Corporate social responsibility is one of our cornerstones. Prior to 2016, we had set ourselves the goal that 90% of our products should come from producers who have a certificate for social-ethical business practices. Since then, all the factories with whom we work have one or more such certificates, and undergo annual audit by various NGOs, such as BSCI, FWF, SA8000, GOTS and Smeta.
We visit our producers at least once a year to monitor the conditions on site and to reach agreements. Since 2015, we have engaged a part-time employee to help us achieve our stated goals, and to help Alchemist further improve its sustainability performance. In the first quarter of 2016, together with another FWF member, we commissioned an audit on the minimum wage policy of one of our most important suppliers in Portugal.
As of 2019 Alchemist no longer uses production facilities in India. Because Fair Wear Foundation does not operate on the European market, we terminated our membership with them. For our check ups of our other suppliers we still make use of their working methods, such as the code of conduct.
Alchemist undergoes a thorough mandatory audit by the SER every year. This means we allow two independent parties to look over our shoulder, and make sure we do what we say we do. Their analysis also helps us to identify where we can further improve our sustainability performance. This allows us to show even better what we do and why we do it.
The nine criteria from the agreement are a hard requirement for the production of our collections:
No use of child labour
No use of forced labour
Safe and healthy working conditions
Legal employment contracts
Fair living wages
Freedom of association
The right of collective negotiations
No discrimination of employees
No excessive working hours