Code of Conduct
When DENHAM was founded, our goal was clear: to make high-quality garments for a fair price that have the longest possible life, in a fair and conscious way. We stand by our objective and strive to ensure that we never have to compromise on quality or our company values to make our gorgeous products.
However, over the years, we have taken a closer look at what working sustainably truly means to us. As our viewpoint on both the social and environmental sides of the issue continues to evolve, so does our sustainability mission because we see it as an ongoing process.
We want to have a positive impact within the industry and help improve conditions for everyone involved, from the cotton farmers to the factory workers, to the seamstresses and store employees. So we made sure we partnered with suppliers, vendors and mills we fully trust, ones who share our vision concerning human rights, fair labour, wages, working hours as well as social accountability. We share the responsibility of creating a safe, fair and ethical working environment for all with our partners, which reflects our utmost respect to the skilled workers who help make our products.
Code of Conduct
This is our agreement of labour rights and working environment. Each party needs to sign and comply with the Code of Conduct, which applies to all areas of the supply chain, to our suppliers and any subcontractors. The criteria in the Code of Conduct are based on the principles from The Fair Wear Foundation code that is built on eight labour standards taken from the International Labour Organisation Convention and the UN's Declaration on Human Rights.
1. Employment is freely chosen
There shall be no use of forced, including bonded or prison, labour. (ILO Conventions 29 and 105)
2. There is no discrimination in employment
Recruitment, wage policy, admittance to training programmes, employee promotion policy, policies of employment termination, retirement, and any other aspect of the employment relationship shall be based on the principle of equal opportunities, regardless of race, colour, sex, religion, political affiliation, union membership, nationality, social origin, deficiencies or handicaps (ILO Conventions 100 and 111).
3. No exploitation of child labour
There shall be no use of child labour. The age for admission to employment shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling and, in any case, not less than 15 years. (ILO Convention 138) “There shall be no forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and serfdom and forced or compulsory labour. [...] Children [between the age of 15-18] shall not perform work which, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm their health, safety or morals.” (ILO Convention 182)
4. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
The right of all workers to form and join trade unions and bargain collectively shall be recognised. (ILO Conventions 87 and 98) The company shall, in those situations in which the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining are restricted under law, facilitate parallel means of independent and free association and bargaining for all workers. Workers’ representatives shall not be the subject of discrimination and shall have access to all workplaces necessary to carry out their representation functions. (ILO Convention 135 and Recommendation 143)
5. Payment of a living wage
Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week shall meet at least legal or industry minimum standards and always be sufficient to meet basic needs of workers and their families and to provide some discretionary income. (ILO Conventions 26 and 131). Deductions from wages for disciplinary measures shall not be permitted nor shall any deductions from wages not provided for by national law be permitted. Deductions shall never constitute an amount that will lead the employee to receive less than the minimum wage. Employees shall be adequately and clearly informed about the specifications of their wages including wage rates and pay period.
6. Reasonable hours of work
Hours of work shall comply with applicable laws and industry standards. In any event, workers shall not on a regular basis be required to work in excess of 48 hours per week and shall be provided with at least one day off for every seven-day period. Overtime shall be voluntary, shall not exceed 12 hours per week, shall not be demanded on a regular basis and shall always be compensated at a premium rate. (ILO Convention 1)
7. Safe and healthy working conditions
A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided, and best occupational health and safety practice shall be promoted, bearing in mind the prevailing knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards. Appropriate attention shall be paid to occupational hazards specific to this branch of the industry and assure that a safe and hygienic work environment is provided for. Effective regulations shall be implemented to prevent accidents and minimise health risks as much as possible (following ILO Convention 155). Physical abuse, threats of physical abuse, unusual punishments or discipline, sexual and other harassment, and intimidation by the employer is strictly prohibited.
8. Legally binding employment relationship
Obligations to employees under labour or social security laws and regulations arising from the regular employment relationship shall not be avoided through the use of labour-only contracting arrangements, or through apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment. Younger workers shall be given the opportunity to participate in education and training programmes.
Supply chain transparency
We believe that creating sustainable and socially responsible fashion truly starts with transparency in the supply chain. DENHAM's tagline is "The Truth is in the Details", and we stand by this as a company, which means being transparent concerning who we work with, how we work with them and where they work. We never shied away from sharing where our products are made with our consumers because we have such firm standards when it comes to selecting our partners. We only work with manufacturers, mills and laundries that uphold our sustainable values, environmental policies and adhere to our Code of Conduct. We are proud of our long-term relationships with our suppliers, some of which have existed for 10 years.
Here we share with you the complete list of our valued and trusted partners who helped us make our collections for 2019, so you can learn more about them, their processes and unique background.
Reducing our Impact
One of our wider sustainability goals is to reduce our overall impact on the environment. This includes adopting new processes across our business, from our global supply chains to our warehouses, stores and headquarters to cut down on waste and emissions. We have begun introducing new policies, such as becoming zero waste and trialling novel programmes to ensure we create a solid foundation for the future.
Animal welfare policy
Animal welfare is very important to DENHAM and a key part of our sustainable mission, as we firmly believe in the humane treatment of animals. No animals should be harmed or abused in the production of our beautiful products. We are 100% committed to improving animal welfare standards across our supply chain and are working hard to ensure we source all animal-derived materials from sources where the animals have been fairly treated, following our Code of Conduct and the Five Core Values on animal welfare.
The Five Core Values, guiding principles on animal welfare, set out by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in their Animal Health Codes and the Farm Animal Welfare Committees (FAWC) are:
- Freedom from hunger or thirst by providing ready access to fresh water and food to maintain full health;
- Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment that includes adequate shelter and a comfortable resting area;
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or a swift diagnosis and veterinary treatment;
- Freedom to express normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind;
- Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring safe conditions and humane treatment that avoid mental suffering.
DENHAM is a fur-free company, as we do not use any real fur in any of our products. We only occasionally use synthetic fur in our collections.
DENHAM stopped using certified angora wool in its products in late 2013, following negative stories in the press about non-certified angora. Since then, DENHAM has implemented a ban on the materials.
Mohair fibre is a natural material derived from the soft goat hair. However, as the humane treatment of the goats cannot be assured, DENHAM decided not to use it in any collections since 2018.
DENHAM believes in using sustainable alternatives for its outerwear, such as DUPONT SORONA, as much as possible. However, when we do opt to use real down and feathers, we take extra precaution to ensure the geese and ducks that provide the materials are treated humanely, following our broader animal welfare policy. As we are 100% against the force-feeding and live-plucking of birds, all of our products which do contain down and feathers are certified according to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), an independent, voluntary global standard. Managed by non-profit organisation Textile Exchange, it ensures farmers, brands and supply chain parties follow and respect the Five Core Values of the animals.
DENHAM does not use any exotic skins in any of its products. We do not use leather from any endangered or threatened species which are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature or the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. As there is no industry-wide standard, which includes animal welfare currently in place, we work closely with our suppliers to ensure the humane treatment of animals. We are also seeking to partner with other initiatives, such as the Responsible Leather Initiative, to help address some of the key issues within the global leather supply chain.
DENHAM aims to only source its wool from trusted suppliers who are certified according to the Responsible Wool Standard. A voluntary global standard which addresses the welfare of the sheep as well as the land they graze on, the certification ensures the sheep are treated in accordance with the Five Core Values.