At Superdry we continuously risk assess Modern Slavery risk, and a core part of our human rights strategy is to ensure workers in our supply chains have access to remedy through effective grievance mechanisms in our vendor factories.
In July 2017, we co-funded an innovative programme led by Change Alliance, Treble Partners and Christian Aid-UK, alongside the British High Commission and three other brands which aimed to facilitate gender equality and a safe working environment for women factory workers in 11 garment factories in India.
Out of the 11 factories taking part, Superdry nominated five to take part, three of which are based in Delhi (specialised in making men’s t-shirts, women’s tops and outerwear) and the remaining two are based in Bangalore (that make shirts, shorts and chinos), employing a total of 6,181 workers between all five of them.
Between August 2017 and May 2018, 104 supervisors and 6,181 workers (100%) received training on rights of the aggrieved under India’s Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act (2013). The schedule of training ran alongside strengthening of grievance mechanisms, election, empowerment and education of committee members to ensure any allegations are properly investigated through effective committee structures. All factories have now established hotlines which anonymously report grievances to the Internal Complaints Committee to initiate investigation, and to identify suitable remedy within the factory.
This year, 3 factories have been selected for the programme, involving a further 3,473 women. This means that over the two years that the programme has been running, we have reached 62% of women working across the Indian supply chain.
Feedback from factory management and workers has been generally positive. Rita, a tailor from Assam, aged 34, came to Delhi in 2012 to find work. “This training has empowered me with all the knowledge I require to fight any injustice I might face whether at home or workplace. I am grateful to the trainers for answering all my questions. I am well prepared to train others about creating a gender friendly and safe workplace for all.”