For Cotton and Clay ethically sourced means that the products we sell are produced and obtained in an ethical way, which includes fair working conditions, a safe environment and good business ethics.
Why is it important?
In many places around the world businesses engage in a number of unacceptable practices in producing their goods or services. Some of these practices include modern-day slavery, human trafficking, child labour.
While it is true that ethically sourcing our products may result in better compliance with laws and codes as well as improved reputation, for the team at Cotton and Clay its more than that. We believe that we have a social responsibility to ensure that the products we buy are sourced in a responsible and sustainable way. In particular that the workers involved in the production of these goods are making them in a safe and fair environment.
If every business or consumer buying goods or services adopted this approach the demand for goods and services from unethical operators would shrink, potentially putting those operators out of business or forcing them to adopt fair and safe working practices.
How do we ensure that the products we sell are ethically sourced?
Before we commit to purchasing any of our products we are looking for positive indications that the products they are selling are produced in an ethical way.
Some examples of how we review potential suppliers and their position on ethical sourcing.
- Scan their website for stated policies on ethical sourcing or fair trade.
- Google the suppliers name with “Ethically Sourced” in the search text.
- Ask the supplier for assurances or confirmation that they are ethically sourced products.
- Looking at country of origin and their reputation for enforcing basic human rights.
We also seek suppliers who can ensure they and the producers in their supply chain adhere to the key elements of the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative) Base Code which is an internationally recognised set of labour standards.
- 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 practised
- Regular employment is provided
- No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed.
Where the supplier is unable or unwilling to provide the assurances we need, Cotton and Clay will not deal with that supplier.
What can we all do to ensure we are not supporting business with unethical practices?
We encourage everyone to consider their purchases and whether or not they believe the products are produced in a way that does not result in the unfair treatment of people. If in doubt ask the supplier what their position is on ethically sourced goods and services.