Section 5 of Monsoon Accessorize’s Code of Conduct commits to paying living wages.
The Monsoon Accessorize Ethical Trading Report 2010 recognises that the company’s commitment to living wages has yet to be fully implemented. It states:
‘All our suppliers are required to pay at least the legal minimum wage to all their employees. We recognise that, in some cases, the legal minimum wage does not always constitute a ‘living wage’ and so are working with suppliers to help them increase wage levels.’
As a result, the company has several programmes in place to work towards paying a fairer wage to workers in its supply chain. It’s Ethical Trading Report mentions its Homeworker Programme and states that:
‘We have worked with our partners in the ETI [The UK’s Ethical Trading Initiative] to design a pragmatic method of calculating fair piece rates and are now rolling this out to all our suppliers.’
The report also mentions how the company is working to improve conditions for embroidery workers. It states:
‘We are funding a SEWA embroidery centre in Delhi to enable embroidery workers to access better piece rates as well as training, health checks, micro-finance and education for their children. As well as providing £50,000 for the purchase of the centre building, via the Monsoon Accessorize Trust, we are funding the running costs and working with suppliers to increase the volume of orders that can be placed directly with SEWA members.’
Monsoon Accessorize told us in an email dated 24 January 2011:
‘We do of course have this information but it is not company policy to share it.’
Since then, Monsoon Accessorize has become a little more transparent. P.3 of their Monsoon Accessorize Ethical Trading Report 2011-12 states:
‘We do not own or operate our own factories but work with a network of about 180 international suppliers with over 280 manufacturing sites. Over 90 per cent of our products are made by suppliers in india and china with the remainder in countries such as Turkey, Vietnam, Italy and Romania.’
However, the company still does not provide a full address list of suppliers, though they did tell us in an email dated 14 December 2016:
‘This is something we will consider in the future.’
Monsoon Accessorize’s website states:
‘To check compliance with all aspects of our Code, factories are regularly visited by our own audit teams and teams of external experts too.’
Monsoon Accessorize also told us in an email dated 29 March 2012:
‘Both announced and unannounced visits are carried out… Workers are selected [for interviews] by the auditor and information is treated in full confidence. We also use NGOs to select workers and conduct interviews in some cases.’
Monsoon Accessorize told us in an email dated 14 December 2016 that this is still the case.
Monsoon Accessorize does not publish on their website any results of the audits they conduct in supplier factories against their ethical code of conduct.
Monsoon Accessorize have not been able to confirm to us that they have a mechanism in place for factory workers to be able to contact them in confidence to raise any issues of concern.
Monsoon Accessorize told us in an email dated 29 March 2012:
‘Yes, we require that our suppliers apply the same code in selecting and managing their own suppliers. We also audit sub-contractors of our suppliers where they are deemed to be higher risk.’
Monsoon Accesorize confirmed in an email dated 16 December 2016 that they are still are still auditing some second tier suppliers in China and India.
Monsoon Accessorize’s Clothes for Life campaign provides a way for customers to recycle their old Monsoon Accessorize garments.
Monsoon Accessorize told us in an email dated 16 December 2016:
‘We aren’t doing anything with sustainable cotton at the moment as our cotton use has dropped considerably.’
Monsoon Accessorize to not make any information available about any work they might be doing to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in their supply chain and end the release of these chemicals into the environment.