Ethical Trade is our commitment to everyone in our supply chain to make responsible business decisions. Rohan's commitment to ethical trade is a core business value and we actively promote best labour practice as a way to inspire sustainable partnerships.
Rohan is part of an international supply chain, and in utilising the skillset of global technicians, Rohan takes its due diligence obligations seriously. We prefer to develop long-term relationships with all our suppliers based on mutual trust and a close working relationship to produce garments, which meet our standards. We have a small supply base of 25 trusted, long-term supplier partners based in Portugal, Northern Ireland, China and Vietnam. No matter where our suppliers are based, the same process is followed and the same standards and expectations are set.
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) brings corporations, trade unions and voluntary sector members together in a unique alliance that enables us to collectively discuss and tackle a diverse range of difficult issues. As a committed ETI member since 2005, Rohan shares their vision of a world where global employees enjoy working conditions that offer freedom, security and equality.
We have adopted the ETI Base Code and use this to frame discussions with our suppliers, alongside our knowledge and understanding of local laws and customs. The ETI code outlines the nine essential principles for the promotion of international labour rights, and forms the basis of our performance development work, both for suppliers and Rohan. These principles are:
The principles laid out are minimum, not maximum standards. Where national law and our Code of Conduct address the same subject, the provision that offers the greater protection is applied.
An ETI membership is an active membership and as such, we are, in turn, accountable to ETI. We submit an annual report of our activities, attend various conferences alongside the array of ETI members, and work alongside them to understand how we can invest in the global employees that make up our supply chain. An ETI membership aids Rohan in a continual broadening of its ethical trade agenda.
Supplier relationships are important to a business, and we work hard to maintain a good level of visitation, assessment and longevity in our relations with all our suppliers. We focus on building long-term stable partnerships, providing support and a positive feedback cycle – we actively seek to reward good progress with growing our businesses together. This process is governed by our own Supplier CSR Policy Manual. Our suppliers are custodians of Rohan’s values; it is therefore vital that suppliers know and understand our standards and why they are so important to us. As part of the Rohan supply base, and as a business-owner, suppliers should feel the same pride in being able to offer customers a product with quality and care behind it.
We get to know our suppliers through a comprehensive assessment process designed to instigate conversation, from Rohan-specific reports to visiting our suppliers in person. We also commission independent social audits of factories, carried out by a non-profit organisation dedicated to employee welfare. They employ local auditors with an in-depth knowledge of local laws and working culture, who are able to engage directly with employees. We work with them because their social assessment of a factory places weight on the “worker voice”.
Assessing working conditions is a complex and challenging task but we work hard to ensure we understand factory needs and how Rohan can play a part in being supportive to that. After all, it is only by a thorough understanding of whom we are working with, can we tailor our ethical programme to the requirements of an individual supplier.
Suppliers are chosen for their quality of production, technical ability and future potential. Rohan is committed to working alongside factories in order to promote best practice, continuous development and improvement. Good quality communication is required to establish a trading relationship with Rohan and this is followed by continuous updates and site visits. Equally, our suppliers are invited to visit us during their overseas travels: our door is always open to those wishing to share news of their growth, ethical work and discuss any challenges they may be facing.
Relationships with our suppliers continue to develop alongside our ethical programme. Communication, collaboration and long-standing relationships are the foundations of a responsible business, and it is through these core principles we can all continue to move forward together.