KappAhl has an important role to play in the development of a sustainable community. We therefore work closely with our suppliers, including helping to ensure that human rights are respected for everyone working in our production chain. Our goal is a continual improvement for employees, and for the environment.
Carefully selected suppliers make our clothes
Taking responsibility for the people affected by KappAhl’s activities is a central part of our sustainability work. Every day we strive to ensure lasting improvements are implemented by our suppliers, for the employees and for the environment.
Our premise is that we and our industry as a whole are important for the countries in which our clothes are produced. We have no factories of our own, but work with carefully selected suppliers.
There is much that needs improvement. For example, in Bangladesh where a large proportion of our clothes are manufactured, there are large-scale problems with widespread poverty, workplace accidents and few rights for women. We want to contribute to a positive development by being there on the ground and working for the long term. That is why we, among other things, run a training centre for women outside Dhaka.
We don’t just contribute by our presence, but also through our approach, for example by requiring that working conditions must be improved. The basis for this work is our Code of Conduct. Here we have stated our values and the demands we make on our suppliers and their subcontractors.
We set requirements for our suppliers
The Code of Conduct (pdf) is a part of the framework agreement with our suppliers and includes areas such as forced labour, child labour, freedom of association, freedom of organisation, salaries and working hours, as well as safety in the workplace. Additionally, suppliers undertake to meet our requirements regarding business ethics and corruption.
We try to go one step further, as it isn't the inspections themselves that lead to improvements. It is what we do with the results that makes the difference. That’s why we place great importance on the follow-up work. When we find deviations from the Code of Conduct, the supplier must provide a plan of action which includes information about what the discrepancy is, how it will be remedied in a sustainable way, when the measures will be taken and who will be responsible for making sure it happens.
We believe that everyone working in our suppliers’ production facilities should have a salary which covers more than their basic needs and receive compensation for the hours that they work.
The basis for this work is our Code of Conduct. Here we have stated our values and the demands we make on our supplies and their subcontractors.
We work on site to ensure close cooperation
We have our own offices in all our main production countries - Bangladesh, India, China and Turkey. A total of about 140 KappAhl employees work on site. The fact that we are local means that we can work closely with our suppliers, we can visit them often and maintain a good dialogue.
What we do on site:
- We visit all our suppliers several times a year.
- We place great emphasis on follow-up visits after our inspections, to monitor and support ongoing improvement measures.
- We contribute knowledge and training.
By working together with our suppliers we can change conditions in the long term. The closer and more widespread cooperation we have, the better our suppliers will be at meeting our requirements. Our approach is that the suppliers’ compliance with our Code of Conduct should be developed in line with our business relationship.
It ensures the quality of our products. It gives our suppliers a workplace in which employees want to stay, thereby making it easier for the supplier to sell their products to others. And it gives employees a more secure working life, with better working conditions and fairer pay.
We believe in cooperation to achieve safer working conditions.
Major steps with the Accord
KappAhl is an active member of the “Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh”, a project to ensure a safer and more secure working environment for millions of textile workers in the country. More than 200 international industry colleagues, trade unions and employee organisations participate in the Accord. It was started as a direct effect of the disaster in the Rana Plaza factory outside Dhaka in April 2013.
Since then more than 1,500 factories have been inspected and comprehensive improvement measures are in progress. The improvements are due both to the factory premises being better equipped and to increased knowledge and increased safety awareness among owners and factory workers.
Taking responsibility for the people affected by our activities is a central part of our sustainability work. That’s why we believe in better working conditions for everyone.