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ASOS has enjoyed significant success and growth in its first 10 years. With this growth and success we have seen a great deal of change in our business, not least in the number and location of suppliers that we work with around the world. We can now provide our customers with expertise and quality sourced from many different countries.
With such benefits comes great responsibility. We have a responsibility to our supply partners, customers, colleagues and shareholders to ensure that ASOS products are produced in acceptable conditions and in an ethical way. This responsibility is central to how we operate as a business.
In July 2008, ASOS adopted the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) Base Code throughout our global supply chain. We were accepted as members of the ETI in March 2009. The ETI is a ground breaking alliance of companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations who work together to improve the working lives of people across the globe who make or grow consumer goods. For more information on the ETI please see www.ethicaltrade.org.
ASOS takes its responsibilities for the ethical treatment of workers in its supply chain very seriously. Whilst we acknowledge that many issues associated with ethical trading cannot be solved overnight, we believe that sustainable and significant change is an achievable goal if we work in collaboration with other companies, trade unions and NGO's. Ethical trade is a challenge. We are putting a framework in place that will enable us to improve.
In common with the many other high street products, ASOS label garments are made mainly in China, India, Eastern Europe and the UK. As part of our ethical trade programme we have mapped all the suppliers and factories we use, and engaged a leading independent social audit company to inspect them on our behalf. A report is made on each one indicating where the factory complies or does not comply with each of the provisions of our Code of Conduct.
Where there is a non-compliance we set targets and an action plan for improvement, and work alongside our supplier to help them get their factory up to the correct standard. This might involve additional training for supervisors, practical support on health and safety or a discussion on how to improve management practice or record keeping. If in the unlikely event that a supplier refuses to co-operate with us, we reserve the right to stop working with that factory. We prefer though, to help suppliers improve standards, as this is of more direct benefit to workers. Our technical team and buyers make regular visits to our supplier factories around the world, where they follow up on the audit reports in a face to face meeting. Our technical team and Corporate Social Responsibility team have been trained in social auditing to enable them to understand the issues and assist factory managers in making improvements
We have an internal training programme to raise awareness of our responsibilities. Our technical and Corporate Social Responsibility team is trained in social auditing and our buyers and merchandisers in ethical purchasing practices. We have also trained over 100 of our managers in ethical principles and carried out workshops for other departments including finance, marketing, PR, customer care and facilities. We are bringing ethical trade into our core competency framework so that career progression includes the implementation of ethical principles.
ASOS wants fashion to be cruelty free. We do not permit the use of fur or endangered animal skin in ASOS brand products. We require our suppliers to guarantee that leather or skin products do not come from endangered species, and are produced ethically and without cruelty.
ASOS.com’s Environmental Policy can be found here
ASOS.com is a CarbonNeutral® company. This means that the CO2 emissions from the company's energy use, business travel, non-recyclable waste, deliveries and commuting have been measured and reduced to net zero through verified carbon offset projects. These include reforestation projects in Tanzania and the USA, clean energy production China and a wind powered cotton mill in Northern India.
For more information about CarbonNeutral® and to see some detail on these projects visit www.carbonneutral.com
ASOS brand clothing carries wash care labels encouraging customers to launder their garments at cooler temperatures. With the launch of ASOS Marketplace, we are also enabling customers to recycle their fashion.
We are working hard to reduce airfreight. Since October 2008 ASOS.com has reduced inbound airfreight from 75% to 10% (measured by value of goods transported).
The ASOS Foundation is funded by ASOS and supported by the activities of our colleagues and customers. We do not select a 'charity of the year' – we choose instead to commit to longer term partnerships with a small number of charities. The organisations we work with have been researched and shortlisted for us by the Charities Aid Foundation.
Our funding priorities are
In March 2010 ASOS.com became a 4 year Patron of The Prince's Trust. The Trust gives practical and financial support to 14 – 30 year olds, enabling them to develop skills that will help them move into education, employment or training.
In 2009, ASOS partnered with Udayan Care, which is a Public Charitable Trust, working for the last 14 years for the quality care of disadvantaged children and women. Udayan Care provides family style homes and quality education to abandoned or orphaned children in New Delhi, India. The ASOS Foundation funds the running of a home for 14 girls and young women.
ASOS donates end of life products and IT equipment to Oxfam, a vibrant global movement of dedicated people fighting poverty. ASOS colleagues are also engaged in raising money for Oxfam in a variety of ways, including members of ASOS Active who recently ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon and the Reading Half Marathon for Oxfam.
We make an annual donation to Retail Trust, the only charity to look after all 3 million people working in retail.
In 2009 ASOS launched a payroll giving scheme and we are delighted to already have 15% of our employees donating to over 40 charities. We are proud to be part of the national Geared for Giving campaign. The objective of the Campaign is to encourage Employers, across the UK to introduce and promote a Workplace Giving Scheme (also known as Payroll Giving or Give As You Earn) so that 1 million more employees have easy access to the scheme.
ASOS is supporting the new Diploma in Retail Business for 14 – 19 year olds. The Diploma launches in September 2010. If you are a teaching this Diploma for the first time in the London area, we may be able to support some of your activities. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header 'Diploma in Retail Business'.
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