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 production sites (known a “Tier 1”) and their subcontracted (process) units (known as “Tier 2”).
In 2019 we extended our audit processes to nominated or preferred trims and label suppliers (known as “Tier 3”) in Turkey. Phased roll out to other territories will re-start in early 2021.
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 may undertake further due diligence, using offsite assessments and unannounced investigations.
Going beyond ethical due diligence, we require factories on our sustainability leadership programme to provide independent verification of energy and resource reduction utilising industry recognised schemes including IS0 50001, LEED and IS0 140001. Factories enrolled in this programme are required to undertake a certification audit through a recognised certifier every three years.
100% of Superdry factories have undertaken a semi announced ethical audit within the last 12 months.
All ethical audits for Superdry are completed:
- Covering all social and environmental principles defined in our Code of Practice.
- On a semi announced (minimum 4-week window) basis.
- By independent third-party auditors to ensure audit quality.
- More information on preferred auditors approved within each sourcing region is available on our SUPPLY CHAIN PAGE.
- Each audit partner has an established Service Level Agreements and Key Performance Indicators with Superdry – prioritising accuracy, on time delivery and transparency.
- In line with SMETA protocol – an industry recognised standard defining the methodology to be utilised in audit to ensure audit quality. This protocol guides auditors on worker interviews, policy and documentary checks and wider critical audit tools needed to ensure audit findings are representative and relevant. In line with the protocol: -
- 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.
Local Labour Standards Experts
By establishing Superdry 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.
Beyond Audit (Offsite and Specialist Assessments)
Where vulnerable groups of workers including migrants, contract workers, Syrian refugees (Turkey) and homeworkers are present in Superdry factories we ensure assessments are completed in line with our additional policies designed to protect these workers.
Alongside our CODE OF PRACTICE, these policies form a condition of doing business for our suppliers and are available in our REPORTING AND POLICIES PAGE.
Where we struggle to obtain transparency, accuracy, and clarity or where we seek feedback on improvements made in factories – we may elect to work with local community organisations and wider labour standards experts to complete offsite interviews.
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.
- A significant proportion of Migrant Workers or Contract Workers present onsite we complete an additional assessment covering our Migrant Worker Standards.
- Accommodation provided by the factory, or by a third-party and utilised by the factory, we will include accommodation space(s) within scope of the ethical audit. Accommodation is required to meet local baseline requirements and the standards defined in our Code of Practice and Migrant Worker Standards – whichever affords the worker the greatest protection.
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.
- 28% of factories with effective worker committee and representative structures in place. 14% of factories we work with currently have a recognised union.
- 3% of workers operating in our supply chain are currently covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement.