Our second head office Fashion Footprint employee survey shows our people are more engaged with the programme than ever before.

It also reinforced our decision to switch all Fashion Footprint communication to digital channels, which itself sent a valuable message to employees that we have listened and responded to their views.

This year we saw an increase (from 48% to 51%) in employees who indicated that Fashion Footprint is ‘super-important’ to them. When combined with responses from those who stated that the programme ‘matters to me’, we achieved an overwhelming 96% approval rating for Fashion Footprint.

One of the strongest pieces of feedback from last year’s survey was that over 80% of respondents wanted to see our annual Responsibility Report published in digital format only. This year we responded, moving away from all printed outputs and creating an engaging Fashion Footprint microsite aimed primarily at employees.

The decision was clearly a hit – over 60% of respondents told us they “loved it” or “thought the format and content were interesting.”

Another strong takeout from this year’s results was that more than 40% of employees indicated they would like to receive more frequent updates about Fashion Footprint. We took action right away and launched ‘Your Footprint’, a new email channel dedicated to providing our employees with more regular information on the topics they care about as well as the latest Fashion Footprint developments.

The survey underlines our commitment to try new approaches and continuously look for different ways to engage our employees and create a consistent, measurable forum for feedback.


Our 10th anniversary year began with a bang as we launched our new Fashion Footprint microsite and surprised staff with a desk drop (a special themed issue of our staff magazine along with a neon recycled leather card holder and a re-usable Fashion Footprint canvas bag). We also ran a competition for staff, testing their knowledge of the site’s content in order for them to win eco-themed prizes.

Throughout the year we released a series of snappy 15-second videos featuring staff members on Instagram to highlight key Fashion Footprint achievements. Our workforce responded really positively to our use of social media to celebrate these milestones.

We also launched a longer 2 minute video explaining what Fashion Footprint is and what we have achieved over the last 10 years. The video will be used for internal inductions and training.

RETAIL Engagement

Fashion Footprint is a constant thread that runs through everything our store teams undertake on a daily basis.

In order to support this, we have started to create a calendar of events in stores to ensure commitments are embedded as everyday behaviours.

Paperless communication via online channels has become a valuable method of driving this calendar as well as sharing outputs and driving engagement in stores. This use of new technology has provided us with the ability to have an ongoing dialogue with stores with tools and incentives to drive behavioural change.

The first ever Fashion Footprint retail employee survey was launched in June via our store intranet. Several of the questions mirrored the head office survey but we also took the opportunity to tailor the questions to our retail audience.

Our three focus areas were: the on-going energy reports that reveal to stores how and where they are consuming the most, ideas for future Fashion Footprint events and requests for nominations for Eco-warriors. These Eco-warriors will focus on the key actions from a store perspective to ensure Fashion Footprint is front-of-mind on a daily basis.

In the run-up to the survey’s launch, we promoted Fashion Footprint’s online communications via the stores’ intranet. The retail teams also marked the launch of the Fashion Footprint Instagram videos via social media.

Activities were further supported by a competition to design a Bag for Life. This activity facilitated brand engagement, generated some excellent creative designs and acted as a prompt to enhance retail Fashion Footprint behaviours.

We continue to work on our commitment to create a measurement mechanic to provide stores with a clear view on how they are using the fortnightly energy consumption reports to further change activities.


Education is fundamental to promoting the ethical trading strategy throughout the business and our robust training sessions further embed the strategy across many functional departments within Arcadia.

In 2016, we updated our ethical trading training to incorporate several key priority areas such as Better Cotton procurement and modern slavery. We also developed an education programme focusing on implementing ethical procurement of sustainable fibres, driving capacity of several key sustainable sourcing strategies.

The Ethical Trading team ran a Sourcing masterclass for up to 60 buyers and merchandisers from across the group educating them on ways of working with our factories.

As mentioned within the Environmental Impacts of Our Products section, we arrange regular training for our product teams to refresh their awareness of the EU REACH Regulations (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of hazardous Chemicals) and develop their understanding of global chemical compliance requirements.


  • Employee volunteering continues to be a challenge to implement consistently across our seven brands. Achieving a harmonious approach that is measurable and meaningful across both head office and stores is something that continues to elude us. However, we remain as committed to delivering on this as our employees do in wanting to see it as part of their employment offer. We will revisit again in 2017 with a view to moving this forward.
  • Operational workload in stores is considerable and trading priorities have impacted some targets this year such as an incentive to find Arcadia’s greenest town and the adoption of Fashion Footprint into the induction process. We hope the appointment of Eco-Warriors for each brand will provide an excellent vehicle to support and develop focus in these areas.


Employee Engagement (head office)

  • Increase frequency of Fashion Footprint communication, particularly via email
  • Identify best approach to employee volunteering within head office and retail teams

Employee Engagement (retail)

  • Respond to outputs from the first retail Fashion Footprint survey
  • Capitalise on the passion and enthusiasm of our Eco-warriors by identifying a clear role they can play
  • Establish a clear, consistent and regular calendar of Fashion Footprint communications to stores

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