Sustainability, Ethical, Environmental and Social
We welcome the responsible use of natural resources and insist on finding ways to reduce or eliminate the use of finite resources, recycling where possible, what we do use.
We introduced our recycled fleece in Autumn/Winter 15, when a big part of the fleece range were manufactured including recycled plastic bottles. , providing the Craghoppers eco-conscious customers with a great performance product which lessens the impact on the planet, whilst maintaining its soft and comfort feel – and – more importantly, its continually competitive price.
The recycled materials are included in many of the popular Craghoppers models, including the flagship Corey and Miska fleeces, which are known for their soft and cosy feel.
Improved materials, classic design.
Despite using recycled content, the fleeces (alongside the rest of the range), won’t lose any of the performance or comfort properties Craghoppers customers both expect and rely on.
Jim Mcnamara, MD for Craghoppers, said; “Using recycled materials is a natural progression for any brand looking to continue evolving its approach to responsible production. The outdoors is our heritage and we all have a responsibility to care for and protect the environment.
“From the outset it was important to us that, in using renewable and sustainable materials, out fleeces continued to offer the same comfort and brilliant performance our customers know and love as well as maintaining their great price point. Creating a range that does all of the above, while lessening the impact on the environment is a definite win-win in our eyes.”
Our Ethical Trading Responsibility
Why we joined the ETI
Ethical Trading has always been a cornerstone within our businesses. It is championed by our owner and Group Buying Director Joanne Black and runs through the core of the business. We believe that making good quality clothing, footwear and accessories need not come at the expense of others. We are proud to now be full members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), working towards improving working conditions for workers in our partner factories in the Far East (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China and India among others). The ETI brings together brands, retailers, suppliers, unions and voluntary organisations to improve conditions for workers.
We joined the ETI in 2012, and we are committed to upping our game each year – continuously improving the way we source our garments so that workers benefit, helping our suppliers to be better employers and benchmarking our procedures within our supplier base with the most forward looking companies in the UK and Europe. During our time as ETI members so far, we have learnt a lot, and we thank our partners who have worked with us over the last year.
What we do
We are pleased to have developed better internal systems to analyse our factory inspections. We have developed more rigorous reports and we have completed several training sessions for internal staff and with key suppliers.
We work with many partner factories all over the world, but before doing so we ensure that they share our passion for the outdoors and that they follow the same working ethics as we do. Before we consider working with a supplier, we check that they are as passionate about what they do, as we are.
We carry out open face-to-face discussions followed up by letters of commitment stating the ETI Base code that all suppliers have to sign. These clearly outline the standards that we expect all of our suppliers to meet.
What we continue to do
Following that, we carry out an in house visual factory evaluation, focusing on critical health and safety points, such as fire safety, cleanliness and safety of the working environment, availability of clean drinking water and first aid supplies as well as any indication that child labour may be employed.
In addition to our own visual factory evaluation, we progress to a 3rd party audit to verify our initial findings and to gain in-depth understanding of each factory’s compliance level, examining records on workers IDs, child labour, wages and working hours, fire and building certificates, internal health and safety procedures and training of workers. Employee interviews are included on a one-to-one and group basis to cross reference information and give the workers a voice. The factory is then provided with the audit report and corrective action plan, which they must work to complete within agreed deadlines. This is closely monitored by our own dedicated teams in China and Bangladesh.
The working conditions of our suppliers are a priority for us, and we have strict standards which must be met surrounding the treatment of workers, working hours, remuneration, health and safety, housing and accommodation and freedom of association (with trade unions or representative committees) before we’ll start working with a new supplier. Regular checks are then carried out including paperwork audits, interviews with workers and risk assessments to ensure that these standards continue and that the quality of our products is not produced at the expense of anyone.
Our Environmental Responsibility
We recognise that our business will inevitably have some impact on the environment. Our policy is to minimise our environmental footprint, as far as we reasonably can and to make positive progress each year.
By setting out a clear vision and having in place a mechanism to measure and monitor performance, we will ensure continuous progress towards our goals.
We aim to recycle as much waste as reasonably possible. At all our operating sites we have recycle centres and we segregate waste streams ready for disposal. Working with properly registered and licensed contractors, the following waste streams are shipped to recycling facilities: cardboard packaging, polythene packaging, office paper, printer cartridges, lamps & lights, WEEE (electronic equipment), cans, bottles and wood.
Craghoppers adheres to the Green Dot European network of industry-funded systems for recycling the packaging materials of consumer goods for Germany.
Our warehouses are fitted with high frequency TS light fittings and they are on sensors so the energy used changes to the presence of people in that area. Lighting sensors are also used throughout the offices. We also use low energy usage battery chargers for our MHE.
Efficient use of resources
Craghoppers has offices in China and Bangladesh which are close to our factories. This has enabled us to make efficiency savings in getting better samples through better monitoring of sample production and eliminating unnecessary trips needed by employees in UK, thus controlling the environmental impact of our miles.
Our sites in the UK all comply with waste management legislation and the relevant environmental regulations by recording all movements of general waste.
This is then matched with certificates received from authorised contractors, verifying the appropriate disposal. Clean and foul drain systems are identified where appropriate and comply with the requirements of pollution control regulations. Arrangements are in place to manage chemical spillage with appropriate spill kits installed at all site facilities.
Our suppliers are required to hold the appropriate licences and records for monitoring and managing waste, material discharge and waste treatment and comply with the appropriate regulations in force under local laws. 3rd party audits are carried out to make sure that:
- Waste water/exhaust are purified before they are released into the environment
- Factories have the relevant permit for waste discharge
- Factories maintain programs targeting avoidance of water, reduction of raw materials and energy use
Control of Hazardous Substances
The health, safety and welfare of our employees and anyone else who comes into contact with our operations is of paramount importance.
Our arrangements include provisions to comply with regulations setting out the measures for managing the presence and the use of chemicals or substances that may be potentially hazardous to health. This is relevant both within wholly controlled operational sites and those of our key supply chain partners.
The company has in place management systems that comply with the requirements of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). Under these regulations, UK operations evaluate and control the risks to the health of all employees from exposure to hazardous substances at work.
The company has in place a regime of 3rd party audits to verify that supply chain manufacturers comply with local legislation ensuring as a minimum that,
- Chemicals are well covered and safely stored
- Workers handling chemicals are appropriately trained
- Workers have access to suitable equipment and protective clothing when handling any chemicals
Craghoppers has over 50 years experience of global sourcing in the garment industry. The regulations act as our principle point of reference for protecting human health and the environment. We invest substantial time and effort to fully understand our responsibilities and obligations under the REACH legislation, and to stay at the forefront of the regulations as they come into force.
We are committed to taking all reasonable measures to ensure that our products remain within the acceptable boundaries set out by the regulations.