Insider
|6 Apr

Our Social & Environmental Responsibility

THE ICONIC
6 Apr
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At THE ICONIC, we are deeply committed to social and environmental responsibility, as well as ensuring that we live up to the values on which our company was founded.  We recognise that with growth and opportunity come greater challenges, wider impacts, and a heightened focus on deeply incorporating social and environmental responsibility into our core business operations. As our company grows, so too does our resolve to address the complex issues of operating a business in a responsible, ethical way.

Insider
|6 Apr

Our Social & Environmental Responsibility

THE ICONIC
6 Apr
Share:

At THE ICONIC, we are deeply committed to social and environmental responsibility, as well as ensuring that we live up to the values on which our company was founded.  We recognise that with growth and opportunity come greater challenges, wider impacts, and a heightened focus on deeply incorporating social and environmental responsibility into our core business operations. As our company grows, so too does our resolve to address the complex issues of operating a business in a responsible, ethical way.

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ETHICAL SOURCING IN OUR SUPPLY CHAIN

Our commitment to Ethical Sourcing reflects our responsibility to understand and ensure decent human rights, environmental and animal welfare conditions in our supply chain.

1. Our Code of Conduct for Business Partners (Suppliers) 

We have developed a set of environmental, human rights, labour, health and safety standards, which are framed under our Code of Conduct for Business Partners (Suppliers). This applies to our manufacturers, their sub-contractors and suppliers of inputs and raw materials. These minimum standards are based on international norms and regulations, including ILO fundamental Conventions, and the Base Code of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).

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2. Our Animal Welfare Policy

THE ICONIC has an animal welfare policy in place that outlines our expectations as to how and where animal materials are used in our products which is applicable to private label, branded and marketplace vendors. We expect our suppliers to implement industry-recognised best practice to ensure animal welfare is safeguarded during rearing, transportation and slaughter. We also expect that the industry-recognised Five Freedoms developed by the UK’s Farm Animal Welfare Committee are implemented. 

The Five Freedoms include:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst;
  2. Freedom from discomfort;
  3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease;
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour;
  5. Freedom from fear and distress. 

Where animals are used in our product, we also require them to be a by-product of the food industry. THE ICONIC does not purchase products that use real animal fur of any kind, exotic skins or hair from the angora rabbit. 

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3. Human Rights & Environmental Standards in our Private Label Supply Chain

The requirement to comply with THE ICONIC’s Code of Vendor Conduct for Business Partners applies to any factory where products are made for any of our private label brands: Atmos&Here, Spurr, Staple Superior, Double Oak Mills, H-Wood and Dazie. Currently, we work with 48 independent supplying factories located in China (43), India (3) and Bangladesh (2). 

To ensure compliance with our standards, THE ICONIC requires full transparency of final stage manufacturing factories, including subcontractors. We hold copies of recent third-party audits for supplying factories, all of which have involved interviews of production workers, and many of which have been conducted on a semi- or un-announced basis. All factories will be reassessed based on their performance, with a full audit performed at least every 24 months and most receiving follow-up audits in between to verify issues have been closed. We review all audits thoroughly and work with our vendors and factories on timed and prioritised action plans to continuously achieve improvement over time.  As a part of the compliance process, we also track the presence of temporary and agency workers.  At THE ICONIC, our preferred approach is to use our leverage to influence positive change, however we reserve the right to terminate the relationship with factories or vendors who do not comply with our ethical trading standards.

Locations of independent factories we work with
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THE ICONIC is committed to working with factories that do not exploit any person, including children, in the production of our products, as is clearly stated in our Code of Conduct for Business Partners. We have not identified any incidences of forced or child labour in our supply chain to date. However, if children were found working on our products, where possible we would work with the appropriate local organisations to support the factory in implementing a remediation plan designed to achieve positive outcomes for the children concerned.

As our programme matures, we intend to extend the visibility we have of our second and third tier suppliers (e.g. spinning mills or washing facilities for fabric) and understand the environmental impact these phases may have. Given the limited influence we have further upstream in our supply chain, we are working to identify the most effective ways for our company to better mitigate the impact our materials may have, such as industry-wide collaborative efforts and increased use of more sustainable fabrics. As an initial step, our first certified organic cotton capsule collection was released in February 2018 under the Staple Superior brand and we are currently developing other private label ranges that incorporate fibres and materials with sustainability attributes. 

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4. Collaboration with Industry

Addressing the complex challenges that come with an international supply chain is not simple and often requires a collaborative effort with different stakeholders to promote lasting change. As a result, we look to partner with others in our industry, including civil society representatives, to learn and share best practices, which can in turn help deliver on our objectives. One way we do this is through our membership with the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and Civil Society Organisations that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe. You can learn more about the Ethical Trading Initiative on ethicaltrade.org.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY OF OUR OWN OPERATIONS

Environmental sustainability of our own operations reflects our responsibility to manage the impacts we have through energy usage, packaging and waste.

At THE ICONIC our objective is to measure and reduce our impacts on the environment to protect natural resources, manage risk, spur competitive advantage, and help drive innovation. We seek to do so in a way that creates value for a wide range of stakeholders, including the communities where we operate, our customers, employees, shareholders, and others impacted by our business. In addition to our previous efforts, during 2018 we will undergo an extensive environmental footprint analysis of our business operations, to help us identify where we have the biggest opportunities to influence and drive positive change. This process will support our business as we look to the future, leverage our strengths and build partnerships to address the issues most important to our company and community.

One element of our environmental impact is packaging; we know this is visible and particularly important to our customers.  Our packaging is 100% recyclable, however we recognise that it is not always possible to recycle soft plastics at home and therefore customers may have to seek out other methods such as the REDcycle scheme. THE ICONIC is a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC), the industry initiative which catalyses action on the sustainability impacts of packaging. With the submission of THE ICONIC’s first APC action plan due by end of June 2018, we are working on defining what actions we can take in the next 12 months to better manage and reduce the impacts of our packaging.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Community engagement reflects our role in and contribution to the social fabric of the world in which we operate. 

THE ICONIC exists as a part of an ecosystem and recognises that we can play a positive role in our community and tackling some of the social challenges that exist around us. We are proud that although we are a young business, we have organically become involved in a range of different causes close to the collective hearts of our people. To date, this work has been with charities assisting communities around Sydney (where our office and fulfilment centre are located) and Australia. In addition, our senior leaders contribute via leadership in the charity sector through a board role for Australia for UNHCR and an ambassadorial position for Dress for Success.

  • Dress for Success empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. In the past two years we have raised nearly $14,000 for Dress for Success.
  • Thread Together redistributes surplus clothing to people in situations of crisis including homeless people, victims of domestic violence, asylum seekers, indigenous communities, ex-inmates, and other vulnerable groups in the community. To date THE ICONIC has donated 13,365 items to Thread Together.
  • beyondblue is a charity that promotes good mental health, tackles stigma and discrimination, and provides support and information on anxiety, depression and suicide. THE ICONIC team raised almost $1000 for beyondblue around the marriage equality vote that took place in late 2017.
  • ANZUP, the Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group, aims to bring together all of the different professional disciplines and groups involved in researching and treating urogenital cancers. In December 2017, in support of a fellow employee who was battling such a condition the team raised almost $7000 for ANZUP.

We are excited that during 2018 we will formalise partnerships with community organisations and establish clear pathways for our employees to be involved in supporting our community initiatives. 

THE ICONIC
Fashion Team