DATA

Topshop is owned by the Arcadia Group, which also owns Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Outfit, Wallis and Burton Menswear. The information provided here is largely about the parent company, the Arcadia Group, with specific information about Topshop when available.

THE PROS:

Topshop Reclaim is a collection made entirely from surplus material and production off-cuts. However, there are no current products from this collection available for purchase on the Topshop website at this time.

Arcadia reports that it is committed to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) and its 2020 targets.

Since 2015, Arcadia has been a member of the Better Cotton Initiative. The brand has identified three cotton suppliers, including a denim supplier, to collaborate with on this project.

THE CONS:

The brand does not publicly share a list of supplier names and addresses.

It is unclear if the brand can trace its entire supply chain.

In September 2015, Sourcing Journal reported that Arcadia wrote to its suppliers to say it planned to slash what it was willing to pay for orders that manufacturers had already agreed to fulfill. In some cases, the brand asked its suppliers for a 14.25% discount on its invoices.

In March, 2016, The Guardian reported that when contracted cleaners at its stores demanded a fair living wage, Topshop removed documentation that stated the brand supported a living wage from its website after a Guardian inquiry. In May 2016, The Guardian reported that workers had demonstrated outside Topshop in Oxford Circus as part of a campaign for a real living wage for cleaners at the fashion retailer.

/ Arcadia owns Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, TOPMAN, TOPSHOP and Wallis.

/ Arcadia Group is privately owned and controlled by Sir Philip Green and his wife Tina Green.

/ The brand reports on its website that its property team is responsible for more than 2,500 stores in the UK, and more than 550 stores internationally in 37 markets

/ Arcadia states that it employs 45,000 people. It is unclear what levels of the supply chain this includes.

/ Topshop has over 300 stores in the UK and over 140 stores in international territories.

/ We don’t have any information on: lead times, how many people the brand employs throughout its supply chain and how long its products are designed to last.

 

/ Arcadia reports that its products are manufactured in approximately 985 factories through 766 suppliers. The brand states that its top 20 suppliers provide 44% of its products.

/ In 2015, Arcadia products were made in 49 countries. The brand reports that its top ten sourcing countries accounted for 91% and the top five for 71% of its products. These top five countries were China, Turkey, Romania, India and Bangladesh. The brand does not disclose the remaining countries it manufactures in.

/ The brand does not publicly share a list of supplier names and addresses.

/ It is unclear if the brand can trace its entire supply chain.

/ The Fashion Revolution Fashion Transparency Index gave Arcadia Group and Topshop a rating of 49%, stating that the brand seems to be making some efforts to manage and improve its supply chains but makes little supply chain information publicly available, and still have a long way to go towards supply chain transparency.

 

/ Arcadia has a code of conduct. The code has been translated into English, Chinese, Turkish, Romanian and Hindi. It is unclear if the code applies to multiple levels of the supply chain.

/ The brand states in its code of conduct that a living wage should be paid to workers. Arcadia defines a living wage using the benchmark specified by an ILO Convention and that is the minimum wage set by law in the appropriate country or local industry benchmark standards.

/ Arcadia has signed the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.

/ Arcadia states that Topshop and Topman have developed Fairtrade ranges. Arcadia reports that Topshop has built partnerships with a number of brands to develop products that are made from organic and Fairtrade cotton. A search of both the Topshop and Topman websites revealed zero results.

/ In September 2015, Sourcing Journal reported that Arcadia wrote to suppliers to say it planned to slash what it was willing to pay for orders that manufacturers had already agreed to fulfill. Arcadia already asked some suppliers for a 14.25 percent discount on its invoices. The publication reports that according to an e-mail obtained by the Daily Mail, chief executive Ian Grabiner wrote, “We are notifying you of a further 2 percent payment discount—this will be effective from September 1, 2015 and will apply to all existing orders with a payment date due after August 31, 2015, as well as to all orders going forward,” noting that the additional discounts are intended “to help mutually grow our business together.”

/ In 2010, the Guardian reported that in a report compiled by Labour Behind the Label Marks & Spencer, Next, Monsoon, Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge were all named as having used factories which exploit their workers.

/ Arcadia has banned wool sourced from locations that use the mulesing of sheep to prevent flystrike. The brand reports that its new ethical audit database (Valid8) will improve its verification process to ensure that suppliers comply with the ban.

/ Arcadia states that its brands sell organic cotton ranges including Topshop’s MOTO organic cotton jeans range. However, a search of the website revealed zero results.

/ Arcadia is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative. The brand has identified three cotton suppliers, including a denim supplier, to collaborate with on this project.

/ Topshop Reclaim is a collection made entirely from surplus material and production off-cuts. There are no current products from this collection available for purchase on the Topshop website at this time.

/ The brand reports that 100% of the energy it centrally purchases for its stores is from renewable resources.

/ Arcadia states that it is working towards fewer factories with out-of-date audits and 100% of its factories operating with a green rating. Currently the brand works with no factories with out-of-date audits and 85% of its factories were graded green, 13% were graded orange and 1% were graded red.

/ Arcadia reports that it is committed to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP) and its 2020 targets. Signatories are committed to a seven-point action plan that aims to improve the sustainability of clothing across its lifecycle, including reducing its carbon, water and waste footprints. Using SCAP’s footprint calculator, Arcadia states that it will measure and report the total impacts of the clothes it sells in the UK on an annual basis.

