Ethical Sourcing

We believe fiercely that all people deserve to be respected at work, paid appropriately, treated fairly and to work in a safe environment and we always have. We value and respect our workers. We have a strict ethical sourcing policy for onboarding new suppliers. Our relationships with our suppliers are based on mutual trust, commitment and collaborative innovation and we respect our longstanding relationships with them. We highly respect their skills and craftsmanship and have worked with some of them for many years. We considered it everyone’s right to be employed at a dignified workplace and we cherish the contribution of all of work force.

Our Values

  • Long-term Relations

    “We have worked with some of our key suppliers for over 20 years.”

  • Collaborative Innovation

    “We respect our supplier’s skills and often involve them in development.”

  • Mutual Trust

    “We trust our suppliers because we choose them based on their values.”

Supplier Ethical Sourcing Program

Our workplaces in Australia and China are regularly audited for ethical and safe work practices and they have been for 20 years. We have a zero-tolerance policy for child and forced labour and hold our manufacturers to very strict standards regarding award wages, overtime payments and providing a safe and humane place to work.

Ethical sourcing policy

Accreditation and Certifications

As part of our ethical sourcing program all the factories we work with are regularly audited. This assures that our factories can be held accountable for worker wellbeing., Besides, having to meet the standards set by our customers who sell our products, they must also pass audits of the recommended well-established global social compliance programs and be compliant with local law, whichever stricter. These social responsibility frameworks include SEDEX, WRAP and Amfori BSCI. To pass these audits, factories must comply with various stringent standards in the areas of labour rights and working conditions and health and safety and incorporate Conventions from the International Labour Organization. We only work with factories that respect their employees, pay living wages and provide a safe and fair place to work.

Amfori BSCI

BSCI is a developmental audit approach that allows members to assess their factories on socially responsible production practices such as labour rights, working conditions and health and safety. The 11 principles upon which it was found are guided by ILO conventions and UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights. BSCI members can share audit results amongst members.

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Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production is a global standard and factory certification that promotes safe and ethical manufacturing conditions. WRAP certification can be granted by external auditing firms who assess factory performance. By becoming WRAP certified our factories show strong commitment to WRAPs 12 principles of responsible production.

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The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange developed a new initiative to share audit results amongst SEDEX members and thereby increase efficiency and transparency. SMETA is the audit methodology that extensively assesses manufacturers on a wide range of criteria ranging from labour rights to sustainability. This assures all suppliers sustain high standards of social and environmental responsibility.

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Auditing process

After onboarding our factories will be audited at random to make sure they are compliant with the standards set in the Underworks customer policies and the standards set in the code of conduct of the social accountability program selected, so the factory can be officially accredited and awarded certification. Factories may be re-audited if a corrective action plan with a timeline is in place.

We know snapshot, tick-box auditing methods have become highly controversial, as they are unable to uncover root issues in global supply chains. While audits are needed, they are simply not enough. By working very closely with our suppliers, we can create a common understanding of needs and requirements to truly mitigate supply chain risk and benefit workers, while strengthening supplier performance. This allows us to overcome issues with more traditional auditing methods. Underworks pride in its social accountability program.

  • Forced labour policy

    Policy signed by all suppliers that prohibits unauthorized subcontracting, forced labour including but not limited to Uyghur Muslims.

  • Hazardous chemical policy

    Policy signed by all suppliers that prohibits the use of hazardous chemicals and substances in the production process.

  • Mulesing policy

    Policy signed by all suppliers that prohibits using wool sourced through farmers using animal mulesing practices.

  • Uzbek cotton policy

    Policy signed by all suppliers that prohibits sourcing and use of Uzbek cotton. Cotton will be sourced through Better Cotton or as certified organic or recycled.

We are committed to fair and equal labour rights, working conditions, and living wages. We strive to ensure diversity in the workplace, both at our head office in Australia and at our overseas manufacturers.