Ecochic Magazine the inspiring green glossy for EcoChic lifestyle lovers.

Ethical Business, a celebration beyond profit

Ethical Business, a celebration beyond profit

 

Wrapped up in all these logos, campaigns and causes are International campaigns by a range of inspiring organisations worth celebrating and supporting when we make our consumer choices.

Each and every one aims to make the conditions for fashion workers, who make the clothes we wear better, with at least living wages, fair working conditions, community development and sweat shop free labour. We certainly need to digest it all and support organisations carrying these labels, because as consumers we know that it makes such a difference. Do join us…

So on this fact finding mission we need to outline our vision and values and certainly here at EcoChic we are in support of the ‘Triple Botton Line’ business concept created by John Elkington.

SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY 2010Valuing the triple bottom line.

This is defined as the ’simultaneous pursuit of economic prosperity, environmental quality and social equity’ and are central to the way EcoChic Collection conducts its business. All of our collections are carefully selected Fair Trade & ethical products sourced from organisations who have achieved or are working towards certification through the WFTO, (World Fairtrade Organisation), BAFTS (the British Association of Fairtrade Shops) SKAL IMO or SA8000 certification. In working with a specialist CSR advisor from Two Tomorrows, we have also developed our own EcoChic accreditation framework for our partner organisations, which acts to validate the ethical & environmental position of each brand. This gives us and our customers independent assurance that our suppliers are actually implementing and living up to their stated ethical ideals in production.

Working towards eco excellence.

We recognise that this may not be a perfect system, but we also acknowledge that the organisations who have signed up to be accredited as Ethical or Fair Trade Organisations, are bound codes of conduct in terms of workers rights and are regularly assessed as to whether they are striving to make continuous improvements. Fair Trade signatories pay a social premium to their producers in the developing world so that communities can decide on how to pay for community developments. To date it is the best accreditation system we have available that supports the welfare of producers in the developing world through-out the supply chain of organisations.

EcoChic recognises that there is a distinct difference between ethical and fair trade and values both in the supply chain. We promote and follow the 10 Fair Trade principles laid down by the World Fair Trade Organisation. (WFTO).

FAIRTRADE2010Fairtrade & the WFTO

The World Fairtrade Organisation, holds its members to account to check they are actually trading fairly with their suppliers.

So what are FAIR TRADE principles defined by the WFTO?

“Fair Trade is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to and securing rights of, marginalized producers and workers”. (WFTO). Indeed it goes far beyond the boundaries of ethical trade and seeks to work sustainably with environmental concerns and long term partnerships at the heart of the trading partnership.

Fair Trade is a partnership between producers and consumers which ensure producers receive good working conditions and fair prices throughout the supply chain. Paying fair prices to the producers which reflect the true cost of production, indeed as we know world market prices often do not cover even the cost of the raw materials.

Financial assistance is another important facet of fair trade. Providing credit when needed to allow orders to be fulfilled and to pay premiums to be used to provide further benefits to producer groups.

ilo-2010[1]Social projects

One of the biggest successes of fair trade is in it’s support of producer organisations in their social development and community projects. Indeed many fairtrade organisations provide health and education facilities through the Social Premium. The promotion of the empowerment of women is to be aplauded.

In supporting general growth in business management the fairtrade model and those who work to this model advise their producer organsations on product development to increase access to markets, aswell as encouraging environmental responsibility & sustainable projects. Relationships are key to the sucess of fairtrade and the committment to long- term relationships and trading partnerships to provide stability and security rather than a short-term commercial advantage is to be celebrated.

Alongside this fairtrade campaigns to highlight the unequal system of world trade, to promote transparency of business practice, mutual Respect with all our partners and producers and last but not least there is a strong emphasis on justice for all involved in the production and supply process.

Trade and sustainability not aid is the back bone of the fairtrade model.

ethical-fairtrade-certificationThe British Association of Fairtrade Shops (BAFTS)

We are delighted to have been accepted as members of The British Association for Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS),  a network of independent fair trade shops  and importers across the UK.

Fairtrade labelling (FLO)

Actually provides an independent guarantee that the farmers get a fair deal and awards the Fair Trade Mark.

Find out more HERE.

The Ethical Trading Initiative

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is an alliance of companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and trade union organisations. ETI exists to promote and improve the implementation of corporate codes of practice which cover supply chain working conditions. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the working conditions of workers producing for the UK market meet or exceed international labour standards.

What is Ethical Trade?

Ethical trade or ethical sourcing, as it’s sometimes called, can mean different things to different people. Some use it as an umbrella term to include all types of business practices that promote socially and/or environmentally responsible trade. The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) use it simply to refer to the responsibility of buying companies has for the rights & welfare of workers in their supply chains.

Ethical Trading Initiative IIThe Ethical Trading Iniative Base Code

• Employment is freely chosen • Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected.

• Working conditions are safe and hygienic • Child labour shall not be used • Living wages are paid

• Working hours are not excessive • No discrimination is practiced • Regular employment is provided

• No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed.

