Babyface Annual ESG Report 2021

Babyface Annual ESG Report 2021

Babyface Annual ESG Report 2021

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Babyface Annual ESG Report 2021


We are proud to present Babyface’s third ESG (environmental, social and

governance) annual report, which gives an account of the efforts we have made

to make Babyface gradually more sustainable in the tumultuous year 2021.

With our Babyface brand, we want to encourage children to go on adventures,

to discover themselves and the world! Babyface’s ESG policy focuses on the

development of children and is committed to a sustainable planet.

In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated once again the extent of

interdependence within the global supply chain and also the vulnerability of

the chain itself. Lockdowns in our manufacturing countries and in Europe had

a direct impact on our partners and on us as a brand. It made us see the

consequences of our actions deeper in the chain and we have taken

responsibility for them.

Despite these changes, we have managed to continue to grow Babyface together

and to safeguard our relationships with suppliers. This year too, I would like to

thank all employees and our partners for their cooperation and their

commitment to ESG. But above all for their flexibility, because the world around

us changes very quickly. Today more than ever.

The ESG agenda still has some challenging items, but we are proud of our

achievements over the past year and the positive impact we have been able to

make as a brand. For example, we have made great strides in the traceability of

our supply chain, provided training with our partners for suppliers in India and

started a great partnership in the field of circularity.

Enjoy reading this report!

Leonie van Wijk

International Sales and Brandmanager Baby & Kids

EK Fashion

2 3


Summer 2021


items produced

Winter 2021


items produced


transport by air



by sea


turnover growth in 2021

compared to 2020


revenue growth in 2021

compared to 2019


Better Cotton


of all tier 1/2/3 suppliers

are known to Babyface

32 QR-Codes online


training courses for senior

and middle management


training courses

for factory workers


training sessions for

worker committees



Babyface employees




Certified for the Global

Recycling Standard

4 5





We first embarked on this journey to make Babyface a more sustainable

brand in 2017. We accept our responsibility and work hard to realise

sustainable growth. The first step we took was signing the Dutch

Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile. This initiative

stimulated us to gain more insight into the supply chain and analyse

and tackle potential risks.

2018 saw the creation of finding internal support and consensus, appointing

staff, and making a budget available to properly carry out our

sustainability targets and tasks. We had intensive conversations with

experts in this field to gain more advice and knowledge. And lastly, we

established a company-side CSR policy. Now, everyone who works at

EK Fashion knows our strategic pillars and which goals we want to

realise. Not just for Babyface but also for all the other brands and

departments. Such a policy gives guidance and structure.




In 2019, we started conversations with our suppliers and established

new codes of conduct. We critically reviewed our own work methods and

sought ways to improve them (including our procurement activities).

We have identified and prioritised the potential risks in our supply chain.

This risk analysis has resulted in five key pillars that now form the core

of our list of priorities.

In 2020, we started to take specific steps and set up several projects to

achieve the goals concerning the five pillars. The projects we focus on

are transparency, living wage, and training programmes to improve the

labour conditions in the factories, which we set up together with human

rights organisation Arisa and the local social organisation SAVE in India.

In 2021, we made further progress in line with the activities in 2020 and

professionalised our work on sustainability. The various projects have

become further integrated into the daily work of the Babyface team,

making ESG increasingly a standard rather than an additional task.

This year we have also been able to buy organic cotton on a small scale

again and have sourced a large proportion of cotton from Better Cotton.

In addition, we have been certified by the Global Recycled Standard to

meet our ambitions for more sustainable materials and circularity.



6 7


Table of contents


2021 At a glance4

Table of contents 8

1 Brand Story 10

Vision 15

Mission 15

Brand Values 15

Sustainable values of Babyface 16

Euretco now EK 16

2 Babyface’s playing field 18

Stakeholders 20

Sustainable Development Goals 22

Interview with Alexandra Clot from tex.tracer 24

3 Deep dive: goals, achievement, next steps 26

No Child Labour 28

Living wage for factory workers 33

Greater sustainability of materials 38

Circularity 41

Reduction of CO 2

, water, energy and chemicals 43


Responsible Business Conduct EK Fashion46


8 9


Brand Story

10 11

1 Brand Story

Children and their development are our focal points. And this doesn’t just apply to the children wearing our

clothes but also to the children of the people who produce our clothes. The future we see is a sustainable one.

We contribute to a sustainable future by manufacturing our clothing sustainably - by using eco-friendly

fabrics and materials and in factories where the employees are treated well and fairly. This is how we ensure

that factory workers can also realise a wonderful future for their own children. We want to help these children

to contribute positively to their own future. One way of doing this is by helping parents explain to their

children why it is so important to take good care of our planet and nature, and how to do this in a playful

manner together with your child.

Dream big

and explore

shoot for

the stars

12 13

1 Brand Story





VISION We want to make sure that children around the world can explore the

world in a playful and comfortable manner and, thus, create their own future.

Babyface - Merkwaarden

MISSION We help children embark on an adventure and become more

resilient through play while supporting the parents at the same time. As

children experience our clothes - by seeing the prints, playing games, and

reading our stories - they will experience how it feels to be a 21st-century

Babyface - Merkwaarden


zorgen voor elkaar

zorgen voor elkaar

Babyface - Merkwaarden

zorgen voor elkaar


een beetje ondeugend is leuk

een beetje ondeugend is leuk

Care for each other

You can only explore the world from a safe place. A place you can call home

and a safe harbour when you’re unsure about what to do next. We want to

contribute to this safe place with comfortable clothes that last a long time and

made of wonderful materials. This is how we make sure that, whenever you’re

ready, you can learn to crawl, clamber around in playgrounds, and learn how to

ride a bicycle. We also want to create a safe place for the people who make your

clothes. Together with our suppliers, we guarantee that your clothes are

manufactured responsibly and in a safe environment.

een beetje ondeugend is leuk

droom groots, speel en ontdek

Never mind a bit of mischief

What about some small surprises that are sure to make you smile from ear to

ear? The grin on your face when you do something that you’re not supposed to

do, but you do it anyway? Isn’t that what makes life fun? This is also reflected

in, on, and around our clothes. In the drawings, the packaging, and in the

stories we tell. We want you to get a positive view of the world because that’s

exactly what we have!

droom groots, speel en ontdek

droom groots, speel en ontdek

Dream big, play and discover

We firmly believe that by trying out new things and going on an adventure, you

will find out what you enjoy doing and what kind of person you are. If you dare

to dream, you can create your own world. Dream big, play and discover. We will

help you do that! We also dream of a wonderful future for you. So when we are

making your clothes, we also take good care of nature and our planet.

14 15

1 Brand Story




As a baby and children’s brand, Babyface

A sustainable future requires changes that are

The EK Group supports around 4,200 retailers in

and EK Books. EK Netherlands works together

wants to contribute to the development and

supported and joined by everyone involved. And

various European countries with a wide range

with about 1,500 independent entrepreneurs

skills of children. Children are our future.

this includes you, the consumer, as you play a

of back-office services. The EK Group provides

and franchisees. In total, they run almost 2,200

That’s why we don’t just want to take good

vital role in the transition towards a more social

services to local retail entrepreneurs and is a

shops in the branches of living, fashion, sports,

care of them ourselves, but also want to help

and greener economy. As our future consumers,

purchasing organisation, marketing organisa-

DIY and books.

them discover the world, stand on their own

we also want to get children involved in this

tion and competence network in one.

two feet and discover who they are.

process and topic, in a playful and adventurous

Core activities are retail services, franchising,

Sadly, there is much inequality in the world

manner, so they can learn how to treat and care

The EK Group’s business model is featured by

wholesale and financial services to independent

and there are many children who don’t have

for others and nature. After all, we are talking

its focus on six strategic business segments:

entrepreneurs. Around 300 people at EK Ned-

equal chances to a great future. Both here and

about their future.

EK Home, EK Fashion, EK Living, EK DIY,

erland work with great passion to relieve EK’s

in the countries where our products are made.

EK Sport and EK Books.

retail partners of work where they can, both in

The highest priority in our ESG policy is no

their shops and online.

child labour and a living wage (for the parents).

Approximately 650 employees put in great efforts


to support retail partners and brand suppliers

the best they can. As a service provider for

The shop formulas and floor concepts include

INTERSPORT, Runnersworld, The Athlete’s Foot,

Our aim is to contribute to a sustainable planet

for future generations. This means dealing


independent small and medium-sized retailers,

specialist markets and department stores, one

Hubo, Decorette, Topform and Libris/Blz. In

addition, EK Netherlands, through its fashion

responsibly with raw materials, energy and

Babyface is part of the retail service organisa-

of EK’s most important tasks is to lead local

division including Babyface, Born with Appetite,

water. More sustainable materials are relevant

tion Euretco, which has been owned by

independent retailers into the digital future.

