Why is it important for Next to trade ethically?
NEXT sources its products from many countries around the world. Safety within the workplace is of paramount importance and we recognise the responsibility we have to the workers in our supply chain. We specify the requirements before production can commence, that will provide workers with a safe and healthy environment, in accordance with all relevant local and national laws and legislation. We are committed to ensure NEXT product is made by workers who are treated honestly and fairly for the work they do and with respect for their human rights and wellbeing.
The challenge of trading ethically and acting responsibly towards the workers within our suppliers’ factories is important to NEXT. We are committed to working with our suppliers to help them understand and develop their businesses to be compliant with our requirements. The NEXT Code of Practice (COP) for suppliers is our programme of ethical trading standards and forms an integral part of our business. It was developed and implemented in 1998 so that NEXT could fulfil its responsibility to uphold international labour standards with its suppliers.
The terrible tragedies in the Bangladesh textile sector have led to a significant change of approach with global fashion brands joining forces through the Accord on Fire and Building Safety and making commitments to promote the correct conditions for all workers employed in the manufacture of their products. NEXT is part of this commitment and recognises the importance of collaborating closely with suppliers, governments, brands and retailers, unions and NGOs to help achieve lasting change.
Our ethical trade programme priorities are to:
- Develop and improve workers’ conditions, including safety and human rights, within our supply chain
- Communicate and support the achievement of compliance to our ethical standards with suppliers
- Support our suppliers through partnership to achieve continuous improvement
- Implement sustainable programmes and initiatives with suppliers to improve their capacity and ability to deliver ethical values
- Work in collaboration with others, to pursue solutions for some of the more complex and systemic problems within the global supply chain that 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 full section Our Suppliers is available here.