As good as our word.
Trust and transparency down the supply chain is central to understanding and tackling issues. We need to make sure that we have as much information as possible about the places where our products are made.
Carrying out regular inspections by our own staff or by an independent third party is one of the main ways we can do this. By talking to factory managers and workers we can understand what challenges our factories face in delivering quality jobs and meeting New Look's Ethical Aims (based on the ETI Base Code). We can then help them improve.
In addition to regular inspections carried out by independent parties, our own team has visited over 500 factories since 2011. From these visits we have found that the most common issues in many of the countries and factories that we source from are to do with health and safety, working hours and wages.
As you will see from this website, addressing these issues is at the heart of our ethical trading strategy and the projects we are working on.
Mapping our Jewellery supply chain in China
There are lots of stages in the production of jewellery. The creation of one necklace can involve many different processes. These processes do not always happen under the same roof. For example, one factory may specialise in metal plating while another may do assembly, quality control and packing.
The industry is characterised by subcontracting. This is when factories outsource work to other factories, smaller workshops and sometimes home workers. Understanding what is going on all the way down our supply chain and making sure not only our suppliers but also their subcontractors respect labour standards is an important challenge.
To help improve this we’re working with our suppliers in China to map their supply chains. By taking a closer look into the chain we’re able to find areas for improvement.
So far, we have identified a number of issues including health and safety breaches, long working hours and problems in protecting worker rights.
With all of this information we can improve the way we work with our factories.
We will support them to in developing better relationships with subcontractors and make sure they meet with New Look's Ethical Aims. We will also develop a plan to help address these issues in the long term.
Continuous improvement with our UK suppliers
The UK is an important manufacturing country for us. We’re keen to buy British products and make sure that UK factories meet our standards.
All our UK suppliers are required to commission annual third party inspections, which are carried out by recognised auditors, and share the results through Sedex. Sedex is the largest collaborative platform for sharing ethical supply chain data.
We also make sure our teams regularly visit all of our factories. This not only helps us to develop a better understanding for the problems factories face, but it also helps us to build closer relationships and together we can find new ways to improve.