Marco Manzini and Inshape, offers top interna-

in this respect, as is the reuse of materials and

other resources such as water and energy.

EK Servicegroup since 2015. In order to further

strengthen the international brand identity,


tional brands in the women’s, men’s, baby and

children’s clothing segments.

Step by step, we are working towards circular

the companies will continue under a common

On the Dutch market, EK operates with the

initiatives and business models.

name from April 2022: EK.

divisions EK Fashion, EK Living, EK DIY, EK Sport

16 17


Babyface’s playing field

18 19

2 Het speelveld van Babyface

2 Babyface’s playing field

Babyface is in close contact with the world around us. We are committed to a sustainable planet for future

generations. We cannot do this alone. Our stakeholders are vital in order to continue to develop on an

environmental, social and governance level. Every cooperation is characterised by trust, respect and open

conversations. For example, we have been working with all suppliers and agents for at least ten years.


NGOs & Institutions






The majority of the Babyface collection is We work with two agents in total through the

produced by suppliers in India and China. The agency Goldvex in China and through the

last stage of the production of the tights takes agency Top Notch in India. We are in close

place in Germany. We work closely with our contact with our agents and greatly appreciate

suppliers and our cooperation is constantly the way they work with us to promote

intensified by various social projects that we sustainability among suppliers.

embrace together.



With tex.tracer we are actively working on

making our supply chain traceable and

transparent. Through a blockchain-driven

platform and the data provided by suppliers,

the Babyface team gains an increasingly better

understanding of entire chain. This enables us

to make well-considered decisions to become

more sustainable.


Amfori is a global business association for

the promotion of open and sustainable trade.

Amfori enables 2,400 companies to operate

as successful and sustainable businesses by

helping them to monitor and improve the social

and environmental performance of their supply

chains. Through Amfori, Babyface conducts

social audits at suppliers where we produce

our clothing with the aim of improving

working conditions.

Arisa is an independent non-governmental

human rights organisation that has been

committed to defending human rights in

South Asia since 1976. Arisa does this through

advocacy and policy influencing with politicians

and companies, research, critical conversations

and raising social awareness of human rights

violations. Together with other clothing brands,

Arisa and SAVE, Babyface is committed to

improving the working conditions of suppliers

in India and to paying them a living wage.

Social Awareness and Voluntary Education

(SAVE) is a non-profit organisation established

in 1933. SAVE runs various development

programmes to eliminate child labour, support

women and youth and promote fair working

conditions. SAVE is the local presence in the

cooperation with Arisa and Babyface to improve

working conditions at suppliers in India and to

pay a living wage.

Modint is the entrepreneurs’ organisation

for manufacturers, importers, agents and

wholesalers in (company) clothing, fashion

accessories, carpets and (interior) textiles.

Together with over 400 members, Modint is

building a valuable future for our sector by

positively contributing to the policy of relevant

and social issues and by innovating and

expanding the market. Babyface is a member

of Modint and receives support on topics such

as chemicals, impact measurement and more

sustainable material choices.

The Covenant on Sustainable Clothing and

Textiles (CKT) ran from 2015 to 31 December

2021. A broad coalition of companies and other

organisations, including Babyface from 2018

onwards, have joined forces to prevent abuses

such as exploitation, animal suffering and

environmental damage.


Without retailers, who sell our products and tell

our story to consumers, we are going nowhere.

We are pleased with our international reach

in Europe and America, which allows as many

parents and children as possible to enjoy our

products. On the map you can see where you

can find Babyface, including our top countries

Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium.

20 21

2 Het speelveld van Babyface



United States




















Goal 12 is about sustainable consumption

and production. Babyface contributes to this

by producing high quality clothing that

consumers can enjoy wearing for a long time. We also

work with more sustainable materials such as organic

cotton and Better Cotton. These materials have less

negative impact on the environment than conventional

cotton. Read more about this o pages 38 and 41.

Goal 13 is about tackling climate change.

Babyface contributes to this by working

towards processes that emit less CO 2

and use

less water, energy and chemicals. An example of this is

our Restricted Substances List, a list of chemicals that

we do not want to be found in our clothing. We also

work with more sustainable materials that have a

smaller footprint than conventional materials. Read

more about our next steps on pages 38 and 43.

Goal 17 includes strengthening global

partnerships to achieve goals. Babyface

contributes to this through its partnerships

with stakeholders such as Arisa and SAVE with whom

we implement projects in India on issues such as forced

labour, discrimination & gender, child labour, freedom

of association, living wages and occupational health

and safety. Read more on page 33.

Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are

17 targets to make the world a better place by 2030.

They are a global compass for challenges such as

poverty, education for all and the climate crisis. The

goals were established by the United Nations in 2015

as a follow-up to the Millennium Development Goals.

Babyface wants to contribute to the achievement of

SDGs with a focus on SDG 1, 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13 and 17.

Goal 1 is about eliminating all forms of

(extreme) poverty. Babyface contributes to

this by making efforts to achieve a living

wage and a safe workplace in parts of the world where

extreme poverty has a strong impact on lives. Read

more about this on page 33.

Goal 3 is about good health and well-being

for all. Babyface specifically contributes to

target 3.9 by encouraging suppliers to reduce

the use of harmful chemicals and to purify used water.

Read more about this on page 43.

Goal 6 includes clean water and sanitation

for all. Babyface contributes to this by

encouraging suppliers to reduce the use of

harmful chemicals and purify used water. Read more

about this on page 43.

Goal 8 includes inclusive economic growth,

employment and decent work for all.

Babyface contributes to this by creating jobs

for the people who make our clothes. Our ambition is to

achieve the payment of of a living wage, to ensure a safe

workplace and provide equal opportunities. Read more

on page 33.

Goal 10 includes reducing inequality within

and between countries. Babyface contributes

to this goal by not allowing discrimination on

the basis of religion, belief, political opinion, race,

gender or any other ground among the business

partners with whom we work. Read more about

this on page 33.

22 23

2 Het speelveld van Babyface


Alexandra Clot

What does sustainability mean to you?

Can you describe the collaboration between

Evidently, it’s a very broad concept. For me personally,

tex.tracer and Babyface?

it’s effectively about making better choices, in view of

Babyface has joined us as a launching customer, so

the future, but also of the present. In order to make

really since the start of tex.tracer. With our platform

better choices in fashion, I have made some rules for

we support Babyface in making the whole supply chain

myself: I buy little, I only buy things that I “really”

transparent. First of all, Babyface gains a better

need. Then you can always ask yourself: do you really

understanding, which it can act upon. Of course, the

need that T-shirt? And if I do buy something, it’s

platform also supports you with the compliance

usually second-hand. If I buy something new, it has to

modules, and therefore reduces your workload.

be of high quality and have a timeless design. That

way, in ten years time, so to speak, I can still enjoy it as

What is the strength of our partnership?

much as I do now. And then I also do some research

beforehand to see if there are certain standards for

materials and working conditions at the brand.

Once you have done the research which

yields several good brands, which element

of sustainability is decisive for you?

Design and quality, because I think you get more use

out of a product if it’s really well made from really

good materials. And the longer a garment can last, the

less likely you will need something new. So I think

durability is very important.

A very good example of the strength is that we have

effectively taken leaps with Babyface, and I think that

is because we have the same goal and the same

motivation. We’re all on the same page and we really

want the industry to improve. tex.tracer can be used as

a tool to achieve this. So I think that at Babyface, this is

your genuine belief, and that is why there is progress

and why things are being achieved. We also

communicate very openly and honestly with each

other. If something is not good enough with tex.tracer,

then you will let us know fair and square. Your

feedback is extremely valuable to us.

What opportunities and obstacles do you

see in making Babyface’s value chain more


There are several obstacles in getting all the suppliers

in the value chain on board. For example, the language

barrier, but also the fear that suppliers have of making

mistakes and losing customers as a result. These kinds

of obstacles also exist in other aspects of sustainability,

such as obtaining a GOTS certificate for the entire


In terms of opportunities, you really need to look at

the combined strength of all the retailers. If they all

demand more transparency as well, this gives you even

more power in the supply chain and a lot of potential

for new collaborations.

In order to bring about such collaborations, the entire

industry’s mindset really needs to change, because at

the moment, everyone is fighting for their own cause.

I think that a competitor is not your enemy, but can be

a good ally when you know where he makes the

purchases or where he produces.

24 25


Deep Dive

26 27

3 Deep Dive

3 Deep dive: goals,

achievement, next steps

Based on a risk analysis of the supply chain and Babyface’s brand values, we formulated

a multi-year plan with specific targets on five pillars in 2019. At the beginning of 2022, we

further specified these objectives. In this chapter, we explain the objectives for each pillar,

our achievements of last year and what steps we want to take in the coming year to

achieve more of the set objectives.

