About Fashion Footprint

Fashion Footprint is Arcadia Group’s programme to monitor and manage the social and environmental impacts of our business. It provides our ethical activities with a focus and framework, underpinning our objective to be a responsible retailer.

Now in its seventh year, Fashion Footprint reinforces our commitment to sustainability; a commitment that we believe makes just as much sense from a business perspective as it does from an ethical one.

Our Fashion Footprint vision provides us with a mission statement that we can all get behind: to produce fashionable products in an ethical way and demonstrate a responsible attitude towards people and the environment.

Our Fashion Footprint workstreams are organised into four main areas:

OUR PRODUCTS

OUR ENVIRONMENT

OUR EMPLOYEES

OUR COMMUNITIES


Our annual report continues
to provide tangible and anecdotal testimony of the progress we have made in the year ending August 31 2013 along with insights into the challenges we have faced and our plans for the coming 12 months. These outputs are summarised at the end of the report.

We have published a summary version of this report again this year. This shorter document was conceived last year and recognises that stakeholder communication is evolving. It will focus on this year’s key developments. Created with our employees in mind, it is also aimed at those stakeholders who would welcome a shorter version of this full report.

Fashion Footprint Governance

All successful initiatives that bring together a diverse range of stakeholders require strong leadership, and Fashion Footprint is no exception. This is the role fulfilled by the Fashion Footprint Steering Group (FFSG), which comprises senior members of our business.

The Steering Group continues to meet quarterly to provide governance, guidance and risk assessment across all our social and environmental responsibilities and to ensure that these activities remain integral to Arcadia’s strategy.

Endorsed by Group Chief Executive Ian Grabiner, the Steering Group is chaired by Alda Andreotti, Group Supply Chain Director. Activity is divided across a series of working groups, each of which is aligned with one of the four key pillars and has a Steering Group member as their sponsor to oversee progress towards monthly key performance indicators (KPIs). The day-to-day running of the Fashion Footprint programme is the responsibility of the Ethical Trading Team.

fashion footprint advisory panel

It is four years since we launched our Fashion Footprint Advisory Panel (FFAP) that acts as the voice of our employees. FFAP members represent brands and functions across our business.

This year the panel continued to provide feedback on the Fashion Footprint initiatives proposed by the Steering Group and submit proposals and suggestions of their own.

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement is a vital element of all four of our key pillars. It plays a strategic role in the success of our workstreams and how they feed into the pillars as well as how we communicate progress. The following six groups represent our principal stakeholders and the dialogue and interaction we have with them is a continuous theme of this report.

1. OUR EMPLOYEES
Our people are vital stakeholders and we have dedicated a specific pillar to them; we recognise that they play an important role in helping us achieve our Fashion Footprint vision. Our retail colleagues relished the opportunity to join Fashion Footprint and have already launched successful initiatives. Meanwhile, Wallis is piloting an employee-volunteering scheme in response to feedback from employee surveys. The success of our charity fundraising each year also rests on their enthusiasm and commitment.

2. SUPPLIERS, THEIR FACTORIES AND FACTORY WORKERS
This group of stakeholders is particularly vital to our activities within the Our Products pillar. Many of our ethical trading projects rely on their transparency and willingness to work together to achieve tangible progress and improvements for workers in our supply chain.

3. CUSTOMERS
Knowing that the topics we cover in Fashion Footprint are important to our customers is one of the key drivers for this work. We want our customers to be confident we trade ethically and with consideration for our environmental impacts. Contact from customers – usually via email – ensures we can reflect their interests and concerns when we are carrying out Fashion Footprint initiatives.

4. TRADE UNIONS, GOVERNMENTS, NGOs, CAMPAIGNING GROUPS AND STUDENTS
This is the most diverse group of stakeholders we work with and can be broadly seen as civil society and government. All input and feedback from this group has a significant impact on our work. This year, again, we have been busy working with various members of this group. For example, the TOPSHOP and TOPMAN Joint Turkey Project has benefited from collaboration with global workers’ union IndustriALL, and a local non-governmental organisation (NGO), Social Development and Gender Equality Center (SOGEP). In addition, senior Arcadia representatives met with representatives of the Department for International Development (DFID) during the year in London and Dhaka, Bangladesh.

5. OTHER RETAILERS AND BRANDS
We regularly collaborate with other high street retailers on a wide variety of projects and initiatives. Examples of this are the Responsible and Accountable Garment Sector Project (RAGS), our involvement in the Joint Turkey Project and the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan, a new project to drive increased sustainability for the lifecycle of clothing.

6. THIRD PARTY SERVICE PROVIDERS
We work with many third party service providers, whether it is to test our products or audit our suppliers’ factories. These companies work in partnership with our own teams, providing valuable specific expertise to support our programmes.

For more information about our Fashion Footprint work, you can follow the links above or go to our FAQs.

You can contact us at hellofashionfootprint@arcadiagroup.co.uk.

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