Response by Zalando
Sustainability in our supply chain
One of the goals in our do.MORE strategy is to continuously increase our ethical standards by 2023 and only work with partners who align with them. Ethical standards set the baseline for social, environmental and chemical compliance for all brands selling on Zalando, including e.g. our Code of Conduct and our Sustainable Sourcing Policy...
The human rights due diligence cycle is the foundation of our work regarding human rights and ethical standards... You can find more information on our due diligence cycle in our Sustainability Progress Report.
How we monitor compliance
(1) Brand partners
Zalando has defined minimum requirements that focus on the building blocks necessary to start with sustainability topics in a business. One of these key areas of focus is the expectation of brand partners having full visibility of tier 1 manufacturers. To check whether our partner brands fulfill our minimum requirements, we have introduced a yearly, mandatory brand assessment approach on the basis of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s (SAC) Higg Brand & Retail Module. In our business relationships we aim to be collaborative and improvement driven. When we identify an issue, we communicate with our partners and work together to address the issue at hand. In cases where partners are not willing to engage in remediation, or refuse to acknowledge the issues, we consider pausing and will eventually end the business relationship. The collected data will help Zalando to identify trends across the industry and explore how to develop solutions to drive meaningful and lasting end-to-end supply chain improvement in collaboration with its partner brands.
(2) Private labels
We also want to show more transparency in our private labels on an ongoing basis. In 2020 we published all of our Tier 1 suppliers and factories on our own website and also on the Open Apparel Registry (OAR). In March 2021, we also disclosed the core final material manufacturers for our shoes. We recognize the need for transparency and are committed to disclosing deeper levels of our supply chain on an ongoing basis – for example, going beyond Tier 1 (suppliers and factories) and starting to look more into specific locations of tanneries (leather) or mills (cotton).
We do not own any of the factories in our supply chain, but rather collaborate with sourcing partners and agents with years of technical expertise in their respective areas...
Worker wages are an important topic, and we are working with others across the industry in collaboration to align on a collective solution to drive next steps. The key way we are doing this is through our membership in ACT...
All warehouses — both Zalando’s and third-party sites — are audited twice a year by our external auditing partner against our Social Standards. If the audits reveal findings that are non-compliant, our operations teams work with the respective sites to implement appropriate measures.
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