ETHICAL

At Europeanwear Ltd we believe that, just as you have the right to a safe and healthy work environment, a living wage, a legally binding contract so should everyone. We should all have a right not to face constant discrimination and harassment, to join - or not to join - a labour union and to choose our work freely. We believe all should have a right to fair and reasonable working hours. We believe ALL children, not just our own, should have at the very least have a right to go to school.

The Continental® collection is manufactured in accordance to a strict Zero Tolerance policy with regards to the following criteria.

All manufacturing facilities where the Continental® collection is produced in factories that have been audited for social compliance and are running active monitoring programmes in accordance with standards advocated by the International Labour Organisation, the Ethical Trading Initiative and other international bodies. These are in addition to other compliance certifications, such as SA8000, BSCI, SAFE, GOTS, etc.

Ethical Manufacturing & Justice for Workers
Pressure to produce quickly increasing quantities of cheap textiles has led the apparel industry to allow some of the most unethical trade practices on the planet, worst examples include child labour - bonded child labour, excessive working hours – twelve hours a day – seven days a week and often in unsafe, unhygienic working conditions.
To ensure that we do not contribute to the social injustice seen in manufacturing, commonly known as sweatshop labour, even unwittingly, the Continental® collection has been manufactured with transparency with independent audits by the non-profit NGO the ‘Fair Wear Foundation’.


Fair Wear Foundation
The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) exists to promote fair labour conditions in the garment industry worldwide. The Fair Wear Foundation verifies that the Code of Labour Practices is implemented and respected at the factories The Continental® collection was one of the first ranges in the UK to be manufactured with such verification The proportion of ontinental® collection manufacturing facilities engaged in the FWF audit and monitoring programme is 100%. Companies that become members of FWF and sign the Code of Conduct take on the obligation to adhere to the labour standards in their own business operations. They also accept the duty to do everything possible to get other companies in their chain (e.g. suppliers) to respect these labour standards


CODE OF CONDUCT
Members subscribe to the FWF Code of Conduct and accept independent verification of the implementation of the Code of Conduct. They thereby take responsibility for working conditions in the production chain.

The Code of Conduct is based on the Conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Code of Conduct for the Garment Industry incorporates the following eight labour standards:


No use of forced labour
No use will be made of forced labour; this includes forced labour to redeem a debt of work by jail prisoners. Conventions 29 and 105


Safe and healthy working conditions
Measures will be taken to ensure a safe and hygienic working environment, taking into account the available knowledge in the branch of industry and possible specific risks. Effective measures will be taken to prevent accidents and damage to health resulting from, or related to, the work. Risk factors in the work situation are to be minimised insofar as reasonably possible. Physical violence, threats of physical violence, unusual punishments or disciplinary measures and sexual or other forms of intimidation by the employer are strictly forbidden. Convention 155

No use of child labour
No use is made of child labour. Employees must have completed their period of compulsory education and must be at least 15 years old. Any form of slavery or comparable practices such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage, serfdom and forced or compulsory labour are out of the question. Children [in the age group 15-18] may not perform any work that, by its nature or the circumstances in which it is carried out, is likely to harm their health, safety or morals. Conventions 138 and 182


Legal labour contract
Employers’ obligations arising from social insurance laws and regulations applicable to a normal labour contract will not be avoided by introducing sham contracts or apprenticeship contracts where there is no intention to enter into a normal labour contract. Young employees must be given the opportunity to take part in programs of training and education.


No discrimination against employees
Recruitment policy, wage policy, access to training, promotion policy, termination of employment, pensions and all other aspects of labour relations are to be conducted on the basis of equal opportunities, regardless of race, colour, religion, political orientation, trade union membership, nationality, social background, disabilities or handicaps. Conventions 100 and 111


No excessive hours of work
The hours of work will correspond to the prevailing laws and standards for the branch of industry. In no case will workers be obliged to work more than 48 hours per week on a regular basis, and they will be given at least one day off in every 7-day period. Any overtime work will be done on a voluntary basis; will not amount to more than 12 hours per week; will not be called for on a regular basis; and will always be matched by additional compensation. Convention 1
Together with the Ethical Trading Initiative, the Fair Labor Association, Social Accountability International, the Workers Rights Consortium and the Clean Clothes Campaign, FWF participated in the Joint Initiative for Corporate Accountability and Workers’ Rights.


Environmental Justice Foundation – Clean Cotton Campaign
In support of the EJF’s clean cotton campaign, all EarthPositive garments are labelled with country of origin of the cotton used, thereby demonstrating our commitment to fight against child labour and for worker rights in Uzbekistan and elsewhere.
More high profile retailers such as Tesco and Debenhams are starting to recognize the problem of Uzbek cotton, and are demanding identification of the sources of raw cotton from their supply chains
Europeanwear Ltd guarantees that the cotton we used to manufacture the Continental® Collection does not come from Uzbekistan. (The Continental®  Collection uses Turkish, Indian & Egyptian cotton.)Many clothing companies, particularly high street retailers, have claimed it's too difficult to find out the source of the cotton they use. We dispute this, and say that it takes no more than an email or a phone call to the supplier.

“Factories will bend over backwards for their customers, and especially for the large retailers and fashion brands. Can you really imagine Primark or Matalan being told ‘No’ by any of their suppliers? That would never happen. There is almost nothing they will not do for them, and providing documentary proof of the origin of the cotton, if requested, is the least of their many problems as manufacturers.”

Each of the factories where the Continental® collection is produced (Turkey, China and India) have prepared the paperwork for both the organic and non-organic cotton, to show the source of the raw cotton. It took only four days to prepare the documentation, and the documentation had to show the receipt of the cotton as it travels up the supply chain of the manufacturing processes.

“It was the Turkish factory owner who pointed out the obvious, he said ‘it is only those who are trying to hide something, who cannot provide receipts for the cotton purchases when asked.’ “

Insight News have been filming undercover in Uzbekistan, at great risk to their personal safety, both the 2007 Uzbek ‘Cotton Conference’, and the school children working in the fields alongside their teachers, picking the cotton..

“Consumers deserve to have this information. If a consumer could choose between a cotton T-shirt made using Uzbek cotton, picked by school children forcibly taken from their classes by their government, or a T-shirt made with ‘clean’ cotton, I’m hoping that they’d choose the latter.”

The Continental® collection is now labelled with the country of origin of the cotton, following the recommendation of the Environmental Justice Foundation.