DATA

LOFT is owned by Ann Inc., which also owns Ann Taylor and Lou and Grey. The information provided here is largely about the parent company, Ann Inc., with specific information about LOFT when available.

THE PROS:

Ann Inc. has implemented its AT CONNECT capacity building program amongst strategic suppliers to help them build best-in-class internal compliance systems. Through AT CONNECT, the brand states that it encourages and supports its suppliers to uphold positive factory conditions, implement programs to improve workers’ lives and drive supply chain sustainability. The program allows for supplier collaboration on best practice through in-person meetings and dual language webinars.

In 2014, Ann Inc. launched a commitment to empower 100,000 women in its supply chain by 2018 by providing services in four core areas: Health Education, Financial Literacy Training, Empowering Workplaces and Enabling a Supply Chain Supporting Women. In 2014, the brand states that it reached over 30,000 women.

Ann Inc. has partnered with UPS and Goodwill through the Give Back Box program. Shoppers can buy products online and send unwanted gently used clothes or household items to Goodwill for free using the box the Ann Inc. products arrive in.

THE CONS:

Ann Inc. does not disclose a public list of supplier names and addresses. And it is unclear if Ann Inc. can trace its entire supply chain.

Ann Inc. does not include information about sourcing sustainable materials in its environmental program.

In 2015, The Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Natural Resources Defense Council collaborated on a document entitled Greening the Global Supply Chain: CITI Index 2015 Annual Evaluation Report. The CITI Index ranks companies on how well they track and respond to pollution coming from factories in their supply chains. Ann Taylor received 22.5 points out of 100.

/ Ann Inc. is a subsidiary of Ascena Retail Group and the parent Company of Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Lou & Grey. Ascena Retail Group acquired Ann Inc. on August 21, 2015 and because of this, the Ascena Retail Group 2015 10K report is not relevant.

/ Ann Inc. is a publicly traded company.

/ As of January 1, 2015, Ann Inc operated 1,034 Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Factory, LOFT, LOFT Outlet, and Lou & Grey stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada.

/ LOFT has over 650 full-price and outlet stores in Canada, Mexico and in over 46 US states.

/ Ann Inc. reports that it uses 135 suppliers. It is unclear what levels of the supply chain this number includes.

/ Ann Inc.’s net sales for fiscal year ending January 31, 2015 were $67,980,000.

/ Ann Inc. reports that it contracts two suppliers in Bangladesh employing 8200 workers.

/ The brand highlights the countries in which its suppliers are located on a world map. It is unclear what level of the supply chain this map includes.

/ Ann Inc. does not disclose a public list of supplier names and addresses.

/ It is unclear if Ann Inc. can trace its entire supply chain.

/ The brand shares some of the workers’ stories on its website as part of its program to empower 100,000 women by 2018.

 

/ Ann Inc. has a publicly available Global Supplier Principles and Guidelines document that outlines its code of conduct for suppliers. It is unclear what levels of the supply chain are covered by the guidelines.

/ Ann Inc. supports the payment of a minimum legal wage or the local industry standard wage. In some countries the minimum wage is not yet a living wage.

/ Ann Inc. states that suppliers must not threaten or penalise workers for their efforts to organize and bargain collectively where permitted by the laws of the country of manufacture.

/ The brand opted not to become a member of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. The brand states “While we support the underlying principles of the Accord on Fire and Building Safety and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and will continue to consult the standards of both programs to further inform our efforts, we opted to not become members given that we believe our approach  is highly effective.”

/ Ann Inc. has a policy against the use of cotton sourced from Uzbekistan in its products. The brand has signed the Responsible Sourcing Network’s Company Pledge Against Child and Adult Forced Labor in Uzbek Cotton.

/ Ann Taylor and LOFT were rated 4.6 out of 10 by GoodGuide. This company’s social policies, practices and performance place it among the worst 50% of companies rated by GoodGuide.

/ Ann Inc. shares a summary of its Animal Welfare Program.

/ The brand gives purchasing preferences to mills that do not use wool from sheep that have been mulesed.

/ Ann Inc. has ceased the use of angora hair in its products until a third party certification process has been established.

/ Ann Inc. is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. The brand uses the Higg Index to measure sustainability and drive improvements within its operations and those of its suppliers. Ann Inc. also uses this system to assess water use and evaluate the management systems and energy efficiency processes a supplier factory has in place. The brand reports that it is using the Higg Index to measure and improve facilities who manufacture over 79% of Ann Inc.’s apparel products.

/ We don’t have any information on: whether or not the brand uses renewable energy at any stage of its supply chain, if the brand has measured its water footprint and what the brand is doing to ensure the proper treatment of water before it is returned to local waterways.

/ In 2012, the Huffington Post reported that Ann Taylor was amongst a group of retailers that had violated China’s environmental laws by contaminating water supplies with chemicals from dyes and printing. The information was published in a report released from the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a Beijing-based nonprofit.

