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Manufacture

Alongside material selection, we know responsible manufacturing plays an important role in addressing and reducing our environmental footprint. Working collaboratively with our supplier partners, we are committed to improving the way in which we make our products.

We are now using lower impact processes to reduce the amount of water, energy and chemicals in the production of our products.

Our network of suppliers, factories, and partners are also carefully chosen for their expertise and ability to source quality materials, as well as comply with our policies, helping us to create the styles we are known for.

Here are the initiatives, partnerships and policies that are helping us refocus the way in which we manufacture.

SUSTAINABLE CLOTHING ACTION PLAN

After joining the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) in 2012, we became part of an initiative driving environmental change within fashion. Together with over 90 organisations, SCAP set out to reduce the carbon, water and waste footprint of clothing sold in the UK by 2020.

At Whistles, our work with SCAP has informed our efforts to question where and how our products are produced, enabling us to make more considered choices when it comes to the materials we use, how our products are made and who we work with.

ETHICAL TRADE

Whistles is committed to promoting safe, fair and decent working conditions across our business and supply chains and we expect our business and supply chain partners to abide by local laws and international labour and human rights standards in all countries that we and they operate.

Trading ethically is complex, and we recognise we can’t do this alone. Whistles is an established and active member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI): a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe.

What is Ethical Trade?

As described by the ETI, ethical trade means that retailers, brands and their suppliers take responsibility for improving the working conditions of the people who make their products.

Those who commit to ethical trade adopt a code of labour practice that they expect all their suppliers to work towards, including issues like wages, hours of work, health and safety and the right to join free trade unions.

WHO WE WORK WITH

Issues within the supply chain are extremely complex and that is why we work with leading organisations to support our journey to improvement. We know that sharing challenges is key to creating change – discover who we already work with below.

Our supplier partners are our extended family, chosen not only for their ability to produce high quality products, but their shared commitment to fair and safe working conditions as well as their commitment to lessen environmental impacts.

  • Share our commitment to fair and safe working conditions
  • Embrace transparency, enabling continuous supply chain mapping reaching lower tiers
  • Support our approach to human rights due-diligence by – at a minimum – conducting annual third-party audits and adhering to our code of conduct and related policies
  • Support our sustainability journey, while improving their own by collaborating on new innovations that lessen the environmental impacts of materials and manufacturing processes
EMBEDDING TRANSPARENCY

Mapping our supply chain is essential in our goal to be more transparent and supports us to manage and mitigate global sourcing risks.

Our products are currently manufactured in 88 factory sites across 13 countries. Whistles’ factory relationships are managed through an external network of 52 suppliers and our top 10 sourcing countries are China, Turkey, Portugal, India, Spain, Mauritius, Macedonia, Indonesia, Italy and Romania, representing 99% of purchased volumes this year.

IMPROVING PURCHASING PRACTICES

We are proud to work with manufacturers who champion fair working conditions and we are committed to improving our purchasing practices; from planning and forecasting to design and development.

What are purchasing practices?

Many brands do not own their own manufacturing sites, including us and develop their products with third-party suppliers and factories. This is realised through several practices including planning and forecasting, design and development, cost negotiation and payment. If any of this is mismanaged, it can lead to human rights abuses such as child labour, excessive working hours and unsafe working conditions.

We began reviewing our purchasing practices in 2017 with Better Buying™; a global initiative that provides retailers, brands and suppliers with data-driven insights into purchasing activities.

OUR POLICIES

Our policies lay the foundation of how we approach our own business, as well as those we work with. They now inform how we approach ethical trading, human rights, and environmental and animal welfare. We make sure these values are shared with our suppliers, and they are all required to comply with our policies.

MODERN SLAVERY

Modern slavery remains a complex issue and is still prevalent in the fashion industry today. The UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA) is designed to prevent modern forms of slavery and we produce an annual transparency statement of the actions we have taken to ensure it is not taking place in our business and supply chains.

ANIMAL WELFARE

We want to promote the safe and humane treatment of any animals involved in crafting our products. Therefore, we require all our suppliers to adhere to our standards and requirements by actively following our policies on animal welfare.