Modern Slavery Statement
At New Look we believe in respecting and improving the lives of workers right across our global business and supply chains. As such, we operate a zero tolerance policy towards any form of modern slavery, forced/compulsory labour and human trafficking in our day-to-day operations and in our supply chains.
This statement documents our commitment to preventing modern slavery and the work already underway. Next year, we will be required for the first time to make a statement under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the Act). We welcome the Act and its reporting obligations as a driver for transparency and consistency of approach to meet its objectives.
The New Look story began in 1969 as a single fashion store in the UK. From there, we’ve grown to become a leading fast-fashion brand. The New Look group is majority owned by Brait, an investment holding company who acquired a c. 90% interest in New Look in June 2015. The Singh family interests and New Look management hold the remaining c. 10%. Within the New Look group, New Look Retailers Limited is the key trading entity.
Our roots may be British, but today we’re a truly international brand, with more than 850 stores across the UK, Europe and Asia. Through e-Commerce, we deliver to approximately 120 countries across the globe.
To meet our customers’ needs, we have a global supply chain; at the time of writing, we are sourcing our products from over 270 suppliers, from more than 860 factories across 28 countries. Manufacturing alone involves almost half a million workers across our supply base.
At New Look, we fully understand that modern slavery is a global issue and that no economy, industry or sector is immune. We are committed to doing all we can to ensure that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business.
Alongside our Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work policies that apply to our people, our Ethical Trade Policy reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our wider business relationships, including enforcing effective systems and controls to guard against slavery or human trafficking taking place at any point in our supply chains.
We are a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), an organisation which brings corporate, trade union and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) together in a unique alliance to tackle ethical issues. New Look has adopted the ETI’s Base Code of Labour Practice which is based on the standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) as the foundation of our Ethical Aims. Under those Aims, employment should be freely chosen; forced, bonded or child labour cannot be used.
As an active member of the ETI, we contribute and work closely with other members in working groups; sharing information and supporting projects. We report our performance annually, in addition to the statements we make in our annual report.
We have a Code of Business Ethics, which sets out the ethical standards we require our people and those we work with to live up to.We work continually to develop and revise the Code to deal with new risk areas and the changing nature of our industry. As a result of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, we have developed a policy dealing specifically with guarding against modern slavery and human trafficking.
Our Whistleblowing Policy applies to employees, contractors and anyone else acting on New Look’s behalf. It encourages reporting of any wrongdoing and sets out a clear procedure for raising concerns. We have also extended this principle of whistleblowing into our supply chain.
We have a number of teams working directly with suppliers, from first contact to dealing with their onboarding and measuring their ongoing performance. We clearly communicate our Ethical Aims from the outset. It is important to us that all suppliers understand what is expected of them, and all suppliers of products for resale are required to accept and sign up to our terms as set out in our Supplier Manual.
To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks and possible indicators of modern slavery and human trafficking we provide training to key managers and staff, and encourage their vigilance and willingness to challenge. Our senior managers in the key areas affected received training this summer as part of a pilot scheme and we plan to roll out a wider training programme so that all our people are as well-equipped as they can be to identify and guard against the risk of modern slavery offences.
We have been working for some time on collecting information about our suppliers. This ongoing comprehensive mapping of the size and shape of the New Look supply chain looks beyond the suppliers we contract directly with to better understand who is working in our supply chain and identify who may be at risk. We regularly review our monitoring arrangements and employ up to date techniques and resources to help us achieve this. We measure compliance with Ethical Aims through third party audits of our principal manufacturing sites.
New Look acknowledges the need to drive initiatives beyond our principal manufacturing sites, and deeper into the supply chain, to identify areas of potential high risk presented by unauthorised subcontractors, the exploitation of a growing migrant workforce or other sectors of vulnerable labour. We continually strive to test our policies and processes to achieve this.
Whilst we continue our work on product supply chains, we are increasingly focused on our wider business.
New Look Retail Group Limited