Supplier Code of Conduct
At Zimmermann, we are very aware of our responsibilities to our people, customers, business partners, suppliers, community and environment.
We source our quality materials from around the world and as such our supply chain is extensive. Zimmermann is committed to operating to the highest standards of integrity in managing social, ethical and environmental issues along its supply chain. We pride ourselves on the quality of our garments and products and work closely with our business partners to ensure not only are these standards being met, but that the process to achieve them meets our corporate and social obligations internationally.
To achieve these goals, we require that our suppliers and partners commit to the principles and framework of our Supplier Code of Conduct. All our suppliers are required to follow our Code, the terms of which form part of our business relationship with them.
Zimmermann requires that working conditions in its supply chain are safe, that workers are treated lawfully and with respect and dignity, and that manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible. Our Supplier Code of Conduct (Code) is based on the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) code, which is founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and is an internationally recognised code of good labour practice. Our Code sets out the required standards and conditions of doing business with Zimmermann.
An Outline of the key obligations in our Code are set out below.
Zimmermann requires that our suppliers understand the terms of our Code and implement policies and procedures to ensure that they are meeting the standards of the Code and are compliant in all aspects. Breaches of the Code lead to immediate review and corrective action, and in circumstances where such actions are not taken it may result in a review of that relationship.
Our suppliers are required to extend the terms and content of the Code through their business and supply chain, including with secondary suppliers, subcontractors and all sources of labour. They may satisfy this requirement either by incorporating as a term of their own supplier arrangements an obligation of compliance either with our Code or a comparable code of conduct or practice that covers the terms of our Code, and an obligation to communicate this Code throughout the supply chain.
Record keeping to appropriate standards is mandatory for our suppliers, and they must at all times keep and maintain complete records that detail their ongoing compliance. Zimmermann has the right to conduct audits of any and all suppliers involved in production for Zimmermann (including their supply chain partners) and does so regularly as part of its supplier relationships (see further details below).
There are a number of elements to our Code that our suppliers are required to adhere to in their relationship with us. These are detailed below.
1. Business Integrity
Broadly, our suppliers must conduct their business with honesty and integrity and be committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct. They must not engage in, encourage or permit bribery, corruption, extortion, embezzlement or any other method of obtaining an undue or improper advantage.
They must uphold fair business standards, and must not engage in, encourage or permit collusive bidding, price fixing, price discrimination, or other unfair trade practices.
No gifts or favours
Our suppliers including their employees, associates or vendors must not authorise, offer, promise, make or receive (directly or indirectly) any:
- Payment of anything of value;
- Favours; or
- Benefits of any kind (such as entertainment), which have the purpose or effect of providing an inducement to the offeree or a competitive advantage to the offeror, in connection with Zimmermann.
For example, any inducements to:
- Officials, public officers, government employees or government officials; or
- Zimmermann employees, agents or representatives, are strictly prohibited. This prohibition does not apply to modest benefits which are legally permitted and normal business practice.
2. Labour Practices
Our suppliers must uphold the human rights of workers and treat them with dignity and respect, as understood by the international community. To that end, they must ensure that workers are afforded the highest level of protection offered either under local law or the ETI principles embodied in our Code. Zimmermann strictly prohibits any form of modern slavery from its suppliers and their downstream suppliers. This obligation applies to all workers of any kind regardless of place of work or the nature of the relationship with our supplier.
Child labour must not be used
Child labour must not be used. Our suppliers must take steps to ensure there is no child labour, forced labour or exploitation of workers (including in their recruitment) both in their own operations, and throughout their supply chain.
They must take reasonable steps to determine the age of people working within the business. No workers are to be employed who are under the minimum local legal age for employment, or the minimum local age for completing mandatory schooling, whichever is higher.
Suppliers must develop or participate in and contribute to policies and programmes which provide for the transition of any child found to be performing child labour to enable the child to attend and remain in quality education until no longer a child.
All suppliers must not employ people under the age of 18 at night or in hazardous conditions. If national laws permit light work for young people who are still in school, those young people may not be employed in light work for more than 2 hours a day or spend more than seven hours a day on a combination of schoolwork and light work.
Our suppliers must pay each worker such wages and benefits for a standard working week that meet national legal standards or industry benchmark standards in that worker's location of employment, whichever is higher. In any event, they must always pay wages that permit that worker to meet his or her basic needs and to provide some discretionary income.
Suppliers must provide all workers with written and understandable information about their wages and employment before they commence employment, and about the particulars of their wages in each pay period.
A supplier may not make deductions from a worker's wages not provided for by an applicable law without the express permission of the worker concerned. Specifically, they must not make deductions from a worker's wages as a disciplinary measure.
