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 activities with a focus and framework, underpinning our objective to be a responsible retailer.
As we approach our tenth anniversary, Fashion Footprint continually 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. The activities and reporting of our Fashion Footprint programme are divided into four key pillars:
This report continues to provide tangible and anecdotal testimony of the progress we have made in the year ending 31 August 2015, along with insights into the challenges we have faced and our plans for the coming 12 months.
Fashion Footprint Governance
All successful initiatives that bring together a diverse range of stakeholders require strong leadership, and Fashion Footprint mirrors this approach. This role is fulfilled by the Fashion Footprint Steering Group, which comprises senior members of our business.
The Steering Group continues to meet regularly 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 targets. The day-to-day running of the Fashion Footprint programme is the responsibility of Jamie Beck, Head of Supplier Management and his Ethical Trading team.
Stakeholder engagement is a vital element of all four of our key pillars. It plays a strategic role in the success of our working groups 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 employees 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. This year we conducted an employee survey focusing on the work of Fashion Footprint. The feedback from this engagement has provided us with valuable insights that are already shaping the way we conduct activities and communicate them with colleagues. Our retail colleagues remain hugely committed to Fashion Footprint and have launched their own campaign to further reduce our stores’ carbon footprint this year. The success of our charity fundraising each year also rests on the enthusiasm and commitment of our head office employees.
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 on tangible progress and improvements for workers in our supply chain.
Knowing that the topics we cover in Fashion Footprint is increasingly 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 and social media – 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, as with others, we have been busy working with various members of this group.
During 2015 we have joined a new cross-industry initiative called ACT (Action Collaboration Transformation). This consortium includes retailers, suppliers and counts IndustriALL, the global union that represents millions of workers around the world, among its stakeholders. The initiative aims to establish a living wage framework.
We continued to support the valuable work of the Fashion Retail Academy, which celebrated its tenth anniversary this year, safeguarding the talent pipeline for our industry.
5. OTHER RETAILERS AND BRANDS
We regularly collaborate with other high street retailers on a wide variety of projects and initiatives. Good examples of this are the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, our involvement in the Joint Turkey Project, the Better Cotton Initiative and the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan. For more on all these activities, see Our Products.
This year we have joined a further two forums that will provide us with insight and equip us to improve our position further. As mentioned above, ACT is a pan-industry forum established specifically to promote engagement with a living wage. Meanwhile, Canopy aims to drive sustainability in the wood pulp industry that provides the raw material for Viscose.
6. THIRD PARTY SERVICE PROVIDERS
We work with many third party service providers, whether it’s to test our products or independently audit our suppliers’ factories. These companies work in partnership with our own teams, providing valuable specific expertise to support our programmes.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Policies and procedures are also an important part of how we work and we have a comprehensive list of business policies in place that are appropriate to an organisation the size of Arcadia Group.
In terms of Fashion Footprint, there are a number of policies we may refer to, for example:
- Workplace Diversity;
- Health and Safety Policy;
- Dignity at Work Policy; and
- Anti-Corruption Policy.
These are in addition to our Code of Conduct and its Guidebook, our Migrant Workers’ Guidelines and our Animal Welfare Policy.
For more information about our Fashion Footprint work, you can follow the links above or go to our FAQs.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.