The Parently Group are proud to have been accepted as full ETI members. We began our ETI journey in 2019 as foundation members. As a business with sustainable principles at our core, it was important for us to gain a deeper understanding of what ethical trading means to our employees and our suppliers’ employees as the fashion and textiles industry evolves.
We have always been passionate about sustainability and ethical trading. From pioneering the use of recycled polyester yarn in our ground-breaking Eco-Uniform range (and preventing 42 million plastic bottles from going to landfill in the process) to winning The Queens Award for Sustainable Development, our vision is key to our Parently Group principle of creating a healthy future for our brands, retailers, families and suppliers. More recently we have collaborated with the Circular Textiles Foundation to begin a journey of circularity whereby our Eco-Uniform range will become fully recyclable. We have worked with many of our factories for over 25 years and have long standing, close relationships with them.
Working with guidance from ETI has enabled us to gain further understanding of how our decisions can impact our suppliers and the people making our goods – our ‘Extended Parently People’, as we like to call them. Before joining ETI we had built long-standing relationships across our supply chain based on trust, informed by a basic questionnaire which all suppliers were asked to fill out and annual visits. We had most of our supply chain mapped out, but on closer inspection found we had less contact with tier three of our supply chain. Parently, alongside many of our suppliers, are also members of Sedex. Empowered by the guidance offered by ETI, we have been able to use the Sedex platform to achieve more visibility around our tier three supply chain. Once we have established relationships with a factory via Sedex, we review past audits to get a clear picture of their compliance and identify areas that may need improvement. It is now an objective to look beyond what the audit is saying and pick out any key risks to help us make informed decisions about whether we feel it is responsible to continue a relationship with the factory.
Once signed up, we immediately underwent ETI’s ‘essentials’ training and received progression meetings to help us track our improvement. This exposed us to a wealth of new information on ethical trading. We know this is about the people in a supply chain, how they are treated, how we can help them and so much more. Understanding this through ETI resources has led us to carry out extensive research and set up new procedures that are informed by the ETI Base Code and The Parently Way, our values that guide the way we do business.
Over the course of our foundation membership, we have put this learning into practice. During the pandemic we had weekly, if not daily contact, with our suppliers to check how they were doing and if there was anything we could help with. Aware other countries were hit harder by the pandemic, we knew we had to step up and work to support where we could. Later this year we are set to visit our suppliers for the first time since 2019 which will be great. We see our suppliers as so much more than members of a supply chain; they are our extended Parently family.
Ethical trading isn’t something that ever stops. It’s a continually evolving, learning process. We are absolutely delighted that we have graduated to full membership. This means we can continue the hard work and understand more about: our Parently People, the impact we have on them throughout our supply chain, ethical trading, and continued progress. This work will never be complete, we want to ensure we are always doing the right thing, for everyone.
Originally published on ETI’s blog