Our ethical sourcing program ensures we are protecting the things that matter most: the safety, respect and happiness of everyone that works to produce our products.
Of our factories have valid
Of our factories have
valid ethical audits
By 2025, we'll have empowered 3000
women in our supply chain through
By 2025, we’ll have empowered
3000 women in our supply chain
through work/life training
We released our
We released our second
ETHICAL MANUFACTURING AUDITS
We have built long-lasting, strong relationships with our suppliers, and are committed to making sure everyone producing our products works in an environment where their values are respected – check out our Human Rights Policy to learn more.
Today, 100% of our tier one factories have a valid ethical manufacturing audit.
A tier one factory is the factory that produces and assembles our garments.
How do we audit our factories?
To start, we require all our production factories to register with the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX) - a world leading ethical trade organization, working with businesses to improve working conditions in global supply chains. From there, all suppliers complete a self assessment as well as an independent audit.
These independent audits are done to understand how our factories’ practices reflect the Princess Polly Supplier Code of Conduct, and to ensure these conditions are addressed:
- EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
- MODERN SLAVERY
- CHILD LABOUR
- FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
- WORKING HOURS
- EQUALITY, RESPECT AND DIGNITY
- HEALTH & SAFETY
- RAW MATERIALS AND PROCESSING
- LAND RIGHTS
- GRIEVANCE MECHANISMS AND WHISTLEBLOWING
An independent auditor visits the factory, checks policies, records, factory conditions and interviews production workers.
Elevate is an industry leading, independent assessment specialist, who we trust to complete our ethical manufacturing audits. To commence working with us, all factories must pass this ethical auditing process, and commit to ongoing audits with Elevate one to two years. The Princess Polly team also regularly visits our factories. Each audit produces an Audit Scorecard to break down the audit results and create an improvement plan (read more about this here). Every improvement to audit results has a positive impact on workers welfare.
Our Partners for Ethical Sourcing
Starting in 2021, each year Princess Polly provides Baptist World Aid complete transparency of our Ethical Sourcing program. Baptist World Aid uses this disclosure in the Ethical Fashion Report to benchmark Princess Polly against the industry, and guide us on areas we can continue to improve in. In 2021 Princess Polly was proud to achieve the grade B with our first results.
How are we improving our worker welfare?
We’re committed not just to audit the factories we work with, but to partner with them to continuously assess and improve worker welfare.
We support factory management to access training and support, including e-learning modules, so they have the tools and knowledge to understand and rectify the root cause of any issues raised in an audit. We are especially focused on remediating any issues relating to working hours and wages of factory employees. If a serious issue does arise, it’s our policy to support the factory and attempt to get them back on track. This means we won’t immediately terminate a relationship as this can negatively impact that factory’s employees. We do however, have a zero tolerance policy for forced or child labor, which would be reported to the authorities.
We support factory employees (workers) to directly talk to Princess Polly about their experiences at work. We regularly conduct anonymous worker surveys in our factories, designed to effectively capture sentiment on key issues relating to working conditions, including clarity on wage payment and working hours, work atmosphere, safety on site, and whether they promote the factory as a good place to work. We are also piloting a Speak Up Helpline in factories, for workers to speak directly to our local social compliance manager. The helpline can be accessed via a QR code found throughout the factory as well as business cards handed out to workers during on-site visits. We use feedback from worker surveys and our grievance helpline to make changes to improve worker welfare.
Women’s empowerment in our supply chain
As of September 2022, Princess Polly works with 2984 women (46% of workers) in the factories and mills doing our production. Women are well represented in senior positions; 39% of factory supervisors and 40% of factory managers are female, and 41% of promotions went to women. Women are also well represented on worker committees, accounting for 47% of members.
Princess Polly has teamed up with HERproject, and recently launched a locally tailored HERhealth programme with 25 factories to educate women and share access to services they need to maintain their health. In addition to education, the 10-month program aims to improve self-esteem,confidence and strengthen workplace policies to support worker well-being further. By 2025, we will further empower 3000 women in our supply chain communities by providing training on work and life skills. Learn more about our Gender Equality program here.
Who makes our clothes?
The first step to ensuring every single person who contributes to creating Princess Polly products is respected, safe and healthy, is to map out our supply chain. We’ve traced and audited 100% of our tier one suppliers (these are the factories which manufacture our products).
We have built long-lasting, strong relationships with our suppliers, based mostly in China, for over 10 years. Princess Polly works with 84 tier one factories and over 5800 workers. 79 factories and 4300 workers are based in China, 4 factories and 600 workers are based in India, and 1 factory and 900 workers are based in Pakistan. For transparency, we publish our factory list here.
Our factories are able to subcontract non-functional processes to other factories. This approved subcontracting, such as printing graphics onto tops and gold plating our jewelry, make up our tier two suppliers. Our next goal is to trace and map our entire tier two supply chain by the end of 2023.
We do not outsource to other manufacturers where we can’t be sure our ethical standards are upheld, and we also have a strict ‘no order subcontracting’ policy for our suppliers, meaning they can’t send our orders to different factories which have not been verified.
Supply Chain Tracing Overview
|Supply Chain Tier||Example of Output||Tracing, Auditing and Risk Assessments|
Manufacture of finished products
A dress or t-shirt
All non-functional processes
Dyed, printed or embroidered panel
Production of inputs
Cotton yarn and fabric
19% of primary inputs traced
Tier 4 and 5
Production and processing of raw materials
Our ambition is to trace Tier 4 & 5 as far as we can by 2025
Addressing Modern Slavery
Modern slavery still exists in our world today and as a retailer, it’s our job to ensure that everyone that works with Princess Polly is safe from exploitation. We are proud to have released two annual Modern Slavery Statements. This will be something that we do each year as we continue to assess and improve our practices, and protect those that work with us.
Our Commitment to a Living Wage
Princess Polly believes every person has the right to a standard of living that adequately supports them and their families, and that this is achieved through fair compensation. We acknowledge that this is one of the foremost challenges of the fashion industry, and are committed to playing our role in the advancement of this discussion and promoting conditions within our supply chain that make it possible for every worker to receive a living wage. Check out our Commitment to a Living Wage to learn more about our roadmap.
Our Ethical Sourcing Roadmap
What we’ve achieved so far:
- 100% of tier one factories are traced and audited
- Published our first (and second) Modern Slavery statements
- Provided workers at 10 factories access to a Princess Polly grievance helpline
- 76% of factory managers completed our core training program
- Trace our tier two supply chain, and extend where possible to our tier three and four supply chain
- Empower 1000 women in our supply chain communities by providing training on work and life skills
- Empower another 2000 women (3000 in total!) in our supply chain communities by providing training on work and life skills
- Ensure all workers’ voices are heard through access to an effective worker committee and grievance mechanism
- Promote conditions within our supply chain that make it possible for every worker to receive a living wage