1. No child labour

Unfortunately, there are no international standards

yet to make transparency and traceability measurable

and to be able to report it. That is why Babyface,

together with tex.tracer, has drawn up standards that

we use to report on traceability and transparency.

These standards consist of three levels of traceability

and transparency (abbreviated to T.T levels) and a

clear division of production processes into tiers.

Defining production processes in tiers is still complex

due to the various types of supply chains.

Nevertheless, the tiers that have been established

help to set clear goals.

Babyface never accepts child labour. We work together

with stakeholders tex.tracer, Arisa, SAVE to detect, stop

and prevent child labour.

For the detection of child labour, knowledge of the

production chain is essential. After all, we will only

know whether child labour occurs if we know where our

products are made. To develop an understanding of the

chain, we have been working with tex.tracer since April

2020. Tex.tracer helps us to encourage suppliers to

share their suppliers with us.

With tex.tracer we are actively putting in efforts to

make our supply chain traceable and transparent.

Through a blockchain-powered platform and the

data provided by suppliers, the Babyface team is

gaining more and more insight into the entire chain,

allowing us to make informed decisions to become

more sustainable.


• Tier 0: Logistics (transport/importers/storage),


• Tier 1: Assembly facilities: cutting, sewing,

assembling and packing for shipment

• Tier 2: Processing facilities: fabric production:

printing, dyeing, washing, embroidery

• Tier 3: Processing facilities: yarn spinning, knitting

and weaving

• Tier 4: Raw material suppliers: cotton cultivation,

farms, cattle breeding

T.T Levels:

• T.T Level 1: the partner in the supply chain is

known to Babyface, but has not yet registered with


• T.T Level 2: The supply chain partner has created a

tex.tracer account. This account includes

information such as the partner’s name, contact

information, address, trade register number and

product groups.

• T.T Level 3: the supply chain partner has uploaded

and verified the order information

28 29

3 Deep Dive


The above specification shows that Babyface has

achieved most of its targets for 2021. Achieving these

goals is particularly successful thanks to the

cooperation of our agents in India and China. In

addition, personal contact with our suppliers is

essential. In those personal contacts we can explain

the added value of traceability.

It has not yet been possible to get all tier 1 suppliers

to create a tex.tracer account, because some suppliers

believe it is a lot of work or are afraid of losing their

good position in the market. Especially in uncertain

times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we noticed that

suppliers were even more reluctant to cooperate with



In 2020, Babyface started to provide a number of

products with QR codes linked to data from tex.tracer.

When the consumer scans the QR code, he sees the

entire journey that the article has made: from the cotton

field to the warehouse. In this way, we also offer the

consumer 100% transparency. This was continued in

2021 and at the time of reporting, 32 QR codes are online.

As soon as a supplier has registered with the platform

Compliance Initiative (BSCI) platform with respect to

(T.T. level 2), we ask them, among other things, to sign

our Responsible Business Conduct if they have not

this. Read more about this on page 34.

From cotton harvest

in Gujarat, India

already done so. The Responsible Business Conduct

Fair wages for the people who make our products is one

comprises agreements between Babyface and suppliers

on thirteen ESG themes, and child labour is one of them

(see attachment).

Suppliers agree to comply with our standards and we

of the most important means to stop or prevent child

labour. Babyface works together with Arisa and SAVE on

a project basis towards paying a living wage, so that

children of these workers do not have to work

(anymore). Read more about this on page 33.

A Tiny


continue to have conversations about this subject with

our suppliers. We ask suppliers to make our standards

Also by using GOTS-certified organic

Do you know the origin of your garment?

All of our products will get a QR code on

the hangtag. When you scan it you can

see his journey.

To warehousing in

a subject of discussion with their suppliers.

cotton, the chance that child labour

occurs in the chain is much lower.

In addition, Babyface monitors whether suppliers have

The GOTS certificate imposes strict

a valid audit on social issues such as child labour and

requirements on both material

whether there is an action plan for improvement.

use and working conditions. Read more about this

Babyface collaborates with the Amfori Business Social

on page 38.





Level 1: 100% ✓ Level 1: 100% ✓ Level 1: 100% ✓

Level 2: 100% ✗

Level 1: 100% ✓ Level 1: 100% ✓ Level 1: 100% ✓

Level 2: 100%

Insight into the social risks per supplier where we have reached level 1



Level 1: 100% ✓ Level 1: 100% ✓ Level 1: 100% ✓

Level 2: 100% Level 2: 10% Level 2: 10%

Level 1: 100% ✓ Level 1: 100% ✓ Level 1: 100% ✓

Level 2: 100% Level 2: 33% Level 2: 33%

30 31

3 Deep Dive


Germany 0,3%

1 tier 1 producent




a living wage

for a worker and their

family should provide.



vrachtwagen / boot / vliegtuig

Next steps

The next steps for Babyface in 2022 mainly include

encouraging the tier 1 suppliers who have not created

an account for tex.tracer to do so. These are still five

suppliers. In addition, in 2022 we want to analyse all the

suppliers we have in mind for possible social risks. We

will do this through social audits, about which you can

read more in the next objective.

We will also make efforts to increase the number of

QR codes on products to enable more consumers to

trace the origin of the product.

india 76,8%

5 tier 1 producenten

china 22,6%

7 tier 1



in 2021

100% of all tier 1/2/3

producers in the supply

chain are known to





2. Living wage for factory workers

Babyface aims to achieve that everyone who makes Factory Support Programme in Tamil Nadu,

Babyface products is paid a living wage. In some


countries, the minimum wage is not enough to provide In October 2020, Babyface started a three-year Factory

decent living standards. By receiving a living wage,

Support Programme with the above parties to improve

excessive overtime should decrease. It would also allow working conditions in its factories in the Tamil Nadu

the children of workers to go to school instead of having region of India. The aim of the project is to address

to work to contribute to the upkeep of their

various social issues including discrimination & gender,


child labour, forced labour, freedom of association,

living wage & safety and occupational health.

That is why Babyface, together with Fabienne Chapot,

HEMA, O’Neill, Prénatal, The Sting, WE Fashion, Modint, Babyface is expected to map out the entire supply chain

Arisa, SAVE and our four factories in India, is committed and improve its own (procurement) best practices.

to paying a living wage. We want to achieve this main Suppliers are supported by SAVE to establish properly

objective together by carrying out the following projects. functioning consultation committees between labourers

and management, which can handle complaints and

develop preventive measures to reduce or avoid

potential risks in the factories. Another goal is to

Living Wage

increase the workers’ knowledge on labour law so they

A living wage is the remuneration received for a

are better prepared to stand up for their rights. Finally,

standard workweek by a worker in a particular place

Arisa serves as a bridge between SAVE and the clothing

sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the

brands by making visits to India and giving updates on

worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent

the progress of the project.

standard of living include food, water, housing,

education, health care, transportation, clothing, and

other essential needs including provision for

unexpected events (Source: Global Living Wage).

32 QR-codes online

32 33

4 Inzicht in de keten


Factory Support Programme in Tamil Nadu


In mid-February 2021, we introduced the Factory

Support Programme at our Top Notch agency in India.

After some critical questions, an appointment was

immediately made to visit our four suppliers together

with SAVE to introduce the programme. All suppliers

responded positively and agreed to cooperate.

Contact with the last of the four suppliers has been a

little more difficult and no steps were taken towards

training for the factory workers and setting up worker

committees. Unfortunately, the visit of this last supplier

to SAVE did not result in further developments.

The implementation of the training courses has been

slower than initially anticipated, partly due to the

COVID-19 pandemic which hit India hard in 2021. Our

agent is keeping us updated on the current situation

Living wage pilot in Tamil Nadu, India

At the moment, the factory workers of the four

companies in India we work with are following the

training programmes set up by Arisa and SAVE. These

factories provide us with all kinds of information such

as the numbers of temporary contracts, employees

working on an indefinite contract, and whether there

is a substantial turnover in workers. This is useful

information to make the project a success. We therefore

intend to start the living wage pilot project with one of

the four factories in 2023.

Social Audits through Amfori BSCI

In addition to these projects, Babyface is constantly

aiming to achieve good working conditions by

conducting social audits in the factories where the

Babyface clothing is made. We do this through the

platform of Amfori BSCI. On the basis of the Amfori

BSCI Code of Conduct with eleven basic principles, our

factories are audited by strictly selected auditors.

geselecteerde auditors.