EcoChic passionately believes that all of these principles are vital in any trading relationship.

By each of our products we indicate the level of accreditation that our suppliers have achieved:

Social Accountability & SA8000

An SA8000 certification proves that your Social Accountability System has been measured against a best practice standard and found compliant. Issued by a third party certification body/registrar, the certificate lets customers know they can trust that you have implemented the necessary internal processes to ensure basic human rights for your employees.

SA8000 is based on the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on the Rights of the Child and various International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions.

SA8000 covers the following areas of accountability: Child labour, Forced labour, Workplace safety and health, The right to organize, Discrimination, Workplace discipline, Working hours, Wages, Management system for human resources.

Find out more HERE.

ORGANIC 2010Organic Certifiers: SKAL, Organic Exchange & the Soil Association

Organic certifiers like SKAL and Organic exchange, check the farming and also the flow of goods to ensure that the cotton in your product actually comes from an organic farm.

Find out more HERE.

IMO Organic Certification:

With more than 20 year experience in organic inspection and certification in developing countries, IMO acts also as competent expert for all aspects related to organic certification and development of local organic movements.

To find out more, Click HERE.

Control Union Certification:

Control Union Certifications, f.k.a. Skal International, offers you a global one-stop-shop for a wide range of certification programs. SKAL certificates are accepted by authorities in nearly every country.

Textile certification: Control Union Certifications can offer you two certification programmes for your sustainable textile production. To make sure that these programmes are workable in practice they were developed them in cooperation with experts of the textile industry, consumer organisations and environmental groups.

EKO Sustainable Textile certification using GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), and Organic Exchange certification.

The Organic Exchange certification programme allows you to claim a traceable percentage of certified organic cotton.

The “Supply of dyes and processing aids” module is not a real certification programme. Rather, it is an assessment of conformity to the Sustainable Textile programme for specific dyes and processing aids that are used in the production of textile and textile products.

To read more, Click HERE.

HANDMADE.RECYCLED.UK MADERecycled & Handmade:

Over 1 million tonnes of textiles are thrown away every year. This is why we support fashion made from recycled clothing and fabrics. Not only does this support fabulous creativity but it cuts down the need for landfill space, reduces the pressure on virgin sources resulting in less pollution and saves energy.

Environmental Certifications & Accreditations: ISO 14001 Certified.

ISO 14001 is part of a series of international standards on environmental management. It provides a framework for the development of an environmental management system and supporting audit programme, although we need to be clear that it doesn’t necessarily mean environmentally friendly production.

Read more: ISO14000

Oeko-Tex Standard 1000

The Oeko-Tex Standard 1000 is a testing, auditing and certification system for environmentally-friendly production sites throughout the textile processing chain.

Read more: www.oeko-tex1000.com

Forest Stewardship Council

The trademark of the Forest Stewardship Council indicates that the wood used in a product came from a forest managed according to strict environmental, social and economic standards.

Read more HERE.

Carbon Reduction Label

Working with The Carbon Trust, the Carbon Reduction Label verifies the total carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases emitted during its life, from production to final disposal. Companies that display this label are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of those products within two years.

For more information go to HERE

Made in the UK

In the UK we have some fantastic designers, craftspeople, using handmade & traditional skills that go back generations. Living in a globalised world brings a real sense of vibrancy and and foremost we champion the use of trade to help people out of poverty.We also think it’s important to recognise skills and talents closer to home and to support independent artisans with real talent and creativity in the UK and their communities too.

By buying locally, is real sustainability in action as there’s the added bonus of not needing to ship and fly things around the world. So, it’s good for people and good for the planet too. We believe it’s all about finding a balance in our shopping habits and selecting and celebratingthe work of a range of ethical brands, from fair trade, organic, recycled, UK Made.

CHARITIES 2010Celebrating Charities

Did you know….

There are over 200, 000 charities in the UK alone.

According to Save the children 1 in 3 children in the UK live in poverty.

There are many organisations that we work with that support a number of hugely worthwhile charities.

EcoChic are delighted to be partnering with UK businesses that are adopting ethical, environmental and charitable trading practices here in the UK. We carefully assess our UK suppliers using our own assessment criteria based on the IFAT and Ethical Trading Initiative standards and with the support of our expert CSR advisor. Please see our magazine for more details.

LA Jewellery, based in Wales are inspirational in their approach to their staff offering payment by piece, six month bonuses and staff working hours to suit the work/life balance to inspire creativity using traditional skills. Their focus is also on their environmental responsibilities and charitable concerns aswell as careful thought into the sourcing of their precious metals. We are inspired by the beauty and ethos of their work.

 

EcoChic Collection logo SquareEcoChic Collection Partnership Questionnaire:

How Green is your business?

You will see our own logo against the those organisations that are too small to hold other certification, but please be rest assured we work very hard to find out about the ethical and environmental position of each brand we work with.

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