Why is it important for NEXT to trade ethically?
NEXT sources the products it sells from many countries around the world. We recognise the responsibility we have to the workers in our supply chain, and are committed to seeking to ensure our products are made in a clean and safe environment, in accordance with all relevant local and national laws and legislation, and by workers who are treated with respect and paid fairly for the work they do.
The challenge of trading ethically and acting responsibly towards the workers within our suppliers’ factories is important to NEXT. It is one many stakeholders, including our customers, investors and campaign organisations continue to engage with NEXT about as they expect us to manage our suppliers responsibly. The NEXT Code of Practice (COP) for suppliers is our set of ethical trading standards and forms an integral part of our business. It was developed and drawn up in 1998, and has been adopted and implemented, acting to support our efforts for NEXT to fulfil its responsibility to uphold international labour standards with its suppliers.
Our ethical trade programme priorities are to:
- Communicate our ethical standards to our suppliers
- Develop and promote good work places through our factory monitoring programme
- Support our suppliers through a programme based on continuous improvement
- Build capacity within our international supply chain
- Work in collaboration with others to pursue solutions for some of the more complex and systemic problems we cannot solve alone
Our approach is to use our influence to promote good practice and raise awareness, both with our suppliers and their employees as well as others along our value chain. We firmly believe that working together in partnership is the most sustainable way we can make a positive difference.
The ethical standards within our COP apply to all suppliers of NEXT product, in every country from which we source production. Our Code has ten key principles which set out the minimum standards and requirements for our suppliers in relation to workers’ rights and working conditions, including working hours, minimum age of employment, health, safety, welfare and environmental impacts. Click here to find out more about our COP standard and principles.
Our Challenges and Targets
- For NEXT, ethical trade means addressing key business-related social and ethical impacts. Continuous improvement lies at the heart of our business, and we are constantly looking at ways to ensure we run our business in a responsible way by acting in an ethical manner and developing positive relationships with our suppliers, to raise standards of working conditions in the factories where our products are made.
- The learning from Project Autopilot has provided a foundation for the expansion of our factory development programme for suppliers, called ETHOS (ETHical Operating System). Operational efficiency through improving productivity and environmental management systems complete the sustainability framework necessary to maintain our supply base and meet our ethical aspirations.
The full section Our Suppliers is available here.