Sociale Audits

11 basic principles Amfori BSCI

1. The right to freedom of association and

collective bargaining

2. No discrimination

3. Fair remuneration

4. Decent working hours

5. Health and safety at work

6. No child labour

7. Special protection for young workers

8. No precarious employment

9. No bonded labour

10. Protection of the environment

11. Ethical business conduct

Factory Support Programme & Leefbaar Loon Pilot

2021 50% ✗ A living wage survey was conducted at four tier 1 suppliers. ✗

2022 80% 4 tier 1 suppliers have followed the Factory Support Programme

2023 100% 1 tier 2 supplier has followed the Factory Support Programme

1 Tier 1 supplier has started a living wage project

2025 100% 1 Tier 1 supplier pays a living wage to workers



Number of training sessions Number of training Number of training

for senior and middle

sessions for factory sessions for worker




Milestone 3 2 6

Geethalaya 2 1 8

Coral Knitwear 3 1 -

Greyfield 2 - -

Up to April 2022, training sessions for senior and middle

management have been held at the four selected

suppliers. The first trainings were well received. Arisa

and SAVE told us that such trainings were new for the

suppliers and therefore very valuable. The suppliers’

and its effect on the factories and their workers. From

our side, we tried not to burden the suppliers too much

with asking for information that is needed to make a

start with the trainings within the Factory Support

Programme and the research for the living wage project.

management learned about the necessity of good

planning and adapting planning and leadership to

individual workers on the shop floor. After all, not every

person can work equally hard. This has reduced the

stress of the workers in the factory.

Worker Committee

A worker committee is a group of elected workers’

representatives who are not members of any of the

registered trade unions in the sector and who deal

with workers’ rights and working conditions (see ILO

Training was also given to factory workers and

Convention 135 for a detailed definition).

established worker committees. The relevance of such

committees has been clearly explained and topics such

as transgressive behaviour, proper sanitation and

ensuring a good working temperature have been

discussed. In conclusion, the trained suppliers

mentioned that the training contains a lot of

information, which is why it is important that it

will be repeated.

Living wage pilot in Tamil Nadu India

In 2020, we started the pilot by talking to our agent

and the relevant factory about starting a living wage

pilot project. The factory is well organised and

medium-sized in terms of the number of employees,

which makes it manageable to start the pilot project

34 35

3 Deep Dive

and learn as much as possible from it. In 2020, in

collaboration with Modint, we calculated the

difference between the actual salary paid and the

living wage at the factory (see illustration). This

calculation was made on the basis of average prices for

fabric, finishing, margins, packaging and working

hours. The result of the calculation is that € 0.50 more

must be paid per article to the supplier in order to pay

the factory workers a living wage.


Living Wage WI:

Lower bound

typical family


Wage (SER):

For 2021, the intention was to conduct research with

four tier 1 suppliers to roll out a living wage. This

included how we would bridge the difference of €0.50

per article and ensuring that this extra money would

reach the factory workers. We would also contact the

other three suppliers in 2021 to discuss a living wage

as a first step in expanding the pilot.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to implement the

steps before 2021. As indicated for the project

mentioned above, the main reason for not achieving

the goals is the COVID-19 pandemic. Suppliers in India

had a very difficult time with the crisis and as a result,

many project activities were cancelled, which delayed

the roll-out of the living wage pilot. When project

activities did take place, priority was given to training

programmes to improve working conditions.

Lowest paid

Wage factory


In addition, contact with the selected supplier for the

living wage project in 2021 has been difficult. Whereas

the project met with much enthusiasm from the onset,

it diminished in the second half of 2021. A partial

explanation is again the impact of the COVID-19

pandemic, as a result of which priority was given

to maintaining the company rather than the living

wage project.

Sociale Audits

At present, two of the twelve Tier 1 suppliers have a

valid audit. This means that the 2021 target has not

been achieved. One of the reasons is that in early 2021,

the Amfori BSCI platform was renewed, which meant

that all connections to suppliers in the platform were

lost. These connections had to be re-established by

manually inviting suppliers to the platform.

Unfortunately, even after repeated invitations,

four suppliers did not accept them.

Another cause is that Chinese and Indian suppliers

were not always accessible to auditors last year

due to COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, audits

have been postponed and fewer suppliers have a

valid social audit.

Next steps

Our agent in India is making every effort to maintain

contact with the suppliers about the Factory Support

Programme and the living wage project. Babyface also

has regular meetings with SAVE, Arisa and Top Notch

to keep in touch with the developments of both

projects and to find out how Babyface can support all

parties in the best possible way. The balance between

stimulating and not asking too much is very

important. This way we intend to reach our goal to

have all four suppliers follow the training programme

in 2022.

In order to increase the number of valid social audits,

it is important that Babyface encourages suppliers to

accept Amfori BSCI’s invitations from Babyface. Hereto

we will have to convey the urgency to the suppliers

through our agents. With regard to the four suppliers

for whom Babyface can initiate audits, we also have to

keep a close eye on when audits expire and when

suppliers’ factories reopen to receive auditors.

36 37


in 2021

8 training courses

for senior and middle


4 training courses for

factory workers

14 training sessions for

worker committees

3 Deep Dive

3. Greater sustainability of materials

A vital element of environmental social governance

at Babyface is greater sustainability of materials.

The choice of materials largely determines the impact

on people and the environment.


Our collections consist of 84% cotton. The cultivation

and processing of cotton have a large negative impact

on people and the environment, especially deeper in the

chain where the cotton is picked by hand. There is a

high risk of possible child labour and we are not yet

fully aware of these locations. Therefore, our focus is on

finding alternatives with greater sustainability to

In order to determine which materials we consider to

have greater sustainability, we use the Modint Fibre

Matrix. We consider all materials in the columns of

‘preferred’, ‘better’ and ‘best’ to be more sustainable.


Cotton recycled cotton (GOTS) Organic cotton (GOTS) Better Cotton (BCI)


cellulosic fiber

Lyocell with recycled


Refibra TM

conventional cotton, such as Better Cotton or organic

Preferred visose

Lenzing Austria

Livaeco by Birla

Cellulose TM

Ecovero TM

cotton with the GOTS certificate. Babyface aims to

purchase at least Better Cotton as an alternative to

conventional cotton, because Better Cotton supports

more farmers in farming with greater sustainability

(see text box). This is our minimum requirement and

our preference is for organic cotton with the GOTS

certificate, because the GOTS certificate has stricter


Cotton made in Africa


Cotton in conversion


Tencel TM

Conventional cotton

Conventional viscose

Wool Recycled Wool (GRS) Recycled Wool (GRS) Responsible Wool (RWS) Virgin wool



© Copyright Modint 2021 - the MFM cannot be circulated, printed, copied or used in any other way without

reference to Modint and use of Modint lay-out and logo. Visit www.modint.nl for more information

Mechanically recycled

polyester (GRS)

Mechanically recycled


Recycled polyester van

PET bottles (GRS)


Chemically recycled

polyamide (GRS)


(Partially) Biobased


Sorona ®

(Partially) Biobased


Sorona ®

Linen Organic linen (GOTS) Linen

Hemp Organic hemp (GOTS) Hemp


Virgin polyester

Virgin polyamide

GOTS certified cotton

The GOTS quality label shows that an article contains

at least 70% organic cotton and that all tiers in the

supply chain that contributed to the production of the

article complies with their established social and

ecological conditions. This makes GOTS one of the

leading and most comprehensive quality labels.

Babyface was GOTS certified in 2020, meaning that

when the entire supply chain is GOTS certified,

we can use the GOTS logo on our articles. Not all links

in the chain may be GOTS certified, for example

because it requires an investment from the factory.

In that case we don’t use the logo on the article.

Still, we can proudly state that our articles are made

of organic cotton.


2021 50% ✗ more sustainable materials. ✗

2022 50% more sustainable materials.

2023 65% more sustainable materials.

2024 75% more sustainable materials.


In 2021, 33% of the materials of the Babyface

collections consisted of alternatives with greater

sustainability. With this, we did not reach our

set target and ended up slightly lower than the

35% organic cotton in 2020.

Organic cotton shortage

One of the reasons for this is that, at the beginning of

the year, we were informed by our supplier that for the

Babyface collection winter 2021 we could not buy any

organic cotton with the GOTS certificate nor any

organic cotton without a label.

The demand for organic fabrics has risen sharply

worldwide and it takes a cotton farmer on average

three years to convert to organic cultivation. This

means that it can take a long time before sufficient

Better Cotton

Better Cotton is a non-profit organisation that aims to

help cotton producing communities prosper and grow

while protecting and restoring the environment.

Through Better Cotton and its partners, farmers

receive training in water efficiency, care for health of

the soil and natural environment, reduction of the use

of the most harmful chemicals and application of the

principles of decent work. Farmers who apply this

system are licensed to sell Better Cotton. Better Cotton

is derived from a mass balance system and is not

physically traceable to finished products. See

bettercotton.org/massbalance for details.