They must also ensure that all disciplinary measures in relation to a worker are recorded.
Employment freely chosen
Suppliers must use all reasonable efforts to eliminate the use of forced, bonded or involuntary prison labour within your supply chain, and to avoid supporting, directly or indirectly, human trafficking.
They must not oblige workers to lodge payments, ‘deposits’ or identity papers. Workers must be free to leave at the end of their shifts, and to leave the employer after reasonable notice.
Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
Workers must have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing, and to bargain collectively.
Suppliers must adopt an open attitude towards the activities of trade unions and their organisational activities and must allow them reasonable access to carry out their representative functions in the workplace.
Where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted by law, suppliers must allow the development of parallel means for independent and free association and collective bargaining.
Our suppliers must provide a safe and hygienic working environment, bearing in mind their knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards. They must ensure the structural safety of all facilities used within their supply chain and take adequate steps to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of or in connection with work, by minimising, so far as is reasonably practicable, the causes of hazards inherent in the working environment.
They must provide workers with regular and recorded health and safety training, which must be repeated for new or reassigned workers.
Suppliers must provide access to clean toilet facilities and to potable water, and, if appropriate, sanitary facilities for food storage. Accommodation, where provided, must be clean, safe, and meet the basic needs of the workers.
Suppliers must assign responsibility for managing worker health and safety to a senior management representative.
Our suppliers must ensure that working hours comply with national laws and benchmark industry standards, whichever affords greater protection to workers. In any event, they must not require workers to work in excess of 48 hours per week on a regular basis and must provide at least an average one day off for every seven-day period. Overtime hours must be voluntary, not demanded on a regular basis, always compensated at a premium rate, and never exceed the international or local limit (whichever is lower).
Our suppliers must not discriminate in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, nationality, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, health condition, pregnancy, union membership or political affiliation.
To the extent possible, they must engage all workers on the basis of a recognised employment relationship established through national law and practice.
They must not avoid obligations to workers under labour or social security laws and regulations arising under a regular employment relationship through the use of labour-only contracting, subcontracting, or home-working arrangements, or through apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment, nor shall they avoid any such obligations through the excessive use of fixed-term contracts of employment.
Suppliers are strictly prohibited from engaging in physical abuse or discipline, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or other harassment and verbal abuse or other forms of intimidation.
3. Environmental practices
Zimmermann actively encourages initiatives to reduce the impact on the environment, particularly using environmentally friendly technologies. Suppliers and their sub-suppliers must agree to respect local and international environmental regulations and standards. All suppliers are required to develop, implement and disclose a formal policy that outlines their approach to managing the environmental impacts of their business within their control, in particular outlining the environmental risks and mitigation strategies. The policy is to include:
- The existence or future implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS).
- Proper waste management, with special attention to hazardous waste and emissions which may not be dumped or discharged in an unlawful manner, including water waste. Employees whose work has a direct impact on the environment shall be trained, competent and have the necessary resources to do their jobs including appropriate personal protective equipment.
Suppliers must not use harmful materials, dyes or chemicals that have any unacceptable risk to health or the environment during production, use or disposal.
They must keep themselves updated and comply with all current and specific legal requirements regarding the restriction or ban of certain chemicals and metals, such as but not limited to lead, cadmium, nickel, phthalates, azo, and dispersed dyes etc., for the products manufactured and distributed globally for Zimmermann.
Global standards include but are not limited to REACH and Prop 65. This includes all applicable laws and regulations regarding storage, handling and disposal of hazardous chemicals and non-hazardous solid waste, as well as the treatment and disposal of wastewater and air emissions.
As regulations are continuously updated, our suppliers and their sub-suppliers must remain diligent and adopt any new standards or changes. As a proactive partner, we provide periodic updates, but the suppliers remain accountable for meeting these global chemical regulations.
Suppliers will provide Zimmermann only with goods, products, packaging, and/or merchandise that have been manufactured in compliance with the global restricted substance regulations. They must be able to provide, upon request, documentation in the form of laboratory reports and original Supplier certifications to show and verify compliance. In the event they cannot meet these requirements, they must advise Zimmermann prior to purchase order finalisation and Zimmermann will have the right to cancel the order.
Banned denim wash processing
Our denim suppliers must ensure that all products comply with all processing restrictions and worker safeguards. Products shall not be produced using any banned processes as listed below:
- Bleaching and drying processes performed with certain granules on denim products.
- Processes where denim or other fabric materials are disposed in a chamber in dry contact together with granules or a coarse, permeable material (including, without limitation, pumice stones) which have been impregnated with a bleaching agent (including, without limitation, hypochlorite bleach and/or potassium permanganate).
