’s performance requirements during their second year of membership. In 2018, the company showed that it followed up on FWF audits for main production locations and their CMT subcontractors in Turkey and China. In addition, the company used and showed that it followed up on external audits and fulfilled monitoring requirements for most production in low-risk countries. This resulted in a monitoring percentage of 77%. This result, combined with a benchmark score of 53, means FWF has awarded FNG a ‘Good’ rating.
FNG International NV consists of a number of brands. In 2017, Belgian brands Baker Bridge, fred & ginger and Ginger (under fred + ginger concept), CKS, Limon and Superstar have joined as one FWF member company.
In 2018, the company focused on consolidating its supply chain. FNG is aiming to reduce its total number of production locations and when in need of a new production location, search within the production locations already producing for one of the brands in the group (both FWF and non-FWF members). As part of this consolidation strategy, FNG developed its vendor policy. CSR is a prominent aspect of the vendor policy, which means that CSR needs to approve all newly selected production locations before production takes place.
FWF recommends that FNG consolidates its supply base even more by limiting the number of suppliers in its ‘tail end’. To achieve this, members should determine whether (suppliers where they buy less than 2% of their FOB) are of strategic relevance. Shortening the tail will reduce the social compliance risks the member is exposed to and will allow the member to improve working conditions in a more efficient and effective way. In addition, FWF recommends FNG to organise training in production locations to increase awareness of the Code of Labour Practices and labour rights in general.
Furthermore, FWF requires FNG to actively address the topic of prices and how they relate to wages in order to be able to address root causes of wages below living wage.