Polyester 11,6%

Polyamide 0,04%

Elastaan 3,3%


cotton 15,7%

Viscose 0,59%

Better Cotton 17,5%

Acryl 0,25%


cotton 50,8%

38 39

4. Circularity

Babyface aims to explore circular business models that may include circular design,

rental and lending models and circular fabrics. The current fashion system follows the

linear model of buying, wearing and throwing away. Circularity, on the other hand,

focuses on a closed-loop where materials, even after being worn, go back into the

production process.

organic cotton is available again. An additional

problem is that in the autumn of 2020, Global Organic

Textile Standard (GOTS) discovered a large-scale fraud

involving fake organic cotton from India. Following an

investigation, GOTS identified 20,000 tonnes of cotton

that had been wrongfully certified as organic. With the

disappearance of the availability of organic cotton with

the GOTS quality mark, the challenges of ensuring

social conditions in the supply chain are growing.

The GOTS certificate not only verifies the quantity of

organic fibres but also the good working conditions

in all links of the production process.

switched all conventional cotton to Better Cotton for

all our jerseys and sweats that are produced in India,

because Better Cotton supports more farmers in

farming with greater sustainability. We are proud

of this!

We have also choices with greater sustainability in our

polyester consumption. Together with a manufacturer

that produces jackets for us, we were able to have part

of our polyester jackets made from recycled polyester

for the 2022 collections. You can read more about this

under the fourth and next pillar ‘Circularity’.


2022 10% of the jacket collection is made from (partly from) recycled polyester

2022 80% of the polybags are made from recycled plastic

2023 50% of the polyester used in the Babyface collection is made from recycled polyester

2023 100% of polybags are made from recycled plastic

2025 a circular business model is integrated alongside the current (linear) business


Better Cotton

We continue to invest in materials of greater

sustainability in the Babyface collection. Babyface is

not in the business of fighting for the last available

ball of cotton and at sky-high market prices, but is

investing in the transition to cotton farming with

greater sustainability. That’s why we joined Better

Cotton in 2021 and have set Better Cotton as our

minimum requirement for future collections.

Next steps

Due to the shortage of organic cotton, we had to

postpone our targets for 2021 until 2022. In 2021 we

were able to achieve substantial growth in materials

of greater sustainability for the 2022 collections.

For example, for our New Born Capsule ‘Tiny Story’ we

were able to buy organic cotton again. We have also


in 2021

18% Better Cotton

16% Organic cotton


By 2022 Babyface wants to use at least 10% recycled

polyester instead of conventional polyester. For this

reason Babyface has been certified for the Global

Recycled Standard since January 2022.

We are currently seeking additional support from

circularity experts and companies to help us set up

circular models. In June 2021, two of our employees

will follow a three-day course. We have also contacted

Drop & Loop and Wolkat who are jointly capable of

facilitating the entire chain of recycling and production

for brands such as Babyface. After the first talks we are

very excited about a possible cooperation!

The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) is an international,

voluntary standard that sets requirements for the

certification of recycled raw materials and the thirdparty

chain of custody. GRS includes the following


• Alignment of recycled definitions across multiple


• Verification of recycled content in products.

• Provide consumers (both brands and end users)

with a tool to make informed decisions.

• Reducing the harmful impact of production on people

and the environment.

• Providing assurance that products are processed with

greater sustainability.

• Encourage higher percentages of recycled material

in products.

40 41

3 Deep dive

5. Reduction of CO 2

, water, energy and chemicals

Babyface wants to look after a sustainable planet, so that our children can continue

to enjoy themselves without any worries. The earth’s climate is changing due to excessive

greenhouse gas emissions and the use of water and chemicals by societies. For example,

a great deal of water, energy and chemicals is consumed in the production of clothing.

Dyeing and finishing textile accounts for 17% to 20% of all industrial water pollution

(Source: globalfashionagenda.com). Growing cotton also uses a substantial amount of water.

In conclusion, in 2021 our ESG Manager became part

of the steering committee of the Green Deal Circular

Textiles of the Amsterdam Economic Board in order

to acquire more knowledge and, together with other

partners, put first initiatives into practice.

For four generations, Wolkat has been an

international group of innovative textile recycling

companies that control the entire textile recycling

chain. The textiles are collected by Wolkat, sorted,

recycled and produced again into a recycled product.

This gives Wolkat a unique position in the world as

they can operate in a fully circular and transparent

manner. Drop & Loop is a Wolkat subsidiary with

clothing-collection machines and boxes mainly in

supermarkets and clothing shops.

Next steps

The next step is to purchase fabrics and yarns made

from recycled polyester.

In addition, we will continue to discuss with Drop &

Loop and Wolkat the development of products from

recycled materials for the Babyface collection. Part of

this collaboration includes encouraging retailers that

sell Babyface to place a collection machine or

collection box in their shop. In this way, Babyface looks

forward to being able to complete the recycling loop.


in 2021

Certified for the Global

Recycling Standard


2022 Per tier 1 supplier 2 shipment samples have been tested.

2023 Multi-Year Policy on Wet Processes and Chemicals Use and Manufacturing

Restricted Substances List (MRSL) have been set up.

2025 There are no harmful chemicals in our finished products or in the processes

used to make the clothes.

2025 Babyface uses CO 2

-neutral transportation modes and packaging.

Babyface has taken the first steps in reducing chemicals

by drawing up a Restricted Substances List (RSL) in

2019. An RSL is a list of chemicals that we do not want

to be found in Babyface clothing. To ensure this for our

baby collection, Babyface’s baby items comply with

Oeko-tex and REACH standards.


REACH (EC 1907/2006) aims to improve the protection

of people and the environment by identifying chemical

substances more accurately and at an earlier stage.

This way, we can ensure that products are free of

harmful substances that pose a health risk.

Oeko-tex standard 100

Products with this certificate are free from hazardous

substances. The substances tested are: illegal

substances, legally regulated substances, known

harmful substances and health care parameters.

42 43

3 Deep Dive


Although we have not set any targets for 2021 for

reducing CO2, water, energy and chemicals, we have

obviously not been idle.

As of 2020, we calculated how many of our items were

transported by air. In 2020, it turned out that 45% of

CO2 emissions were caused by air shipments, which

only accounted for 2% of total transport. In 2021, 6.5%

of our items were transported by air, unfortunately,

more than in 2020. Our policy is that only in very

exceptional cases aircraft will be used as a means

of transport. This occurred once in 2020, for a large

subsequent order. In 2021, the aircraft was used for

products of which the production had been delayed by

the COVID-19 pandemic. Air transport was necessary

to get the products to the shops on time.

In addition to reducing C02 emissions, we have

also taken steps in the areas of water, energy and

chemicals. Babyface’s new ESG specialist followed

an introductory training course on ‘Wet Processing

and Chemical Management’ at Modint. In addition,

we have made contact with Modint to verify how the

testing of shipment samples is organised.

In addition, we have updated the 2019 RSL in 2021

which reflect new insights on chemicals.

Next steps

At the beginning of May 2022, we will analyse the

Babyface shipment samples for the risk of harmful

chemicals. We will select a number of high-risk

products per supplier and have them tested. In

addition, we will draw up a long-term plan together

with Modint on how we can improve the wet processes

and the use of chemicals in the production of our

clothing together with the supplier. Part of this will

be the setting up of an MRSL.

A Manufacturing Restricted Substances List focuses

on all the chemical substances used in the

manufacturing process of a garment.

A Restricted Substances List only takes into account

the chemicals that end up on the finished garment.

We are aware that we ask a lot from our suppliers,

especially in the context of our two social projects

with Arisa and SAVE. Follow-up steps to reduce CO 2


water, energy and chemicals, where we need to make

much use of our suppliers, will be taken after these

projects are completed. We have chosen to do this

to remain realistic in what we can expect from our

suppliers and ourselves in terms of workload.


in 2021

6,5% transport by air

93,5% transport by sea

Updated Restricted Manufacturing List

44 45

Responsible Business Conduct EK Fashion

Responsible Business Conduct EK Fashion

EK Fashion * , May 2021

As a major retail service organisation in

Europe, it’s our job to pursue a profitable

and sustainable retail industry. We care

for our collections, the materials and the

full supply chain related to our carefully

selected garments. We aim for long term

relations with our business partners to

co-create the most beautiful product, but

also to take care of the people involved.

We want to get insight in the social and

environmental impact of our products

and work on improvement where needed.

Transparency of production places and

circumstances are of great importance.

EK Fashion has a responsible purchasing

policy based on social and environmental

criteria for the supply chain based on

international standards, conventions and

guidelines. Working in compliance with all

applicable laws and regulations on human

rights, the environment and product safety

is of great importance, but international

standards are leading if they are more


We ask all our suppliers and subcontractors,

from raw material to end product, to

support us in our corporate responsibility

program and to work according the

standards below.

1. Our common responsibility – Due


Under the UNGPs 1 and OECD Guidelines 2 ,

enterprises bear a responsibility for

preventing and reducing any adverse impact

on people and the environment by their

own operation or business relationships in

the production or supply chain. This means

acting in an ethical and transparent way

that contributes to the health and welfare

of society. This is the baseline for our Due

Diligence policy integrated in our corporate

responsibility program.

