OUR ETHICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICIES
As part of Squadkit, the leading supplier of sportswear to UK independent schools, Limitless is committed to the same Ethical and Environmental principles.
We believe that free and fair trade is an important way to spread wealth around the world.
We take our responsibility to improving the welfare of everybody who contributes towards the creation of our garments extremely seriously. All factories producing product for us, wherever they are based, must comply with our Code of Conduct for Suppliers.
Our Code of Conduct for Suppliers follows the guidelines set by the ILO (International Labour Organization) and the ETI (Ethical Trading Initiative), but works to a higher standard on child labour (we have absolutely zero tolerance; the ETC standards “work towards elimination”).
OUR CODE OF CONDUCT:
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR SUPPLIERS
Suppliers adopting this Code of Conduct shall commit to compliance with the labour standards specified, both in their own companies and those of their suppliers.
Employment is freely chosen:
There is no forced, bonded or involuntary prison labour.
Workers are not required to lodge ‘deposits’ or their identity papers with the employer and are free to leave their employer after reasonable notice.
Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected:
Workers, without distinction, have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively.
The employer adopts an open attitude towards the legitimate activities of trade unions.
Workers representatives are not discriminated against and have access to carry out their representative functions in the workplace.
Where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted under law, the employer facilitates, and does not hinder, the development of parallel means for independent and free association and bargaining
Working conditions are safe and hygienic:
A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided, bearing in mind the prevailing knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards.
Adequate steps shall be taken to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, associated with, or occurring in the course of work, by minimising, so far as is reasonably practicable, the causes of hazards inherent in the working environment.
Workers shall receive regular and recorded health and safety training, and such training shall be repeated for new or reassigned workers.
Access to clean toilet facilities and potable water, and, if appropriate, sanitary facilities for food storage shall be provided.
Accommodation, where provided, shall be clean, safe, and meet the basic needs of the workers.
The company observing the standards shall assign responsibility for health and safety to a senior management representative.
Child labour shall not be used:
There shall be no recruitment of child labour (under 16).
If young people aged 16 and 17 are employed then they shall not be employed at night or in hazardous conditions.
Living wages are paid:
Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week meet, at a minimum, national legal standards or industry benchmarks, whichever is higher. In any event wages should always be high enough to meet basic needs and to provide some discretionary income.
All workers shall be provided with written and understandable information about their employment conditions in respect to wages before they enter employment, and about the particulars of their wages for the pay period concerned each time that they are paid.
Deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure shall not be permitted nor shall any deductions from wages not provided for by national law be permitted without the express and informed permission of the worker concerned. All disciplinary measures should be recorded.
Working hours are not excessive:
Working hours comply with national laws and benchmark industry standards, whichever affords greater protection.
In any event, workers shall not on a regular basis be required to work in excess of 48 hours per week and shall be provided with at least one day off for every 7 day period on average.
Overtime shall be voluntary, shall not exceed 24 hours per week, shall not be demanded on a regular basis and shall always be compensated at a premium rate.
No discrimination is practised:
There is no discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation.
Regular employment is provided:
To every extent possible work performed must be on the basis of a recognised employment relationship established through national law and practice.
Obligations to employees under labour or social security laws and regulations arising from the regular employment relationship shall not be avoided through the use of labour-only contracting, sub-contracting or home-working arrangements, or through apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment, nor shall any such obligations be avoided through the excessive use of fixed-term contracts of employment.
No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed:
Physical abuse or discipline, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or other harassment and verbal abuse or other forms of intimidation shall be prohibited.
BUILDING AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS
We are working to build an environmentally responsible and sustainable business. We have started by adopting a single core principle
Durability = Sustainability
The best way to reduce the environmental impact from clothing is to manufacture fewer things and ensure that each item will last1. We design all of our garments to be worn for at least 2 years – that’s well over 100 times. In contrast, the average fashion garment is worn just 7 times before being discarded2. This requires a clear and stringent approach to textile development, garment testing and quality control, but minimises the total cost for the planet and our customers.
We still need to produce new garments, so we are committed to building an environmentally responsible supply chain. We have adopted four core initiatives to ensure that the items we produce minimise our environmental impact. We know we could do more and plan to add more initiatives over time but we are a small part of a giant industry. These initiatives let us make the biggest impact quickly and help us drive wider industry change.
OUR SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES
We are true believers in the Better Cotton Initiative/BCI3. The Better Cotton Initiative trains farmers to use water efficiently, care for the health of the soil and natural habitats, reduce use of the most harmful chemicals and respect the rights and wellbeing of workers.
Target: We are committed to sourcing 50% of our cotton as Better Cotton by the end of 2020
Where we can, we plan to move to using recycled polyester. At present this fibre is more expensive and often doesn’t perform as well as ‘new fibre’, potentially compromising our ‘Durability = Sustainability’ principle. However, we are working with suppliers at the forefront of this technology. By the end of 2019 we have committed to ensuring that 10% of our polyester is sourced from recycled sources (principally plastic bottles). We are targeting 25% by the end of 2020.
Target: 25% Recycled polyester purchases by end 2020
Clean Waste Water
Water pollution through the dyeing and finishing process is a massive global problem. We ensure that all of the factories supplying fabric to our supply chain have full water treatment plants and are fully inspected and compliant with the most stringent environmental legislation3.
Target: 100% Audited compliance to Oeko-Tex 1004 by end 2019
Reduce Single Use Plastics
We have set ourselves ambitious targets to reduce the use of single-use plastics throughout our supply chain. We need to be careful as often these plastics are protecting our fabrics or garments during transport and simply eliminating them would lead to more damage and wastage, easily outweighing the environmental cost of the plastics and compromising our core, 'Durability = Sustainability' principle. Where we need to continue to use SUPs we ensure that they are disposed of carefully and recycled where possible.
Target: 50% Reduction in SUP vs 2018 benchmark by end 2022
1.Wrap, Sustainable Clothing Action Plan 2.Barnardos 3.Better Cotton Initiative 4.Oeko-Tex Standard 100