DATA

ABOUT THE BRAND

Boden is a British catalogue and online retail brand selling men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories. The brand sells casual basics along with full range of everyday wear, including dresses, suiting, winter coats, swimwear and footwear.

HIGHLIGHTS

THE PROS:

🔎 Boden has been a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative since 2008, which requires brands to commit to the ETI basecode, and its ETI’s Principles of Implementation. The brand reports annually to the ETI on the steps it is taking to tackle working conditions in its supply chains.

💪🏼 Boden states that it was one of the first companies to test the Good World Solutions Labor Link technology in China. Labor Link is a mobile platform that collects anonymous, real-time data from employees about their working conditions. The brand states that it has now also run surveys in factories in India.

♻️ Boden sells a range of products made from lyocell, modal and tencel.

THE CONS:

🔎 The brand states that it is currently mapping its supply chain, and has traced several layers, but not yet traced its entire supply chain.

🔎 The brand does not currently share a list of its supplier names and addresses.

♻️ We don’t have any information on if the brand monitors the environmental impacts of its supply chain.

/ Boden states that its aim is to create stylish clothes that look great and never stint on quality.

/ Boden products are available online in over 60 countries, via its catalogue in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Australia and Austria, and at its store in Hanger Lane, London. It also runs a series of Boden parties. Boden states that around 90% of its orders are made online, and it has over 1.5 million customers worldwide.

/ The brand reports it ships on average 12,500 parcels per day from its warehouse in Leicester, United Kingdom.

/ Boden states it employs over 1,200 staff across its London head office, Leicester (UK) and Pittston (USA) warehouses, and its Boston-based US marketing team.

/ Boden reports that, as of 2016, it works with 77 suppliers. In turn, these suppliers work with 164 factories with approximately 61,000 people employed throughout the brands supply chain.

/ Boden states that its suppliers are based in China, India, Portugal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Tunisia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Romania, Turkey, Taiwan, Vietnam and the United Kingdom. The brand does not currently share a list of its supplier names and addresses.

/ The brand states that it is currently mapping its supply chain, and has traced several layers, but not yet traced its entire supply chain.

/ Boden states that, as part of its membership of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), it reports annually to the ETI on the steps it is taking to tackle working conditions in its supply chains.

/ The 2016 Australian Fashion Report gave Boden an overall grade of C+. By category, Boden scored A+ in its social policies in its supply chain, B in its knowledge of its suppliers, C+ in its auditing and supplier relationships, and D+ in worker empowerment. The brand also scored C+ overall for its practices regarding living wages.

/ Boden has a publicly available Ethical Policy, and reports that it has a team dedicated to ethical trade.

/ The brand became a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative in 2008. The ETI basecode forms the basis of Bodens Responsible Sourcing Commitment which the brand requires all its suppliers to abide by as part of its terms and conditions of trade.

/ The brand reports that its suppliers must ensure they are paying workers at least the minimum wage, as a condition of doing business with them, and that in many cases, its suppliers factories pay above minimum wage. We have no further information on this.

/ The brand states that many of its factories also provide extra benefits to help supplement the workers’ income, including subsidised or free meals, free transportation to and from the factory, on-site libraries with access to daily newspapers and subsidised on-site shops. Many factories also incentivise workers through attendance, production and longevity (for long term employees) bonuses.

/ Boden states that it was one of the first companies to test the Good World Solutions Labor Link technology in China. Labor Link is a mobile platform that collects anonymous, real-time data from employees about their working conditions. The brand states that it has now also run surveys in factories in India. Topics covered in these anonymous questionnaires included wellbeing, awareness of their factory worker representation options and their effectiveness, what concerns they have, effectiveness and impact of training they or their management have received, relationship with supervisor and health and safety concerns.

/ The brand reports that factories producing Boden products are monitored through independent ethical audits to help them adhere to its code of conduct. The brand states that it works with its suppliers to help develop improvement plans that will provide long-term benefits for their employees.

/ Boden requires its suppliers to provide full and open access to all facilities (including any subcontracted processes) for both Boden staff and any 3rd party representative that the brand has engaged on its behalf.

/ Boden’s Code of Conduct states that it expects all of its suppliers to ensure all reasonable effort is made to reduce the environmental impact of their business activities. The brand requires its suppliers to ensure all sites involved with production are in compliance with local laws and regulations and are kept up to date with current guidance.

