WeSCs stance on environmental and human rights issues

WeSC is committed to issues concerning corporate social responsibility. This is reflected in the company’s brand and in the company’s actions. It is taken for granted that WeSC will respect other people and their human rights, and work to ensure sustainable development. WeSC wants the people who make our products to be paid fairly and enjoy a good working environment, and we also want all our customers to feel happy and safe when they use our products.

The core documents guiding WeSCs interaction with others are WeSCs Code of Conduct (CoC), with the appendix “Guide to buying terms for chemical contents in clothing” from the Textile Importers’ Association in Sweden, the WeSC Chemical guidance document and WeSCs Environmental Policy.

WeSCs Code of Conduct has recently been reviewed and made more comprehensive, with the new version now being implemented along the supply chain.

To ensure that production is carried out under good working and environmental conditions, WeSC obliges its suppliers to follow its Code of Conduct. WeSC regularly visits each supplier to ensure that they are all following the company supplier requirements regarding quality, working conditions and environmental issues. If we discover that a supplier is not following WeSCs Code of Conduct, the company will immediately point this out so that the supplier can remedy the situation. If a supplier repeatedly falls short of our standards of conduct or does not wish to meet our requirements, we will consider terminating our partnership.

Below is a summary of how WeSC currently discharges its corporate social responsibility:

• WeSC is a member of the Textile Importers’ Association in Sweden and follows their guidelines on chemical content in textile products. These guidelines meet all the requirements of the EU standards, such as REACH and RoHS. We are also members of the Chemical Group at Swerea IVF AB. Consequently, all the dyers and printers that we work with are “Öko Tex standard 100” certified – for more information: Öko Tex
or IFP
. The aim is for all production to achieve this standard as a minimum. WeSC is working specifically to remove Nonylphenol Ethoxylate and Phthalates from our products, but also to get our suppliers to stop using any environmentally hazardous products at all. Therefore, as an example, WeSC finds it reprehensible to "Clean up" the product before it is imported, IF the "cleaning work" then has bad effects on the environment in the country of production. We find this reprehensible.

• Denim production is often seen as having a major environmental impact during fabric manufacture, washing and finishing. WeSCs denim is produced in China, but the production is subject to Japanese standards and administration, which means strict environmental rules and management, a closed-loop water system with recycling and more eco-friendly dyeing.

• WeSC only use air transport of products as a last option. And to compensate for carbon emission in connection with air transportation of WeSCs products, we purchase emission rights (which removes from the market those rights to cause carbon emissions), which correspond to 100% of the emissions caused by products being sent by air.

• WeSC makes regular visits to the company’s factories. Where necessary, WeSC employs production agents for quality assurance purposes.

• WeSC aims to make and market more organic and sustainable products. In autumn 2008, we launched a small ecological range in 100% organic cotton and we are continuing to develop this line. The last 2 years we have been able to change the classic polybags, that are used to protect the garments, to Biodegradable bags for 80 percent of our garments.

• WeSC wishes to encourage the humane treatment of animals, in those cases where animal-based materials are used in our products. We therefore do not use fur and we avoid using Merino wool.

• WeSCs Code of Conduct, which the company and its retailers, suppliers and wholesalers monitor and work on together, is key. It has been drawn up in line with the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Labour Organization’s Core International Labour Standards.

The Code of Conduct includes the following points:

- Pay and benefits
- Working hours and overtime rules
- Ban on child labour
- Freedom of association, right to union affiliation and collective bargaining
- Ban on forced labour and on physical and mental threats
- Ban on discrimination
- Health and safety
- Environmental considerations
- Legally binding employment relationship
- Legislation, adhering to local and international standards
- Animal rights
- Community involvement

For more information or enquiries about WeSC and environment/CSR, please contact csr@wesc.com.