/ Arcadia’s menswear brands are currently trialling the use of recycled wool in some coats and sweaters for the Autumn/Winter 2015 season. The fibres used come from offcuts of other clothing production. The brand is looking to increase its quantities of recycled wool.

/ Arcadia has set out a list of commitments it aims to achieve by 2020.

For the last two reporting years, Arcadia has been supporting Harmony House, a non-profit organisation based in Delhi, India. It provides care and education to disadvantaged children and women living in underprivileged communities. Arcadia aims to raise £10,000 annually.

Topshop worked with two charity partners in fiscal 2014 and began a new relationship with a third. In total the brand raised over £600,000. The brand has been working with Fashion Targets Breast Cancer for many years. One of the most high profile events during the year was when the brand auctioned off five dresses it made for fashion models attending New York’s famous Met Ball. The dresses – worn by Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn, Chanel Imam, Zoe Kravitz and Toni Garrn – were sold on eBay, garnering huge amounts of publicity for the charity. In April 2015, Topshop created a specially designed t-shirt for the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer (FTBC) campaign, donating 30% from the sale of each garment. In total it raised over £150,000.

In December 2014, Topshop launched its fourth collection for Key to Freedom. It raised just over £66,000. A fifth collection launched just before the end of the reporting year. Funds raised via these collections were donated to the Women’s Interlink Foundation. The Foundation, based in India, provides refuge for women and girls whose lives have been blighted by human trafficking, forced prostitution and domestic abuse. Part of the project’s aims is to provide the women with practical skills such as sewing.

Topshop continued its long-term sponsorship of the NEWGEN group, which enables young designers to show their collections as part of London Fashion Week. Topman supports the NEWGEN MEN event, sponsoring designers to showcase their collections to press and buyers in London. The Spring/Summer 2016 event was held in June 2015 and saw ten designers receive sponsorship. In addition, the brand worked in partnership with Fashion East to stage MAN, an event that saw a further three designers supported during London Fashion Week (LFW).

In fiscal 2014, Arcadia employees donated via its Workplace Giving Scheme, raising £167,067.

/ We don’t have any information on how much the CEO, made in the last financial year. However, Forbes reported that as of July 3, 2016, CEO Philip Green and his wife Tina are estimated to be worth $5.5 billion.

/ In June 2016, This is Money reported Topshop owner Sir Philip Green was questioned for six hours in the House of Commons over his role in the demise of the 88-year-old high street chain BHS that caused 11,000 to lose their jobs, with more questioning to follow on pension fund losses.

/ In April 2016, The Guardian reported that the Green family had taken out more than £580m in dividends, rental payments and interest on loans from BHS Group before selling the company for £1 in 2010. The publication also reports that pension regulators are considering pursuing Green for between £200 million and £300 million in pension fund losses.

/ In March 2016, The Guardian reported that when contracted cleaners at its stores demanded a fair living wage, Topshop removed documentation that stated the brand supported a living wage from its website after a Guardian inquiry. In May 2016, The Guardian reported that workers had demonstrated outside Topshop in Oxford Circus as part of a campaign for a real living wage for cleaners at the fashion retailer.

/ In May 2016, The Sun reported that Topshop’s new Beyonce athleisure line was made in a MAS Holding factory in Sri Lanka where workers earned £4.30 day. One worker was reported to have said that she could not survive on her basic wage of 18,500 rupees (£87.26) a month, just over half the Sri Lankan average of £164.

/ The brand states that it has been involved in the Joint Turkey Project. Its mission is to empower factory owners, managers and workers to create a fair working environment while reducing audit fatigue. In fiscal 2013, the factories involved signed an agreement to see profit from improved productivity shared equally between increased worker wages and the factory. A full impact assessment of the project is being undertaken by a third party, with the results expected to be released in 2016.

/ Arcadia is committed to ensuring that fabrics used in the manufacture of its clothing do not come from the world’s remaining ancient and endangered forests and has signed a commitment with Canopy. The collective aim is to ensure that the supply chain is free from wood sourced from endangered and ancient forests by 2017.

/ Arcadia is working on new ways to decrease its paper usage in stores, with a number of paperless alternatives. The brand states that these initiatives were due to be introduced at the end of the last financial year and that updates will be shared in its next responsibility report.

VOICES

 LaborBehindTheLabelLABOR BEHIND THE LABEL | TAILORED WAGES

“Arcadia is taking a collaborative approach to the living-wage issue by working on improving freedom of association (FOA) in Turkey, and worker-management dialogue in Bangladesh. However, this strategy still lacks living-wage benchmarks and any commitment to address price, which is disappointing.” – 3/2014

 


DailyLife

KATHLEEN LEE JOE | DAILY LIFE

“Does it make sense that brands such as Topshop and Gucci can support one good cause (and be applauded for it) while neglecting another? We can’t help but see it as a slight hypocrisy – but, like a vegan who continues to walk around in leather, it may also be seen as a step in the right direction.” – 3/26/2013

2014 Responsibility Report:

Our Fashion Footprint vision provides us with a mission statement that we can all get behind: to produce fashionable products in an ethical way and demonstrate a responsible attitude towards people and the environment.


Arcadia Code of Conduct Guidebook:

Arcadia Group believes in a common approach to improving standards in our industry. After a significant review of available standards and guidelines we have found that the adidas Group’s Standards of Engagement were complete, comprehensive and concise