From the beginning, our mission has been to create high quality garments in the most responsible and ethical way. We therefore integrate sustainability into everything we do, making deliberate decisions about who we work with, how we work & what materials we use. Being engaged at every step of our supply chain, building long-term relationships with our partner factories and suppliers, as well as having an innovative company culture, constantly pushes us forward to make a real difference.
It's a long journey from the cotton field to the final product, and at every step of the complex supply chain we aim to ensure the highest level of responsibility. Our organic cotton, sourced from India, goes through a number of stages as it moves from the cotton farm to a finished decorated garment to be sold in Europe.
At Stanley/Stella we work closely with our suppliers to source only the best raw materials, grown or produced in ways that do not harm people, animals or the environment. We exclusively use 100% GOTS certified organic cotton from India, recycled polyester from China and other sustainable materials such as Modal®.Organic cotton, as opposed to conventional cotton, is grown without the use of chemical insecticides, fertilizers or pesticides. This means that no hazardous or toxic substances are incorporated into the soil or adjoining rivers or lakes, which ensures a safe environment for farmers and their families.
Our supply chain is certified by various independent bodies and standards. Each of these certifications demonstrate that we are working towards building healthy environmental practices and greater respect for the planet, every step of the way. Certified by GOTS, GRS, Oeko-Tex, OCS and PETA, we also encourage our Dealers to implement GOTS Certified printing techniques which use non-harmful inks and sustainable production methods. So that we can affirm that our finalized, decorated garments are 100% fully sustainable.
To ensure the safety of all our workers, we work very closely with the Fair Wear Foundation(FWF) and support our partners with their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) approach. After an extensive social audit, we have been attributed ‘Leader’ status by FWF, certifying that we’re showing best practices in complex areas such as freedom of association. We also have a number of mechanisms in place to ensure decent working conditions, such as an internal Code of Conduct, monthly reports and daily visits to our partner factories.
For us, transparency is key, which is why we publish the names and contact details of all our suppliers. At present, we work with only five partner factories in Bangladesh and one in China, helping us build supportive, long-term and collaborative relationships with all of them.To improve worker livelihoods, Stanley/Stella is currently supporting factories to open grocery shops inside their walls. Further details on what our partner factories have been doing in the last 12 months to improve worker conditions and training can be found in our report. Notable achievements include workplace education programs, the creation of scholarship programs for children of workers and trainings on maternal health.
We collect data from across our supply chain to gain a better understanding of our environmental impact and help us work towards minimizing it. With regards to waste water, all our partner factories are equipped with state-of-the art Effluent Treatment Plants which remove toxic elements from the water and ensure it’s safe to be reused. Furthermore, the partners we work with for transport and warehousing are leaders in their field, with our warehouse in Antwerp, managed by KTN, being almost fully sustainable.
Taking things further, we have developed a recycling fabric waste project. By collecting manufacturing offcuts from our partner factories, we can create recycled yarn to be used for the production of our accessories range.
We know there is no magic formula for achieving sustainability, but we sure enjoy coming up with new, innovative ways of working to have a positive impact on people and the Planet. From subsidizing fair-priced grocery shops in our partner factories, to recycling fabric waste and co-funding electric bikes for our HQ staff, we’re constantly developing new ideas to make a difference.
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Because transparency and cooperation are integral to our sustainability work, we give all our staff members the opportunity to travel to Bangladesh at least once, to see the production process for themselves. Small groups of about 5 people get to spend 3 days in and around Dhaka, visiting a cotton research centre, a spinning mill and one of our partner factories, as well as connecting with colleagues from the Bangladesh Liaison Office. Everyone returns changed and with a greater appreciation of how Stanley/Stella garments are made. Our Sustainability team also regularly travels to India to develop its work on cotton traceability. Below are some photos of our most recent trips to Dhaka and Telangana state, India in 2019 and 2020.
Every year we publish information on our sustainability work, including details about the materials we work with, our certifications, our environmental footprint and new company initiatives.Stanley/Stella - Sustainability Report 2020
We have been a proud FWF member since 2012 and publish a report every year, detailing the work we do on social and environmental issues and the outcomes of monitoring and remediation measures in each of our partner factories.