Our approach starts with visibility.
We respect and uphold our environmental and human rights responsibilities wherever we operate and are aware that risks can arise within our own business and supply chains.
We are members of multiple international and local multi-stakeholder platforms including the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and have adopted their Base Code to form the core of our CODE OF PRACTICE.
Based on international standards including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation’s Core Conventions on Labour Standards, our Ethical Trading Code of Practice represents our baseline requirements which work alongside local laws to ensure a minimum standard of protection is afforded to all people in our supply base in all countries.
We audit 100% of main factories (known a “Tier 1”), their subcontracted (process) units (known as “Tier 2”), and nominated or preferred trims and label suppliers (known as “Tier 3”).
Superdry audits act as an ongoing risk assessment to detect and respond to evolving risks on a factory, local and global scale. The audit covers all principles defined in our Code of Practice – labour standards, ethical business practice and environmental responsibility.
Our risk framework is founded on the severity of impact vs. likelihood/scale of impact to ensure it remains focussed on worker welfare and material environmental impact. Where we identify evidence of severe human rights or environmental issues, we undertake further due diligence, using offsite assessments and unannounced investigations.
We certify all environmental sustainability claims. We require factories on our sustainability leadership programme to utilise industry recognised certification schemes (IS0 50001, LEED), completing a certification audit through a recognised certifier every three years.
All ethical audits are completed by independent experts.
100% of Superdry factories have undertaken a semi announced ethical audit within the last 12 months, covering all social and environmental principles defined in our Code of Practice.
To get a more accurate view of actual conditions we agree a semi announced (minimum 4-week window) basis with factories and auditors.
We select good auditors approved within each sourcing region (more information is available on our SUPPLY CHAIN PAGE), and closely monitor each audit partner's performance using formal Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which prioritise accuracy and transparency within ethical audits.
Auditors use defined protocols on the day, defining how many people they speak to and what they need to check (policy, records etc). The protocol is aligned with industry recognised SMETA guidelines to ensure audit quality.
- Auditors interview between 10 and 62 people in every audit depending on factory size. All audits include active participation of male and female interviewees, and interviews are mostly completed onsite. In an average Superdry factory of 645 People, auditors’ interview 7% of the workforce.
- Union or worker representatives are included in the audit process where possible. In 2020, 33% of audits completed included active participation by legally recognised Trade Union or Worker Committee representatives.
The outcome of each audit is an ethical grade based on the risks associated with any issue raised in line with our risk framework, and a practical action plan detailing milestones for improvement as applicable.
We re-audit 100% of Superdry production sites every 6-12 months to ensure information remains relevant, and action plans are validated and up to date.
We have Superdry employed dedicated labour standard experts in key source countries we can respond to risks quickly as they emerge.
Each of our three key source territories have locally based dedicated labour standard experts, employed by Superdry to build partnerships based on transparent disclosure of actual working conditions and agree relevant and achievable action plans where improvement is needed.
Our local labour standards experts shadow a minimum of 15% of third-party audits at Superdry production sites and complete “Control Audits” (repeated) with dedicated external integrity auditors to check consistency in results where we have concerns.
We complete additional checks to ensure groups of workers more vulnerable to human rights risks are protected (including migrant workers, contract workers, and homeworkers) or where we struggle to obtain transparency, accuracy, and clarity in audits.
We have policies and guidance in place to provide additional standards of protection - available on our REPORTING AND POLICIES PAGE.
In these cases we may elect to take a more localised approach - work with local community organisations and wider labour standards experts to complete offsite interviews and further investigation into conditions.
This additional step often provides a further depth of results and root causes. Where we identify ongoing concerns with transparency or critical issues (as defined in our Code of Practice) we will complete offsite, or unannounced assessments.
Where accommodation is provided by the factory, or where subcontracted accommodation is used, we will include accommodation space(s) within scope of the ethical audit. Accommodation is required to meet local legal requirements and the standards defined in our Code of Practice and Migrant Worker Standards, whichever provides the worker the greatest protection.
Worker representation is critical for sustainable factories.
We intend to continue to support our factories to improve worker engagement while continuing to establish sustainable and ethically compliant management systems.
As Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) members, we recognise that supporting and respecting effective worker engagement mechanisms – from worker committees to legally recognised trade unions - can result in a positive business environment, early dispute resolution, skills development and health and safety improvements. It also drives dignity and equality through universally accepted principles.
By 2030, 100% of Superdry factories will be enrolled in our Respect programme, enabling gender empowerment and more effective representation in their workforces through committee structures. Through this programme we aim to see a positive relationship between factories with effective worker representation in place, and ethical compliance. To date,
- 28% of factories have an effective worker committee and representative structures in place - validated through our Respect programme and regular due diligence.
- 9% of factories we work with currently have a recognised union.
- 8% of workers operating in our supply chain are currently covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). 4 CBAs in our supply chain define wages that are higher than required by local law.
We recognise the importance of involving worker representatives, committees and trade unions in supporting meaningful corrective action, and will seek to engage them in establishing and supporting their progression.
For example, our local teams regularly engage worker and union representatives to ensure facility improvements are made and sustained in line with worker expectations.