New Zealanders want to know that the overseas workers who make their clothes are not mistreated. That’s why since 2004 we’ve supported fair pay, humane working conditions, and better lives for workers around the world.
Shopping at The Warehouse is a great way to Wear Your Ethics and look great doing it.
- Years ago, back when mullets were trendy, we used to rely on agents to find us clothing to bring home from overseas and sell at The Warehouse.
- It wasn’t the most cost-effective way of doing things, so in 2004 we opened our first overseas office in Shanghai, China.
- Because we were now sourcing direct, we were able to see clearly how our clothing was coming through the “supply chain.” It’s fair to say we reckoned there was plenty of room for improvement.
- So we began to do something about improving worker safety and welfare, regular and overtime wages, employment standards, and even cutting back on factories’ impacts on the local environment. And we’ve never stopped.
- Why are we talking about it now? More and more customers have been asking us how we can sell quality threads at everyday low prices in Aotearoa if they’re made in factories overseas. You don’t accept workers or the environment being mistreated, and neither do we.
- We launched our ethical sourcing programme in 2004, and we’ve been making improvements year after year in the factories we’re involved with.
- All of our suppliers know about our ethical sourcing programme, which focuses on protecting the workers who make the brands you’ll only find on sale at The Warehouse.
- Workers in the factories we’re involved with must have their health and safety needs met. Workplaces must be clean and well lit, and there must be access to support services and protection from harassment and discrimination.
- Different countries have different legal minimum wages. We make sure the workers in our suppliers’ factories get that minimum wage – or better.
- We’re realistic about overtime, especially in really competitive markets. We expect our factory bosses to be realistic about it too. That means extended hours must be rewarded with fair overtime pay.
- Work must be voluntary. No slaves, no kids, no bonded labour. The right to choose to seek employment and to resign is sacred, as is the right for fair workplace relations under local law – including union activity and protests.
- Our suppliers must work to reduce their impact on the environment.
- Every year we take on and we keep suppliers who are as committed as we are to making things better for the workers and local communities. We also “break up” with the factories we catch breaching our standards and who fail to make the necessary improvements.
- How we bring you great fashion at an everyday low price without the worker who made it bearing the cost
Our in-house designers turn the hottest trends into the coolest designs. Then we send something called a “tech pack” to our suppliers overseas so they know exactly what to do, right down to the last button or stitch.
The Warehouse doesn’t just operate in New Zealand anymore! We have our own offices in our supplier markets so we can manage the whole supply process smoothly and fairly.
We drop in often to make sure factory bosses look after their employees and the environment. If they slip up, we take action. There’s no excuse for compromising on human rights.
We make sure the clothes we design are made to last by keeping an eye on production from start to finish, from the tech pack to the clothing rack. Everyone takes pride in the work we’re doing.
You deserve to feel good in the clothes you wear, and our teams overseas deserve to feel good making them. It’s our responsibility to make it happen.
- We’ve got eyes on over 99% of what happens in these factories, but we’re not perfect yet. In 14 years we’ve improved workers’ rights including fair pay and effective health and safety programmes, and made sure the worst kinds of labour practices aren’t allowed in our suppliers’ factories.
- A 100% ethical fashion range is our goal. We want to be able to see the fashion supply chain all the way back to the very source of the raw materials, and be sure the communities and environment that create them are protected as much as the technicians who put the final products together.
- Global business sustainability consultants ELEVATE have been assessing our ethical sourcing programme for a decade. Watch this video to learn Dr Kevin Franklin’s expert view of our work, what we’re doing well, and what we should focus on in the future.
- We’re prepared to put in the effort, because it’s important. People are important. You’ve got a part to play too. Shopping at The Warehouse is a huge vote of confidence in what we’re all doing to make life better for communities in New Zealand and around the world.
- If what we’re doing sounds good to you, we’d appreciate you telling your friends and whanau there’s a way to shop for great fashion and feel good about it. If you’d like to know more about our programme, read our full 2018 Ethical Sourcing Report.