Royce Apparel, Inc. realizes that with the retail success we have had, comes the responsibility of respecting our employees, workers contracted to make our apparel, our local community and our overall environment. While our plan is an ongoing process year to year, the objective is to obtain continual improvement. It is our responsibility to identify and find methods to improve workplace conditions and the environmental impact our products and processes cause on our environment.
Royce Apparel, Inc. works closely with our business partners who choose to share our corporate values and ensure these objectives are implemented. Our goal is for our company to be financially, socially and environmentally sustainable.
Royce Apparel, Inc. manufactures goods directly from Pakistan and buys blank garments from a third party manufacturer in Honduras and India. Many of our factories are audited by a third party company accredited by the Fair Labor association yearly. In addition to these audits, our buying offices located overseas routinely audit these facilities as well. With these internal and external safeguards, as well as published governmental or third party reports on troubled factories, we are trying our best to ensure our supply chain meets both corporate workplace code of conduct as well as any international or local laws that may apply. When problems are found within our supply chain, remedies are provided and follow up audits are conducted to make sure remedies are implemented.
Contracted Factory Compliance
Royce Apparel, Inc. sets out to work with third party suppliers that treat their employees with respect and provide workers with safe and appropriate working conditions. Each of our contracted factories have signed agreements by either their ownership or high level management acknowledging their commitment to our corporate values and Royce Apparel, Inc’s own workplace code of conduct. Our expectations are made clear in writing of what we expect from our business partners. In addition, these partners have made a commitment to follow all applicable local laws pertaining to labor, workplace environment or environmental laws. Our standards are posted in all facilities in order to let workers know what we expect from their employers. In the case of noncompliance by our audits, we reserve the right to remedy the situation and after a follow up visit if the problem is not rectified we will terminate the business relationship.
Workplace Code of Conduct
Royce Apparel, Inc. foremost goal is to conduct business in a responsible manner. The below Workplace code of Conduct applies to all employees, contractors, or persons involved in the production of Royce Apparel, Inc. apparel.
There shall not be any use of forced labor, whether in the form of prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor or otherwise.
No person shall be employed at an age younger than 15 (or 14 where the law of the country of manufacture allows*) or younger than the age for completing compulsory education in the country of manufacture where such age is higher than 15.
Harassment or Abuse
Every employee shall be treated with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to any physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse.
No person shall be subject to any discrimination in employment, including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination or retirement, on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, or social or ethnic origin.
Health and Safety
Employers shall provide a safe and healthy working environment to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work or as a result of the operation of employer facilities.
Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
Employers shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Wages and Benefits
Employers recognize that wages are essential to meeting employees’ basic needs. Employers shall pay employees, as a floor, at least the minimum wage required by local law or the prevailing industry wage, whichever is higher, and shall provide legally mandated benefits.
Hours of Work
Except in extraordinary business circumstances, employees shall (i) not be required to work more than the lesser of (a) 48 hours per week and 12 hours overtime or (b) the limits on regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country of manufacture or, where the laws of such country do not limit the hours of work, the regular work week in such country plus 12 hours overtime and (ii) be entitled to at least one day off in every seven day period.
In addition to their compensation for regular hours of work, employees shall be compensated for overtime hours at such premium rate as is legally required in the country of manufacture or, in those countries where such laws do not exist, at a rate at least equal to their regular hourly compensation rate.
Royce Apparel, Inc., their suppliers and subcontractors will comply with all environmental rules, regulations and standards which are applicable to local rules and regulations.
Legal and Ethical Business Practices
Royce Apparel, Inc., their suppliers and subcontractors will comply with all applicable laws regarding child labor, wages, hours, labor, health, safety and immigration.
Any company or business partners that adopts Royce Apparel, Inc. Workplace code of Conduct shall not only adhere to applicable local laws, and third party monitoring, but shall apply the higher standard in cases of differences or conflicts.
Royce Apparel, Inc. has continued our relationship with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) since 2010 to improve living, working and labor conditions in factories we use to produce our merchandise. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the supply chain working conditions meet or exceed international labor standards. We have made a commitment to do our utmost to comply with standards set by the FLA and other labor organizations.
Why is ethical sourcing an issue?
Ethical trade has become a growing issue since the 1990’s due to companies using global sourcing. As the supply chain grows globally, the need arose to ensure decent working conditions for people who produce those goods. As awareness increased about subpar working conditions many companies can no longer turn a blind eye to this issue. Many companies have developed some form of an ethical sourcing policy to address the growing public concern over global sourcing issues. Companies are screening who they do business with both on social and environmental conditions. With this new awareness, it is making it more difficult for companies to ignore ethical sourcing issues.
Royce Apparel, Inc. Social and Environmental Impact
As a company, Royce Apparel, Inc. is also concerned about how our business practices effect people socially and environmentally. Therefore, we have implemented programs to help and
elevate the damage we are doing while running our routine business practices. These programs are evaluated and improved year to year helping to reduce our footprint on the environment and helping to better the world socially.
Since our goods are manufactured overseas we striving to make sure orders are placed well enough in advance to be able to utilize ships rather than airplanes for transportation purposes. Transportation by ship is far less harmful to our environment than air transportation. This creates lower carbon dioxide emissions and is cheaper in the long run than air freight. By shipping goods by boat we can lower cost and help elevate the impact on our environment which is a win win proposition. In the year 2014 we increased our shipments by boat 6% overall. In 2015, we are planning to increase this percentage to 15% by reducing air shipments further and at the same time reducing overall costs.
For the last two years 100% of all discarded boxes from overseas imports have been recycled. We are also looking into the possibility of using recycled paper for new boxes in 2015. In addition, by the end of 2015 we plan to initiate an additional recycling program that will greatly reduce waste from our entire domestic organization from moving into landfills.
While as a company Royce Apparel, Inc. has contributed to many different organizations, at the end of 2014 our Board of Directors approved that 5% of all profits be allocated yearly to charitable foundations. We plan for this money to be allocated to foundations that work with women, children and the environment. We are currently looking into different organizations to find suitable partners to work with.
Organic cotton and domestic production
Royce Apparel, Inc. currently does not use organic cotton or domestically produced garments. However, in the year 2015 we are looking at possible ways to incorporate these possible initiatives into our production process for 2016. We feel the reduction of pesticides and fertilizers organic cotton provides will be better suited to help the environment. In addition, local sourcing will help to limit our footprint on the environment.
What does this mean in Practice?
Royce Apparel provides a valuable product that consumers want to buy. We acknowledge that producing apparel overseas, importing those goods and decorating them domestically does have an effect on both the environment and the communities these goods are produced
in. It is our responsibility to make sure the impact is reduced as much as possible. We are continually looking at behaviors and production methods we can adopt and invest in to reduce our negative impact as much as possible.
Companies take responsibility for their supply chain and labor conditions in many ways. There are many different approaches to ethical sourcing, and while some approaches are undoubtedly more effective than others, there is no one right way.
As a company Royce Apparel has adopted a Work Place Code of Conduct and has set a minimum standard we expect suppliers to comply with. We do monitor these facilities with audits and feel we have put our best effort forward to prevent unethical practices by businesses we contract with. In addition, we are working closely with the FLA in order to ensure our supply chain does comply with international standards.
Lastly, as a company we are doing our part to try and reduce the damage we are doing to the environment through waste reduction, less environmentally damaging methods of transportation, and giving financially to social causes we are aligned with. While we recognize we still have a long way to go towards being socially and environmentally responsible, each year our goal is to become better at it.