Our Commitment to Ethical Sourcing
Ethical Sourcing involves assessing, addressing and respecting the human rights of the workers in the Just Group supply chain. This is not a ‘point in time’ exercise. Rather, considered management and continuous oversight is necessary to effectively identify and address risks of unethical practices. All people have the right to work and live in freedom from exploitative practices.
As the supply chain evolves, our governance practices are adaptable to meet new challenges and changing conditions. The Just Group is dedicated to continuous improvement and active engagement with all stakeholders, including our team members, suppliers, government and non-government bodies.
Just Group Ethical Sourcing Policies
We recognise that policies are only one part of our work in safeguarding human rights in our supply chain.
Policies alone cannot sufficiently mitigate the modern slavery risks and vulnerabilities workers face in the countries we operate in.
The Just Group’s established Ethical Sourcing Program has a range of compliance measures and other internal policies and procedures to support existing international human rights standards and local laws in the jurisdictions in which we operate.
The Just Group Supplier Ethical Code of Conduct (COC) has been written using the key human rights principles from International Labour Organization (ILO) core standards and The United Nation’s Guiding Principles on Human Rights (UNGPs).
All suppliers must sign our supply Terms and Conditions, of which the COC is part, prior to any orders being placed.
The COC is reviewed annually to ensure the Just Group is proactively addressing human rights issues or legislative changes that need to be updated in our policies.
Built alongside the COC, the Key Principles of Ethical Business Conduct reinforces the key non-negotiable principles of conducting business with the Just Group. Created as a one-page resource to ensure suppliers are aligned with our approach to ethical ways of working, this document is shared with all suppliers in their local language.
Supplier relationships and sourcing locations
We share our customers' full engagement in understanding where products come from, how products are made and the way that people who manufacture those products are treated.
With this in mind, we directly source from factories and suppliers with whom we work in close partnership. We also source through several trading houses and local importers.
The Just Group values the strong supplier relationships that have been developed over many years and considers this a competitive advantage.
We also partner with and have fostered strong relationships with a range of global and local national brands through the Just Group business.
Ethical Sourcing Program & Requirements
The Just Group Ethical Sourcing program & supplier requirements are set out for our Tier 1 final stage production factories. As we continue to trace the other tiers in our supply chain, we will actively set further guidance for these other stages.
Our Ethical Sourcing program for Tier 1 factories has a number of comprehensive requirements that are implemented with our strategic partner ELEVATE.
- Communication of Code
- Tailored Just Group Audit Program
- Anonymous Worker Sentiment Surveys
- Grievance Mechanism / Worker Helpline
- Remediation and Corrective Action Plan Management
- Production Verification Audits
The Just Group has a zero tolerance to modern slavery in all its forms. ‘Modern slavery’ is a term used to describe certain offences and other prohibited conduct, including forced labour, slavery, child labour, human trafficking, debt bondage, forced marriage and servitude.
We support the Australian Modern Slavery Act (2018) and are required to report annually on our program activities. The Just Group recognises our responsibility and role we play in helping to reduce the incidence of modern slavery.
The Just Group is part of Premier Investments Limited (ASX:PMV), and our Modern Slavery Statements further outline our Ethical Sourcing program and actions to address Modern Slavery in the supply chain:
In addition to compliance to local laws, The Just Group encourages its suppliers to pay workers a living wage.
A Living Wage will provide workers with compensation for a regular working week that meets their basic needs as well as a level of discretionary income.
Our full position on Living Wage with our work to date and future milestones can be read here
Multi-stakeholder Initiatives & Non-Government Organisations
The Just Group proudly work alongside a number of multi-stakeholder initiatives and advocacy groups. We see these partnerships and collaborative relationships as crucial to improve labour rights, health & safety, transparency and integrity in global supply chains.
The Just Group is a member or a signatory of the following:
International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry
Protecting worker health and safety in factories in Bangladesh and now expanding into other countries.
The Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) work to strengthen and improve the auditing industry to become more ethical.
The Pledge to end forced and child labour in Uzbek Cotton and Turkmen Cotton sectors has a number of ground level activities to improve labour conditions.
Ethical Raw Material Procurement & Banned Substances
Our sourcing commitment is supported by the following initiatives relating to fibre procurement and chemicals used in the manufacturing process:
We are a signatory of the Pledge against Child and Adult Forced Labour in Uzbek Cotton and Turkmen Cotton sectors.
We recognise the improved circumstances in Uzbekistan through the work of the Responsible Sourcing Network and its partners. Currently we are still not sourcing cotton from this location but are reviewing the improved labour conditions.
The Just Group partner with Better Cotton to improve cotton farming globally.
Better Cotton’s mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment.
Better Cotton trains farmers to use water efficiently, care for soil health and natural habitats, reduce use of the most harmful chemicals and respect workers’ rights and wellbeing.
Better Cotton is sourced via a chain of custody model called mass balance. This means that Better Cotton is not physically traceable to end products, however, Better Cotton Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we ‘source’.
The Just Group is committed to sourcing at least 25% of our cotton as Better Cotton by 2025.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) has a clearly defined set of criteria and is transparent.
GOTS is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain.
GOTS cotton is currently used in a portion of Peter Alexander products.
Azo Dyes & Restricted Substances
We have voluntarily adopted the EU standard whereby we prohibit the manufacture and sale of goods which contain prohibited levels of the specific aromatic amines originating from a small number of azo dyes.
The Just Group have both a Restricted Substances List (RSL) & Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) which suppliers are required to adhere to.
The harmful practice of 'sandblasting' denim with silica based powders has been discontinued in our business since 2011.
The Just Group does not condone any form of animal cruelty.
The following animal derived materials are banned from all Just Group products:
- Angora & other rabbit hair
Governance and Customer Feedback
The Just Group have a central Ethical Sourcing & compliance team and working group with sponsorship at an Executive level. In addition to our team members based in Melbourne, The Just Group have a Merchandising office in Dhaka, Bangladesh. There are team members responsible for Ethical Sourcing & Compliance who work directly with our factory partners.
We appreciate thoughtful feedback on our program from our customers. The Ethical Sourcing team can be contacted via this email address firstname.lastname@example.org