River Island Ethical Policy

Ethical Policy

Compliance with the River Island Ethical Policy is considered a key requirement of everyone working with our brand, and is included in the end-to-end assessment of both supplier, and buying team performance.

Ethical Standards

We have adopted the ETI Base Code as the minimum standards that should apply to workers in our supply chain as set out below. If local law sets higher standards than the base code then these legislative requirements should be met:

View the full base code here.

  • Employment is freely chosen (not forced or enslaved)
  • Freedom of association (freedom of speech; the right of workers to negotiate with employers)
  • Working conditions are safe and hygienic
  • Child labour shall not be used
  • Living wages are paid
  • Working hours are not excessive
  • No discrimination is practised
  • Regular employment is provided
  • No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed

River Island Responsibility

  • Be aware how sourcing, design, buying and trading decisions and actions can influence the supplier’s ability to comply with the ETI Base Code
  • Seek the views of our suppliers and encourage feedback
  • Undertake activities (such as visits, audits and reviews) to be aware of the working conditions and labour practices in our supply chain
  • Proactively work with our suppliers to make any improvements required to meet our Ethical Standards

Supplier Responsibility

  • Actively manage and monitor working conditions in every factory that they use to manufacture River Island products, so as to achieve our ethical standards
  • Ensure that all sub-contractors or other third parties engaged in the supply of River Island products are aware of, and conform to our ethical standards
  • Alert us to any issues where they are unable to achieve our ethical standards
  • Proactively work with us to make any improvements required to meet our ethical standards
  • Use only pre-approved sites for River Island production
  • Manufacture products only at the approved site specified on the purchase order
  • Share ethical information with us openly and honestly, disclosing all details concerning production including: raw materials, place and method of manufacture, use of all sub-contractors or other third parties involved in the process
  • Permit River Island employees, or our appointed agents, access to all production facilities for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the River Island Ethical Policy (by appointment or on an unannounced basis)

Shared Values and Responsibility

To follow purchasing practices which are consistent with the delivery of our ethical standards:

  • Understand production lead-times
  • Negotiate a fair price for the goods that we buy
  • Negotiate any changes to orders giving reasonable notice
  • Pay on time, and according to agreed terms
  • Communicate in a clear, accurate and timely way
  • Work together to improve the efficiency in the supply chain relationship

Ethical Challenges, Collaboration and Benefits

River Island recognises that many ethical and trading issues cannot be solved overnight. However, we strongly believe that gradual, sustainable and significant change is an achievable goal. We can influence greater change with a wider collaboration of efforts (across manufacturing partners, other stakeholders, and brands), than through individual initiatives.

Bangladesh Accord:

River Island have been active members of the Bangladesh Accord since 2013. The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (the Accord) was signed on 15 May 2013 and was a five-year independent, legally binding agreement between global brands, retailers and trade unions designed to build a safe and healthy Bangladeshi Ready Made Garment (RMG) Industry.

The Bangladesh 2018 Transition Key Accord:

The 2018 Transition Key Accord was signed on July 1, 2018 in order to fulfil the same purposes as the 2013 Accord as well as maintaining the progress previously made. It is also a legally binding agreement between brands and trade unions; some of the key features include brand commitment to ensure safety remediation is completed and financially feasible, independent safety inspections and remediation program. There will also be disclosure of inspection reports and corrective action plans. Other key features of the accord include: a Safety Committee and Training Program, Safety and Health Complaints Mechanism, protection of right to refuse unsafe work, along with the transition of the Accord functions to a larger national safety monitoring body.

One of the key features of the 2018 Accord is that it is has pledged to hand over its functions to the Bangladesh Remediation and Coordination Cell (RCC) which will be regulated and run by the national government. The 2018 Accord serves the purpose of supporting this organization until it has been developed enough to fully take over the Accord functions.