More information about New Look can be found on the company’s website.
Click here to see New Look’s latest statement on its supply chain, as required by the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015.
The information we hold on New Look was last updated on 22 March 2017.
New Look’s Ethical Aims, which is the code of conduce which it applies to its suppliers, can be found on the company’s website.
New Look’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2016 describes the work the company is doing on living wages:
‘Over the next five years, we aim to… Improve workers’ lives and livelihoods by providing a decent living wage (p.18).
‘In China, we conducted an in-depth analysis of average pay and hourly pay against the Asia Floor Wage (AFW), to establish a local benchmark and a long-term strategy. We’re now working with an external partner to improve management systems in four factories in China, with the goal of improving wages and working conditions… We are part of Action Collaboration Transformation (ACT) (see case study on page 22), and, along with 13 other brands, we have worked with IndustriAll and Cambodian trade unions to advocate for a fair wage setting process that is continually reviewed to keep up with rising living costs’ (p.21).
We asked New Look if they could provide this. They told us in an email dated 31 May 2012:
‘Not at this stage.’
There is still no factory list available on New Look’s website.
New Look’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2016 describes how the company checks up on its supplier factories:
‘In 2015/16 we’ve reached 100% of our factories with our third party audit programme (p.5).
‘We regularly visit… factories to engage in project work and conduct audits to understand where improvements can be made (p.7).
New Look also told us in an email dated 31 May 2012:
‘All audits include worker interviews and selection is made randomly by the auditor rather than factory management and are the workers given confidence that any information they provide will be confidential. Where possible we even use former factory workers to conduct worker interviews. This approach means that we get a much better understanding of what matters in workers’ lives. We also talk to workers in their homes and outside the factory, where there is no risk of intimidation. Worker testimony is used to challenge the testimony of managers and documents since we believe that it is often the workers who give us the best picture of what is really going on in a factory.’
However, New Look told us in the same email that unannounced visits are not used routinely, only in situations where they feel a factory might not be being honest with them. They said:
‘New Look does use unannounced visits when there is a risk of transparency identified. New Look also sees the importance of announced visits where New Look values the importance of building strong, transparent relationships with suppliers built on trust and partnership.’
We can find no evidence from New Look’s website that the company has started using unannounced visits more routinely.
We cannot find any evidence that New Look has published its ethical audit results.
New Look told us in an email dated 31 May 2012:
‘A contact number, email and address are included on our Ethical Aims policy [New Look’s supplier code of conduct]. As part of all visit conducted by New Look ethical trade managers we give workers interviewed our business card with contact details. This encourages workers to contact us if they experience problems they would like to discuss with us. In any cases where workers raise concerns New Look follows up immediately to investigate and resolve the issues whilst protecting the workers’ interests.’
P.9 of New Look’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2016 describes how the company is mapping its full supply chain, beyond its direct supplier factories. However, it does not state whether the company is yet conducting any audits of its second, third and fourth tier suppliers.
New Look is a signatory to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP). One of the SCAP’s major initiatives is the Love Your Clothes campaign. Both are initiatives organised by the charity, WRAP. The goal of the former is described on WRAP’s website:
‘SCAP’s ambition is to improve the sustainability of clothing across its lifecycle. By bringing together industry, government and the third sector we aim to reduce resource use and secure recognition for corporate performance by developing sector-wide targets.’
The latter is a scheme which aims to ‘help change the way the UK consumers buy, use and dispose of their clothing’ and to ‘reduce the environmental impact of clothing across the UK and influence a more circular approach to clothing globally’ (Love Your Clothes website).
P.41 of New Look’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2016 states:
‘In February 2016, we became a learning member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a not-for-profit organisation that aims to make global cotton production better for workers and the environment… In the first year as a learning member, we aim to learn more about BCI and how to work with our suppliers to procure Better Cotton. We have established a system that will enable us to track sustainable fibres in our supply chain and we are engaging in discussions with our key suppliers and buyers to understand the implications of buying Better Cotton and setting up feasible targets. By 2017, we aim to become a standard member of BCI and begin procuring Better Cotton.’
P.51 New Look’s Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2016 describes the standards the company expects of its suppliers in relation to potentially hazardous chemicals. These include:
‘Make sure that all chemicals used in the manufacturing of New Look’s products comply with New Look’s Restricted Substances List.’
‘Take steps to reduce the use of hazardous substances and replace them with safer alternatives. Where possible, use biodegradable chemicals if they meet the same technical performance requirements.’
However, the company does not appear to publish its Restricted Substances List and has not made a time-specific commitment to eliminate the use and discharge of toxic chemicals in its supply chain.