“River Island is a family business with a strong fashion heritage and a brand reputation that is growing worldwide. Our business culture is based on building long-term, meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships, with both employees and suppliers.
We have an underlying and long standing commitment to ethical trading, based upon the firm belief that business can be both profitable and responsible. It is more important than ever that we communicate our brand values, ways of working, and expectations, clearly and consistently to all our partners.
We must also strive to comply with the most up to date legislation and regulations in every country we trade in. This document outlines the River Island Ethical Policy which is at the heart of how we do business.
BEN LEWIS, CEO
Compliance with the River Island Ethical Policy is considered a key requirement of everyone working with our brand, and is included in the end-to-end assessment of both supplier, and buying team performance.
We have adopted the ETI Base Code as the minimum standards that should apply to workers in our supply chain as set out below. If local law sets higher standards than the base code then these legislative requirements should be met:
- Employment is freely chosen (not forced or enslaved)
- Freedom of association (freedom of speech; the right of workers to negotiate with employers)
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic
- Child labour shall not be used
- Living wages are paid
- Working hours are not excessive
- No discrimination is practised
- Regular employment is provided
- No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed
River Island Responsibility
- Be aware how sourcing, design, buying and trading decisions and actions can influence the supplier’s ability to comply with the ETI Base Code
- Seek the views of our suppliers and encourage feedback
- Undertake activities (such as visits, audits and reviews) to be aware of the working conditions and labour practices in our supply chain
- Proactively work with our suppliers to make any improvements required to meet our Ethical Standards
- Actively manage and monitor working conditions in every factory that they use to manufacture River Island products, so as to achieve our ethical standards
- Ensure that all sub-contractors or other third parties engaged in the supply of River Island products are aware of, and conform to our ethical standards
- Alert us to any issues where they are unable to achieve our ethical standards
- Proactively work with us to make any improvements required to meet our ethical standards
- Use only pre-approved sites for River Island production
- Manufacture products only at the approved site specified on the purchase order
- Share ethical information with us openly and honestly, disclosing all details concerning production including: raw materials, place and method of manufacture, use of all sub-contractors or other third parties involved in the process
- Permit River Island employees, or our appointed agents, access to all production facilities for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the River Island Ethical Policy (by appointment or on an unannounced basis)
Shared Values and Responsibility
To follow purchasing practices which are consistent with the delivery of our ethical standards:
- Understand production lead-times
- Negotiate a fair price for the goods that we buy
- Negotiate any changes to orders giving reasonable notice
- Pay on time, and according to agreed terms
- Communicate in a clear, accurate and timely way
- Work together to improve the efficiency in the supply chain relationship
Ethical Challenges, Collaboration and Benefits
River Island recognises that many ethical and trading issues cannot be solved overnight. However, we strongly believe that gradual, sustainable and significant change is an achievable goal. We can influence greater change with a wider collaboration of efforts (across manufacturing partners, other stakeholders, and brands), than through individual initiatives.