/ Boden sells a range of products made from lyocell.

/ The brand reports that it stopped angora production in 2011.

/ We don’t have any information on what the brand is doing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain, if the brand has measured its water use at any stage of the supply chain, what the brand is doing to reduce its water use in its supply chain, policies in place to reduce pollution and resources used for transport, policies and strategies the brand has to manage waste and recycling during production or strategies the brand has in place to manage overstock.

/ Boden reports that all of its suppliers, and the factories it works with, have to sign a REACH declaration, and that it has a restricted substances list in place. We have no further information on this.

/ Boden states that, wherever possible, it ensures that its packaging is recyclable and is made from recycled materials.

/ Boden states that the brand is currently mapping its supply chain. So far, it has traced several layers of its supply chain, but it has not yet traced its entire supply chain.

/ The brand reports that it is working with BSR on the HERProject and has been for the past 3 years. It is currently sponsoring 5 factories and has trained 130 peer educators, reaching over 5,000 workers. Boden reports that it will continue to work with this programme in 2017 when some more factories will be joining the programme.

/ Boden states that it plans to offer 5 further Future British awards in 2017. This programme, run in partnership with the British Fashion Council, provides both financial and mentoring support to new British designers (men’s, women’s or accessories) over a 12 month period.

 

/ The brand reports that it donates regularly to local schools.

/ Boden states that it has an ongoing partnership in place with the Starlight Foundation.

/ From 30 January to 28 February 2017, Boden donated £1 (approx. US $1.15) for every t-shirt purchased from its special lifeboat-themed range of Mini Boden applique t-shirts, to the British charity RNLI (the charity that saves lives at sea).

/ Boden states that it has worked with US charity No Kid Hungry, whose aim is to end child hunger in America.

/ In February 2017, Boden appointed Jill Easterbrook as its new CEO.

/ We don’t have any information on how much the brands previous CEO, Julian Granville, made in the last financial year.

/ There are no reported management scandals or issues.

 

/ Boden states that it was one of the first companies to test the Good World Solutions Labor Link technology in China. Labor Link is a mobile platform that collects anonymous, real-time data from employees about their working conditions. The brand states that it has now also run surveys in factories in India. Topics covered in these anonymous questionnaires included wellbeing, awareness of their factory worker representation options and their effectiveness, what concerns they have, effectiveness and impact of training they or their management have received, relationship with supervisor and health and safety concerns.

/ The brand reports that it is running a new worker monitoring trial in a site in Turkey using the Labor Voices Symphony system. This is an ongoing survey tool for workers. Boden initially ran this survey for 6 months and has extended it to a year to give workers opportunities to feedback anonymously on working conditions.

VOICES

BaptistWorldAidBAPTIST WORLD AID AUSTRALIA | AUSTRALIAN FASHION REPORT

Boden has implemented an innovative way of encouraging workers to express their grievances, by engaging with them through a system called “Labor Link”… Boden said, “we wanted to get a deeper understanding of our supply chain and the people working in it, rather than assuming their needs – we wanted them to give us direct feedback.” By listening to workers, Boden has gained survey results which have allowed it to tailor its activities, ensuring that training is appropriate to each workforce.” – 04/2016


HARRIET LANE | THE GUARDIAN

“Johnnie’s luck, his genius, was to sense that there was a Boden-shaped gap in the market, an opportunity to bring family mail order to time-poor but quality-conscious Britons, all the time capitalising on the new shopping opportunities afforded by the internet.” – 03/18/2007


 

JULIA ROWLANDS, ETHICAL TRADE MANAGER | ETHICAL TRADING INITIATIVE

We accept that homeworkers may be involved in our supply chain and are supportive of that. We know that income generated from homeworking can be vital for homeworkers’ families and that, for many women, it’s the only opportunity they have to work. However, we also have a responsibility to help improve their working and living conditions, which means we need to know if they are involved in production and where they are.”

We’ve also been looking at what has to happen within our own company. This experience has taught us more about the negative impacts we might be having on workers through our own practices, and how to reduce those. For example, early development of products will help our suppliers plan which contractors they can use and allow homeworkers sufficient time to carry out the work. Delays or changes to our selection procedures may put vulnerable workers at risk.” – 04/2010