/ In 2015, The Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Natural Resources Defense Council collaborated on a document entitled Greening the Global Supply Chain: CITI Index 2015 Annual Evaluation Report. The CITI Index ranks companies on how well they track and respond to pollution coming from factories in their supply chains. Ann Taylor received 22.5 points out of 100.

 

/ Ann Inc. has implemented its AT CONNECT capacity building program of its top 15 apparel suppliers to help them build best-in-class internal compliance systems. Through AT CONNECT, the brand states that it encourages and supports its suppliers to uphold positive factory conditions, implement programs to improve workers’ lives and drive supply chain sustainability. The program allows for supplier collaboration on best practice through in-person meetings and dual language webinars.

/ In 2014, Ann Inc. launched a commitment to empower 100,000 women in its supply chain by 2018 by providing services in four core areas: Health Education, Financial Literacy Training, Empowering Workplaces and Enabling a Supply Chain Supporting Women.

/ Since 2008, the brand has reduced its carbon footprint by 27.5% per square foot has set a goal to reduce it by 30% per square foot by 2015.

/ The carbon footprint analysis revealed that approximately 93% of the brand’s impact comes from its stores. Ann Inc. intends to achieve its carbon reduction goal through changes in lighting, technology and a continued focus on behavior changes.

 

/ Ann Inc. reports that it is launching a strategic partnership with BSR to provide education to women through the HERhealth initiative for its suppliers’ factories around the world. HERhealth provides factory-based programs for female workers to empower them to take ownership of their well-being. The trainings include modules on nutrition, maternal health and basic hygiene. The brand is introducing the HERproject in the Philippines and to artisan communities, including a village in a remote region of the Indian Himalayas. There are descriptions and a summary of some of the results of programs implemented in India, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.

/ Through its ANNCares360 program, Ann Inc. partners with Good360, to donate gently used visual displays, fixtures and other materials to local charities. To date, the brand has donated over 400,000 lbs of goods to over 100 charities that benefit women and children.

/ For more than 17 years, Ann Inc. employees have volunteered to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure series Employees sign up to walk in more than 40 cities throughout the U.S. every year.

/ In 2013, LOFT partnered with Wakami, an artisan group in Guatemala, to source accessories. The brand reports that this partnership empowered the female artisans and helped them provide for their families and support their communities.

/ Since 2007 we have partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the holiday season by participating in the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign. The brand encourage its shoppers to donate at checkout. In 2014, employees and shoppers raised $4.6 million. Additionally, through the spring 2015 Mother’s Day LOFT Cares Card promotion the company donated more than $1 million.

/ The brand is taking aim at closing the Women’s Leadership gap with ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative—a partnership between ANN INC., the parent Company of Ann Taylor, LOFT and Lou & Grey, and Vital Voices Global Partnership. This initiative seeks to empower young women in the US to ignite positive social change in their communities through training and mentorship with prominent world leaders.

 

/ salary.com reports that the CEO of Ann Inc., Gary Muto, made $5,801,991 in total compensation in the fiscal year ending 2014.

/ In June 2015, Nasdaq GlobeNewswire reported that a class action lawsuit against the Board of Directors of Ann, Inc. for possible breach of fiduciary duty and other violations of state law in connection with the sale of the Ann Inc., to Ascena Retail Group Inc. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties owed to NYSE:ANN stockholders by agreeing to sell Ann Inc too cheaply via an unfair process to ascena retail group, inc.

/ In 2014, Ann Inc. launched a commitment to empower 100,000 women in its supply chain by 2018 by providing services in four core areas: Health Education, Financial Literacy Training, Empowering Workplaces and Enabling a Supply Chain Supporting Women. In 2014, the brand states that it reached over 30,000 women.

/ Ann Inc. has implemented its AT CONNECT capacity building program of its top 15 apparel suppliers to help them build best-in-class internal compliance systems. Through AT CONNECT, the brand states that it encourages and supports its suppliers to uphold positive factory conditions, implement programs to improve workers’ lives and drive supply chain sustainability. The program allows for supplier collaboration on best practice through in-person meetings and dual language webinars.

VOICES

BUSINESS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (BSR)

“BSR worked with ANN INC.’s corporate responsibility team to design a two-part approach for the company’s supply chain women’s empowerment program. First, we defined a program that supported the women workers in ANN INC.’s supply chain, and then we worked with the company’s communications and brand teams to promote this work via marketing and communications.” – 11/4/2014

 


PHD IN PARENTING

“In the case of Ann Taylor, information on their website indicates that they are working on various projects in collaboration with quality organizations like the International Labor Organization and are funding projects in factories in Bangladesh to support women’s health. Those are positive stories, but I wanted to get some objective information as well and couldn’t find any. I do wonder why Ann Inc. wouldn’t have signed onto the Accord and if I bought a lot of clothing from them, this is probably something that I would write to the company about.” – 4/17/2014

 

Former Ann Inc. CEO, Kay Krill:

“We want our clients and associates to feel proud to wear our products and be confident in the knowledge that they are produced ethically and responsibly.”