EK Fashion supports the Conventions of

the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

and expects suppliers to act in accordance

with the conventions of the ILO. These

conventions are, along with the relevant UN

Declarations and the OECD guidelines, the

basis for our responsible business conduct.

We have identified nine specific themes

by mutual agreement and in discussion

with stakeholders which currently merit

the priority attention of enterprises in the

garment and textile sector operating in

the Netherlands in terms of international

responsible business conduct (RBC). These

themes are, in no particular order:

1. Discrimination and gender;

2. Child labour;

3. Forced labour;

4. Freedom of association;

5. Living wage;

6. Safety and health in the workplace;

7. Raw materials;

8. Water pollution and use of chemicals,

water and energy;

9. Animal welfare.

We added, based on the ILO and OECD

guidelines for the garment and footwear


• Working hours

• Ethical trade, no bribery and corruption

• No Sexual harassment and sexual and

gender-based violence (SGBV) in the


• Grievance mechanism

We will do our due diligence and give

particular attention on these themes and we

expect this as well from our suppliers. This

means that, with regard to these themes,

suppliers will identify any possible adverse

impact in the supply chain, set specific

objectives and take measures which are

suitable in the light of the insights resulting

from their due diligence process.

We ask you to inform us about any possible

risk regarding human rights violation, animal

abuse and environmental hazards related

to our products to cooperate to minimizing

these risks. To identify these risks, we

prepared a questionnaire and kindly ask you

to fill out and send back to us.

Our buying behaviour

We are part of the value chain and therefore

we want to take our responsibility regarding

sourcing and buying. It is very important

to inform us when our buying behaviour

does not support the international social

and environmental standards set below.

We work according to the following buying



We will particularly ask for long-term

contracts to increase predictability and

stability. This will also enable suppliers

to plan for investments in machinery,

equipment and human resources.

We will:

• work on a stable planning.

• Share forecast and purchasing plan

with our supplier and, if possible book,


• Allow to start production early for

NOOS styles

• Communicate changes in your forecast/

purchasing plan on time.

Product development:

• provide clear technical specs and


• Ask our supplier for feedback on new


• Review our sampling process with

efficiency in mind

• Work with photo’s/online video when

possible or consider virtual prototyping

• Supply a target price for the product

Price negotiation:

• Get insight in price calculations and the

production process

• Calculate in cooperation with our

supplier and getting help to get the best

quality for the best price.

• Consider material cost, labour, transport,

testing, audits and the profit for the


Payment conditions:

• Pay on time

• Pay what we agreed on Order

placement, production, lead time

• We have a time & action plan with

deadlines for all contributors (buyer and


• We agree on realistic lead time

• We make an agreement on late style/

order changes

• We work on understanding the local

and cultural differences

2. Social & Environmental Compliancy

The responsible business conduct aims to

attain compliance with certain standards.

Supplier companies, in addition, must

ensure that the responsible business

conduct is also observed by subcontractors

involved in production processes of final

manufacturing stages. Within the scope

of options for action and appropriate

measures, supplier companies have to

aim at the implementation and reporting

of the following criteria in a development

approach. EK Fashion declares that we will

only work directly with subcontractors 3

that are prequalified through the same

rigorous processes to those used for direct

contractors. Approved subcontracts may

be reviewed on a semi-regular (e.g. annual)

basis to remain approved. Workers of those

sub-contractors should have access to

grievance mechanisms, similar to those of

direct contractors. We ask for transparency

to know where our products are made and

to be able to ask questions regarding social

and environmental conditions.

2.1 Social Compliancy

Below written the most important ILO

conventions related to human rights at the

work floor.

Prohibition Child Labour and working

conditions of young workers ILO

Conventions 10, 79, 138, 142 and 182 and

Recommendation 146.

There shall be no use of child labour. “The

age for admission to employment shall

not be less than the age of completion

of compulsory schooling and, in any case,

not less than 15 years.” “There shall be

no forms of slavery or practices similar to

slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of

children, debt bondage and serfdom and

forced or compulsory labour. [...] Young

workers [in the age of 15-18] shall not

perform work which, by its nature or the

circumstances in which it is carried out, is

likely to harm their health, safety or morals.”

Children and young persons under 18 shall

not be employed at night or in hazardous


Where young workers are employed,

business partners should ensure that the

kind of work is not likely to be harmful to

their health or development; their working

hours do not prejudice their attendance

at school, their participation in vocational

orientation approved by the competent

authority or their capacity to benefit from

training or instruction programs.

Business partners shall set the necessary

mechanisms to prevent, identify and

mitigate harm to young workers; with

special attention to the access young

workers shall have to effective grievance

mechanisms and to Occupational Health

and Safety trainings schemes and


Child Labour Due Diligence Bill

By signing this RBC you take part in our

Due Diligence Policy and you approve that

you will do anything you can to identify,

prevent and if necessary address the issue

of child labour in our supply chain.

We need to comply with the Dutch Law on

Child labour Due Diligence on combating

child labour in global supply chains, that

comes into force as of January 2020. Dutch

companies and their supply chain business

partners will have to declare that they have

addressed the issue of child labour in their

supply chains. This law requires companies

to identify, prevent and if necessary address

the issue of child labour in their supply

chains. We ask our suppliers to cooperate

and be transparent about sub- contractors

and sub-suppliers and possible risks

within the supply chain of our products

so we can cooperate in combating child

labour. Risk studies show that the severe

risks are mainly at cotton farming and wet

processing (like spinning mill) stage.

EK Fashion’s CSR manager, needs to be

informed in high risk situations, for example

when cotton comes from countries or

facilities where forced labour is required

and so the risks on child labour occurs.

Ask your suppliers about their social

management systems, latest audit reports

or certifications like WRAP, SA 8000, Fair

Trade, GOTS, Better Cotton or Organic

Content Standard, or any other standard

that entails Child labour.

Prohibition of Forced and compulsory

Labour and Disciplinary Measures ILO

Conventions 29 and 105.

There shall be no use of forced, including

bonded or prison, labour. All forms of

forced labour, such as lodging deposits or

the retention of identity documents from

personnel upon commencing employment,

are forbidden as is prisoner labour that

violates basic human rights.

Prohibition of Discrimination ILO

Conventions 100, 111, 143, 158, 159, 169

and 183.

No discrimination shall be tolerated in hiring,

remuneration, access to training, promotion,

termination or retirement based on gender,

age, religion, race, caste, birth, social

background, disability, ethnic and national

origin, nationality, membership in workers’

organisations including unions, political

affiliation or opinions, sexual orientation,

family responsibilities, marital status, or

any other condition that could give rise to


No Sexual harassment and sexual and

gender-based violence (SGBV) in the


Our business partners are encouraged to

adopt a zero-tolerance policy on sexual

and gender-based violence and strict

measures against sexual harassment in

its own operations. The enterprise should

articulate its expectations of suppliers and

other business partners to likewise adopt


The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are a set of guidelines for States and companies to prevent, address and remedy human

rights abuses committed in business operations. http://www.ungpreporting.org/


The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are recommendations addressed by governments to multinational enterprises operating in or

from adhering countries. They provide non-binding principles and standards for responsible business conduct in a global context consistent with

applicable laws and internationally recognized standards. http://www.oecd.org/corporate/mne/


Subcontracting to third parties is a fairly common practice at many stages of the garment supply chain. Subcontracting enables an enterprise to

respond quickly to short lead times and changes in orders, to specialize in certain tasks. Outsourcing, however, can also decrease transparency in

the supply chain and has been demonstrated to increase the risk of human rights and labour abuses and environmental impacts in higher-risk contexts.

Therefore the due diligence measures that Euretco should take to mitigate these risks should be increased. Source: OECD due diligence guide

*EK Fashion is a trade name of Euretco B.V.

46 47

Responsible Business Conduct EK Fashion

a policy on sexual harassment and sexual

and gender-based violence. Enterprises are

encouraged to include the following in their

internal policies

• a commitment to foster an environment

at work free from harassment, bullying

and violence

• clear consequences for breaking the

enterprise’s standards

• a commitment to hear grievances, to

provide a “reprisal-free” complaints

mechanism (e.g. operational-levelgrievance

mechanism) and to maintain

the confidentiality of workers or

employees who raise complaints

Freedom of Association and the Right to

Collective Bargaining ILO Conventions 11,

87, 98, 135 and 154

The right of all workers to form and join

trade unions and bargain collectively shall

be recognised. The company shall, in those

situations in which the right to freedom

of association and collective bargaining

are restricted under law, facilitate parallel

means of independent and free association

and bargaining for all workers. Workers’

representatives shall not be the subject

of discrimination and shall have access to

all workplaces necessary to carry out their

representation functions.