- Processes where denim or other fabric materials are bleached in a dry state by dry-tumbling the materials and the granules together for a period of the time sufficient to randomly fade the materials; and such fabric materials are separated from the granules.
- Processes where denim or other fabric materials are sandblasted or subject to sandblasting techniques using crystalline silica, sand, or other materials that are blasted onto or at materials.
4. Animal welfare
Suppliers must ensure good animal husbandry and welfare for any animal-derived products. These products include leather, wool and a small amount of shearling. Our collections are fur-free, and we do not use angora. Suppliers must not use banned animal-derived materials including vulnerable or endangered species appearing on either the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) or the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) lists.
5. Product quality and safety
Our suppliers must ensure that all products and services they supply meet the quality and safety standards required by law, or as set out in Zimmermann's product specifications or other instructions provided to them by Zimmermann.
They must implement and maintain a clearly documented quality management system.
Fabric testing must include fibre percentage, especially in the case of cashmere, silk or any other high value fibre.
6. Disclosure of information
They must accurately record and disclose information regarding their business activities, structure, financial situation, and performance, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and prevailing industry practices.
Unauthorised subcontracting is strictly prohibited. Intended use of subcontractors must be discussed with Zimmermann and may only proceed with Zimmermann’s prior approval.
Suppliers should have systems and processes in place to manage and document any subcontractors and sub-suppliers, including their compliance with our Code and commitment to social and environmental accountability.
They must actively monitor approved subcontractors and sub-suppliers for adherence to the Code.
8. Monitoring, reporting and compliance
Suppliers must implement and maintain systems for delivering compliance with our Code and ensure that the Code is communicated to all employees, and each participant in their supply chain.
They must, within 30 days of a written request (such request not to occur more than once in any twelve-month period), conduct a self-evaluation to ensure compliance with our Code. They must report the findings of such evaluation to Zimmermann and ensure that these reports are true and accurate.
Zimmermann may request that suppliers measure and disclose data on key performance indicators relevant to our Code. If they identify any areas of non-compliance, they must notify Zimmermann of the breach, and their proposed course of remedial action within 30 days.
Suppliers may be required by Zimmermann to implement a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to correct any non-compliance with the Code identified by an internal or external audit, assessment, inspection, investigation or review. The Corrective Action Plan must define reasonable timelines for achieving compliance. If they fail to meet the timelines identified in the Corrective Action Plan, Zimmermann may curtail or terminate its relationship with supplier.
Zimmermann and/or its representatives may visit our supplier facilities, with or without notice, to assess compliance with our Code or any Corrective Action Plan. They must provide such assistance as Zimmermann reasonably requires in order to carry out such an audit.
9. Infectious Diseases
Health outbreaks such as COVID-19 may occur again in future. They may be local or global. Suppliers are asked to prepare and plan to help limit the spread of infectious diseases.
If there is an infectious disease outbreak in the region that our supplier operates:
- Commercial pressures must not take priority over the health and well-being of employees.
- At the earliest opportunity they must notify Zimmermann and provide updates. In particular, if there is evidence of disease on the premises, this evidence must be shared with Zimmermann immediately. This will allow Zimmermann the opportunity to take appropriate action to help protect workers’ safety and manage any business interruptions.
- Opening and operation of the facility must be in accordance with local government regulations and guidelines.
- Every facility must have a certified Health and Safety Manager who is responsible for hygiene protocol, internal awareness raising, staff health and welfare, and ensuring public areas meet hygiene standards appropriate to the risk level. This person must conduct regular training of all staff.
- Appropriate personal protective equipment for infection prevention and control (e.g. face masks, gloves and hand hygiene supplies) must be provided for all employees and visitors.
- Tissues and no-touch receptacles with covers for disposal of tissues must be provided next to all wash basins. Soap must be available in sufficient quantities. A procedure to check and refill the supplies of tissues and soap must be established. A sanitary method for employees to dry their hands must be available.
- When an outbreak causes factory closures, all employees must be paid during the temporary suspension from work according to the local government regulation. There must be no withholding or deduction of payment in order to coerce employees to continue working in the facility.
- Factories must ensure on-time payment of salaries to workers who remain actively employed. If facilities have to close temporarily, it should be a top priority of all stakeholders to support workers directly or in accessing finance to bridge this period that they cannot work. When worker retrenchment cannot be avoided due to long-term factory closure or bankruptcy, all workers should receive their full legal entitlements, including wages, benefits and severance pay.
- Employees are able to terminate their employment or request leave within the regular notice period, without incurring a financial or other penalty. Workers must continue to receive paid leave according to statutory regulations (including statutory and/or religious holidays).