Our Commitment to Ethical Sourcing
Premier commits to the highest standards of ethical conduct and responsible product sourcing practices.
We support this commitment by our models for sourcing products, the principles that back-up those models, together with our policies and assurance program.
Our Sourcing Models, Principles & Policies
We share our customers’ full engagement in understanding where products come from, how products are made and the way that people who manufacture those products are treated.
With this in mind, we use the following sourcing models:
- direct sourcing from factories with whom we work in close partnership
- through Li & Fung, the world’s largest sourcing company for major retailers and brands around the world
In addition, we work with known established and trusted Australian importers.
We currently source products in the following countries: China, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.
Source Countries (The Just Group, Units)
Our Ethical Sourcing and Supply Code (Code) supports our commitment to sourcing merchandise that is produced according to these principles, regardless of origin.
All suppliers must sign our supply terms and conditions, of which the Code is part, prior to any orders being placed. We will not do business with a supplier who does not comply with the Code.
Among other things, we note that our supply terms and the Code:
- requires compliance with all laws (and/or requires our suppliers to meet higher standards)
- insists on the free association of workers, including the right to collectively bargain and be represented
- requires labour to be voluntary, without workers being required to lodge deposits (eg. for recruitment fees etc.)
- prohibits forced labour (including child labour)
- insists on worker rights such as the right to work in safe, hygienic premises where working hours are not excessive
- requires the payment of the minimum national legal standards or local benchmark standards (whichever is higher), and, in relation to full time workers, sufficient to meet basic needs and to provide discretionary income
- prohibits unauthorised sub-contracting – meaning that we have a fully transparent relationship with our suppliers
- prohibits discrimination on the basis of personal attributes as well as union membership or political affiliations
In each case our model is supported by the following strict sourcing principles:
- We comply with all laws in the countries we source from and operate.
- We insist on workers’ legal rights – including worker empowerment and free association.
- We have zero tolerance for child labour.
- We have zero tolerance for bribery and corruption.
- We have zero tolerance for animal cruelty.
Assurances Which Support Our Sourcing Principles
Background checks. We conduct thorough and ongoing compliance activities of all suppliers directly and through Li & Fung and qualified audit firms.
Factory inspections. Senior management personally inspect all factories that manufacture for us. We continue factory visits throughout our relationship with our suppliers to ensure our principles are strictly adhered to.
Bangladesh’s economic and social development relies on the expansion and strength of the garment sector, including through investment by international retailers. The garment industry comprises around 80% of all Bangladesh export earnings, is a significant contributor to GDP, and employs over 4 million workers, most of whom are women. Premier currently sources a portion of its Just Jeans and Jay Jays branded products in Bangladesh and we highlight our program in this country in the interest of full transparency.
Membership Of The Alliance For Bangladesh Worker Safety
Since 2013 we have been a proud signatory to the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. This is a legally binding five year commitment to work with some of the world’s largest apparel retailers including the following companies: Nordstrom, Gap, Target, Sears, J.C. Penney, Hudson’s Bay and Macy’s.
Together we have invested in worker safety, improved conditions and transparent reporting in a results oriented, measurable and verifiable way.
The Alliance’s achievements to date include:
- inspection of 100% of member factories (including all of our factories)
- publication on the Alliance website of all factory inspection results, along with corrective action plans for any factories requiring remediation (including all of our factories)
- in partnership with the International Finance Corporation, a $50 million low-cost long-term facility to assist factories to undertake remediation
- an anonymous worker helpline program in over 800 member factories, available to over 1.1 million workers (including all of our factories)
- Fire and safety training for 1.29 million workers in all member factories (including all of our factories). Plus following the Nepal Earthquake, the Alliance is now integrating earthquake preparedness into their training programs
Further, the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety collaborates with all parties in the country – including the Bangladesh government, NGOs, factory workers and the Accord on Fire & Building Safety in Bangladesh. Both the Alliance and the Accord share common priorities, including a relentless focus on workers generally, as well as building integrity and safety – all supported by financial commitments and good governance.
All initiatives of the Alliance are publicly available at www.bangaladeshworkersafety.org
Our Activities In Bangladesh
Our operational processes have included the establishment of our own office in Bangladesh, which we opened in March 2014. Our investment in on the ground infrastructure in Bangladesh, including employing staff at our sourcing office directly, supports our audit and compliance activities in that market with particular focus on social compliance and safety which includes:
- Senior management personally inspect ALL factories that manufacture for us prior to commencing business. We continue factory visits throughout our relationship with our suppliers to ensure our principles are strictly adhered to. Our Code includes the ability for us to make unannounced visits in Bangladesh for the purposes of our audit and compliance activities.
- Prior to placing orders with any factory, we also engage independent internationally recognised qualified assessment and audit firms to verify compliance with all local laws and safety conditions, in relation to labour and safety issues including fire and building integrity.
- During manufacturing, our globally independent audit firm Intertek inspect all orders. To-date we have achieved a 100% inspection rate of all our orders in all of our factories.
- In addition, if the factories are not member factories of either the Alliance or the Accord, then we will not conduct business with them. Factories must be inspected for compliance with Alliance safety standards before they can be approved by the Alliance for production.
As noted; the Alliance has conducted fire safety training at all factories we source from and all employed staff have received this training. We are fully engaged in this process with a committed and responsible work program in Bangladesh.
Ethical Raw Material Procurement
Our sourcing commitment is supported by the following initiatives relating to fibre procurement:
- Rabbit angora
We confirm that we will not source products containing rabbit angora until we can be completely confident that the ethical standards of rabbit angora farming are assured and independently audited.
We will not source cotton harvested in Uzbekistan. We will maintain this position until the government of Uzbekistan ends the practice of forced child and adult labour in its cotton sector. To this end, we signed the Pledge against Child and Adult Forced Labour in Uzbek Cotton
- Azo Dyes
We have voluntarily adopted the EU standard whereby we prohibit the manufacture and sale of goods which contain prohibited levels of the specific aromatic amines originating from a small number of azo dyes.
- Sandblasted denim
The harmful practice of ‘sandblasting’ denim with silica based powders has been discontinued in our business since 2011.