Payment of a living wage ILO Conventions

26 and 131

Wages and benefits paid for a standard

working week shall meet at least legal or

industry minimum standards and always be

sufficient to meet basic needs of workers

and their families and to provide some

discretionary income. Deductions from

wages for disciplinary measures shall not

be permitted nor shall any deductions from

wages not provided for by national law be

permitted. Deductions shall never constitute

an amount that will lead the employee

to receive less than the minimum wage.

Employees shall be adequately and clearly

informed about the specifications of their

wages including wage rates and pay period.

EK Fashion works with its suppliers to

make salaries transparent and to establish

living wages that are paid to employees to

provide for the basic needs of the employee

and his family. Together, we formulate

measurable goals and draw up an action plan.

Working Hours ILO Conventions 1 and 14

and ILO Recommendation 116.

Hours of work shall comply with applicable

laws and industry standards. In any event,

workers shall not on a regular basis be

required to work in excess of 48 hours per

week and shall be provided with at least

one day off for every seven-day period.

Overtime shall be voluntary, shall not exceed

12 hours per week, shall not be demanded

on a regular basis and shall always be

compensated at a premium rate.

Safe and healthy working conditions ILO

Convention 155

A safe and hygienic working environment

shall be provided, and best occupational

health and safety practice shall be promoted,

bearing in mind the prevailing knowledge

of the industry and of any specific hazards.

Appropriate attention shall be paid to

occupational hazards specific to this branch

of the industry and assure that a safe and

hygienic work environment is provided for.

Effective regulations shall be implemented to

prevent accidents and minimise health risks

as much as possible. Physical abuse, threats

of physical abuse, unusual punishments

or discipline, sexual and other harassment,

and intimidation by the employer is strictly


No Sandblasting

EK Fashion does not accept the sandblasting

process being used for our products, since

this is affecting the health of workers.

Legally binding employment relations

Obligations to employees under labour or

social security laws and regulations arising

from the regular employment relationship

shall not be avoided through the use of

labour-only contracting arrangements, or

through apprenticeship schemes where

there is no real intent to impart skills or

provide regular employment. Younger

workers shall be given the opportunity

to participate in education and training


Ethical trade: no bribery and corruption

Enterprises should consider the good

practices put forth in the OECD Good

Practice Guidance on Internal Controls,

Ethics and Compliance, which includes:

• Strong, explicit and visible support and

commitment from senior management

to the company’s internal controls,

ethics and compliance programmes or

measures for preventing and detecting

bribery, including the bribery of foreign

public officials;

• A clearly articulated and visible

corporate policy prohibiting bribery,

including the bribery of foreign public

officials; and

• Oversight of ethics and compliance

programmes or measures regarding

bribery, including the bribery of foreign

public officials, including the authority to

report matters directly to independent

monitoring bodies such as internal audit

committees of boards of directors or of

supervisory boards, is the duty of one

or more senior corporate officers, with

an adequate level of autonomy from

management, resources and authority.

Grievance mechanism

EK Fashion needs a commitment to hear

grievances from workers, to provide a

“reprisal-free” complaints mechanism (e.g.

operational-level-grievance mechanism) and

to maintain the confidentiality of workers

or employees who raise complaints. For

example Amfori has an online grievance

mechanism at their website. It provides a

platform for individuals and organizations

to submit a grievance if they feel they

have been negatively affected by amfori’s

activities. The amfori secretariat will review

the External Grievance Mechanism process

where necessary to continuously improve

the grievance handling procedure. We ask

Amfori to remind workers of their rights and

this online grievance mechanism. 4

2.2 Environmental Responsibility

Suppliers should assess significant

environmental impact of operations

and establish effective policies and

procedures that reflect their environmental

responsibility. They will see to implement

adequate measures to prevent or minimise

adverse effects on the community, natural

resources and the overall environment.

EK Fashion asks suppliers to have

procedures and standards for the use of

water and energy, handling and disposure

of chemicals and other dangerous materials,

waste management, emissions and effluent

treatment. The procedures and standards

must meet at least the minimum legal


No use of energy of non-renewable

sources and minimizing Green house

Gas (GHG) emissions

Suppliers shall keep records of the current

energy sources and emissions and reduce

the use of energy of non-renewable

sources. Targets will be set to work with

green energy sources and thus reduce

emissions to air.

The consumption of energy of nonrenewable

origin is one of the main

causes of greenhouse gas emissions. The

production of textile and garments is an

energy intensive process. Measuring GHG

emissions is a critical first step to reducing

the carbon footprint of an enterprise’s

activities. It helps an enterprise to assess its

impact on the climate and to design costeffective

emission reduction plans.

• Establish an energy management plan

at the site-level that includes companywide

coordinated measures for energy

management. We ask our suppliers

to measure, report and minimize their

energy consumption and GHG wherever


• Also, we do encourage our suppliers

to make use of renewable energy

sources like wind- and solar energy. We

ask our supplier to research and use

technologies which use less energy, like

LED lightning.

• Implement best available techniques

(BAT) as defined by Best Available

Techniques Reference Documents for

the sector or sub-sector 3 5 .

• Implement energy efficiency measures

(e.g. energy conservation technology,

optimization of steam generation and

pressurized air, waste heat recovery

from waste water and waste gas,

process optimization, etc.)

• Implement energy conservation

measures (e.g. implementation of

energy saving through improvements in

the process and reaction conditions)

• Increase efficiencies and quality so as

to reduce need for re-processing due to


• Install and operate accurate meters

and/or measuring software as a

fundamental step to benchmarking

performance and to initiating efficiency


Limitations to water use and clean waste


The supplier shall measure water use and

determine whether it can source from water

stressed areas responsibly – for example, by

promoting water efficiency and/or reducing

process dependence on fresh water

amongst its suppliers. Waste water must be

treated and tested before releasing to the

environment. The supplier shall comply to

national waste water legislation.

Throughout the production of textiles, a lot

of water is used. In general, most water is

used for cotton cultivation (2/3 or more of

the total volume). Textile processing uses far

less water but causes most water pollution.

This puts great pressure on the availability

and the quality of water in areas where

cultivation and processing take place. Water

use, the source and waste water in the wet

processing also deserves serious attention,

because of the local pollution impact.

• We ask our suppliers to deliver a

(waste) water policy, testing procedure

and/or a copy of one of the standards.

We ask our suppliers to provide, (LCA)

data on water, energy and chemicals

and emissions. Use the ZDHC (Waste

Water) guidelines and the Unido water

calculator: https://watercalculator.dnvgl.


• We want to be informed about the

water source (rain, groundwater, lake,


• We would like to offer suppliers more

information on a cleaner production

process through the ZDHC, OECD

guidance or MODINT Factsheets which

we could provide to you.

No hazardous Chemicals

No hazardous chemicals shall be used in

processing stage and released in water

or air. Employees shall be protected and

equipped with the right safety measures

and appropriate training. Chemicals shall be

stored and labeled accurately.

Chemicals are used everywhere in the

production of goods. Apart from the

pesticides and fertilizers in the natural fiber

production, the ‘big’ issue, mainly in the

textile chain, is the use of chemicals in

bleaching, dyeing, printing and finishing

and how it effects workers, water and air


• Design phase: The base of the use of

chemicals use lies in the design choices.

We ask our business partners to inform

us if any design decision leads to the

use of hazardous chemicals.

• Manage and report production

phase: From there it is important

for our company to know which

specific chemicals are used (chemical

inventory) and how they are used in

the processing. The use of harmful

chemicals during these stages of

production could be harmful for the

environment and the workers and may

leave traces in the final product and

thus appear to the consumer.

• Make a Chemical Risk assessment:

An environmental or human health

risk assessment includes hazard

identification, hazard characterization,

exposure assessment and risk


The first two steps are regarded as the

process of hazard assessment. The

methodology of the environmental risk

assessment should align with OECD

guidance. See OECD Environmental

Risk Assessment Toolkit 6 .

The methodology of the health risk

assessment should align with the World

Health Organization guidance. See

International Programme on Chemical

Safety, WHO Human Health Risk

Assessment Toolkit: Chemical Hazards 7 .

Health risks are also addressed in Module 5,

Occupational Health and Safety.





48 49

Responsible Business Conduct EK Fashion

Restricted Substances List (RSL)/

Manufacturing Restricted Substances

List (MRSL)

The restricted substances list (RSL) in

annex 1 is intended to inform our suppliers

on international (upcoming) regulations

restricting or banning the use of chemicals

in apparel products including accessories

attached to garments for example zip

fasteners, buttons, etc. and packaging

materials. The RSL takes most of the

world’s regulations into account (incl.

REACH, POP), as well as harmful chemicals

listed by NGO’s.

• We ask our suppliers to purchase

materials without harmful substances.

Please inform your fabric- or yarn

supplier about the RSL and risk matrix

where chemicals are related to certain

raw materials and processing steps and

inform EK Fashion about test results

based on risk assessments.

• If the supplier buys directly from

chemical agencies make sure it are

firms with a CR management system.

• Make use of the (ZDHC)MRSL (https://


It is there to provide suppliers with

a harmonized approach to managing

chemicals during the processing of raw

materials into the readymade fabric

within our supply chain. The MRSL

achieves this by providing a clear list of

priority chemicals and specifying the

maximum concentration limit of each

substance within commercial chemical


• We ask our suppliers to inform us

about wet processing management (of

sub suppliers) to eliminate hazardous

chemicals from our products, to keep

a chemical inventory and to work with

Material Safety Data Sheets for workers.

Inform us when you/sub suppliers

cooperates with ZDHC, SAC (Higg

Index) or Amfori BEPI.

• Implement best available techniques

(BAT) as defined by Best Available

Techniques Reference Documents for

the sector or subsector. See Integrated

Pollution Prevention and Control,

Best Available Techniques Reference

Document for the Textiles Industry,

2003) 8 .

Valid Processing standards

A valid health OEKO-TEX® Standard 100

product certificate covers most of legal

requirements of this RSL. Processing

standards are of higher value, like: GOTS,

Blue Sign or Step (or similar). These

standards, in the annex, make sure that

that no harmful chemicals are used in


• When commercially acceptable, we

ask our suppliers to work as much as

possible with one of the following or

similar standards and to provide us with

a copy of the scope and transaction


• It is important to work with accredited

audit organisations ( e.g. by textile


Raw Material Policy

EK Fashion wants to lower the impact of

her raw materials. Cotton is one of the most

polluting fibres and very important for our

collections, therefore we want to work with

the better, low impact options.

• We ask our suppliers to keep records

on the content and source of our raw


• To source for sustainable or preferred

raw materials (indicated in annex 3)

and offer alternatives to conventional


• It is important to measure, reduce and

reuse material waste where possible.

In annex 4 we listed standards and

certifications, related to sustainable raw

materials like organic- or recycled cotton,

which aims to reduce the impact during

cultivation and/or processing of textile fibres.

The standards and certifications cover the

fibre production phase which impacts water-,

chemical- and energy use, effluents and

possibly labour conditions. They do not cover

the finishing substances used, e.g. dyes that

are included in the processing standards.

• We ask our suppliers to offer available

sustainable raw materials and to use/

ask for one of the following or similar

standards and to provide us with a copy

of the scope and transaction certificates

or other proof of compliancy.

Valid raw material certifications

In annex 4 we listed standards and

certifications, related to sustainable

raw materials like organic cotton, aim to

reduce the impact during cultivation and

processing of textile fibres. The standards

and certifications cover the fibre production

phase that has impact on water, chemical

and energy use and labour conditions. They

do not cover the finishing substances used,

e.g. dyes that are included in the processing


• We ask our suppliers to use one of the

following or similar standards and to

provide us with a copy of the scope- and

transaction certificates.

Animal welfare

We ask suppliers of wool, silk, leather,

down and feathers and any other animal

derived fibre:

• To prevent, reduce and eradicate animal

suffering in the production or supply


• To provide animal welfare guarantees

when products of animal origin are


• To follow below provision guidelines

where animals are concerned in our

supply chain:

1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst - by

ready access to fresh water and a diet

to maintain full health and vigour.

2. Freedom from Discomfort - by providing

an appropriate environment including

shelter and a comfortable resting area.

3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease -

by prevention or rapid diagnosis and


4. Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour -

by providing sufficient space, proper

facilities and company of the animal’s

own kind.

5. Freedom from Fear and Distress - by

ensuring conditions and treatment

which avoid mental suffering.

Endangered Species Policy

EK Fashion does not accept any raw

materials from any endangered species as

listed on the IUCN Red List 9 , as critical

endangered, near threatened, endangered,

extinct in the wild, or vulnerable on the

IUCN Red List. Therefore, suppliers must

provide animal welfare guarantees when

products of animal origin are used.

EK Fashion does not accept Real exotic

animal skins (incl. snake, alligator, crocodile,

lizard and ostrich).

Fur -EK Fashion does not accept animal fur

Silk - EK Fashion does not accept silk from

moth that have been boiled alive.

Animal hair (e.g. Cashmere, Angora,

Mohair) - EK Fashion does NOT permit

that hairs are collected from animals in an

animal-unfriendly manner (see guideline


• We ask our suppliers to provide a third

party certificate that proofs good animal


Leather - Real leather and suede from

sheep, pigs, goats and cattle reared for

meat production & synthetic leather are

accepted. All other leather variations are

NOT permitted!

• We prefer leather processed through

facilities rate by Gold, Silver, Bronze by

the Leather Working Group or facilities

STeP by OEKO-TEX certified.

Down Feathers Policy - EK Fashion does

not accept Down/Feathers from live-plucked

birds and from force fed birds. EK Fashion

only accepts Down/Feathers from meat

production and prefers Down/Feathers

that are certified to the Textile Exchange

Responsible Down Standard.

• Our business partners must submit a

declaration or certificate guarantee that

all Down filled garment/items are Nonlive

plucked down.

Wool & Mulesing Policy - We endorse the

IWTO- standards for animal welfare and

demand that the Five Freedoms for Animal

Welfare must be respected. Mulesing is a

surgical procedure carried out on (mainly

Merino) sheep to prevent flystrike.

• EK Fashion only accepts wool from

sheep that have not been mulesed

and prefers wool that is certified to

the textile Exchange Responsible Wool

Standard. Recycled wool, certified

according to the recycled wool standard

could be a solution to prevent mulesing.

Man-made Cellulosic Fibres Policy - EK

Fashion does not accept products (Viscose,

Rayon, Modal and Lyocell) deriving from

illegally logged sources, ancient and

endangered forests, as listed in the IUCN

Red list as critical endangered, near

threatened, endangered, extinct in the

wild, or vulnerable. EK Fashion prefers

sustainably certified wood products (e.g.


Packaging - Since plastic is nonbiodegradable,

recycling is a part of global

efforts to reduce plastic in the waste stream,

especially the approximately eight million

metric tonnes of waste plastic that enter

the earth’s ocean every year. Soft Plastics

are also recycled such as polyethylene film

and bags.

• We ask our supplier to actively research

and offer options which are a better

choice for the environment: Reusable,

recycled and/or reduction of packing


Plastic - We ask our suppliers to use

preferred plastics for our products

and packaging like recycled plastics

and biodegradable plastics (see GRS

certification) of e.g. PLA (corn sugars).

Cardboard - We ask our suppliers to use

recycled or FSC/PEFC certified cardboard.

We aim to only use cardboard and paper

packaging which consists of 100% recycled

paper fibre.

Waste reduction - We ask our suppliers

to reduce (raw) material wase as much

as possible and preferably join a recycling

program (packaging waste, material cutting

waste etc.)

3. Management System, Monitoring,

documentation, verification

The supplier company shall define and

implement a management system to

ensure that the requirements of the

Responsible Business Conduct can be

met. Management is responsible for the

correct implementation and continuous

improvement by taking corrective measures,

as well as the communication of the

requirements of the RBC to all employees

and subcontractors. It shall also address

employees’ concerns of non-compliance

with this Code of Conduct. EK Fashion will

be informed about non-compliances and

follow up.

• If the buying behaviour of EK Fashion

impacts the compliancy to this RBC we

will be informed immediately.

In our accompanied questionnaire we

will ask you to provide us with sufficient

information to prove the origin and

sustainability of our products. If you have

any questions please let us know.

The requirements in the Responsible

Business Conduct are requirements that

we want to achieve together. These are our

common goals. We are open for discussion

if suppliers are not capable to meet these

requirements. We are certain that many of

our suppliers have even higher demands

of themselves. Therefore, we want you to

provide us with the relevant certifications

and reports to confirm this. By signing this

RBC statement, you commit yourself to it.

The undersigned hereby confirms that:

We have read the Responsible Business

Conduct (RBC) and accept the terms

required of us as suppliers and will inform

and cooperate with our subcontractors and

sub suppliers working on products of EK

Fashion. We will inform EK Fashion and

discuss non- compliances and the issues

involved in their product’s supply chain.


https://www.oecd.org/env/ehs/risk-assessment/environmental-risk-assessment-toolkit.htm 7 https://www.who.int/ipcs/methods/harmonization/areas/ra_toolkit/en/




IUCN Red List: Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information

source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. See https://www.iucnredlist.org/

50 51

Babyface intends to be transparent about the sustainable steps we take and how

we do this. We trust to have contributed to this through this annual report. If you

should like to learn more about the products of Babyface and our journey towards

sustainability, please contact us.

Babyface, part of EK Fashion

Koninginneweg 1, 3871 JZ Hoevelaken, Netherlands

Contact: sustainability@ek-retail.com

Copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced and/or published by photocopy or film or in any other way without the prior permission of EK Fashion.

EK Fashion is not liable for any errors in this report.

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