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ETHICAL TRADING

Here at Oasis good ethics are fundamental to the way we work - from the consideration of workers' rights to good animal Welfare and support for local community organisations.

We adopted our first Code of Conduct over a decade ago, because, as much as we're all about clothes that make you smile, we're absolutely committed to ensuring those behind our products are treated fairly. We're proud of the long-standing relationships we have with many of our suppliers and the sense of responsibility we share with our partners towards working conditions.

What does this mean in a nutshell? Well, our strategy includes policies in line with good practice, a monitoring and auditing programme, communication and education (both internally and with our suppliers) and our living wage strategy.

The majority of our production comes from China, Turkey, Vietnam, Romania and Bulgaria, and we also have a small number of suppliers in India, Pakistan and Morocco too. Over 80% of our clothing comes from our top 20 suppliers; around half of these have been suppliers for over a decade. The cornerstone of what we do is our Code of Conduct , which is based on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation. It includes the following commitments:

  • No child labour
  • Safe working conditions
  • A living wage
  • No excessive hours
  • No discrimination
  • Freedom of association as a right
  • No forced labour
  • Regular employment
  • No harsh or unfair treatment

Suppliers are expected to meet national laws and where the Code and local law address the same subject, apply the necessary provisions that give greater protection to workers.

ETHICS IN PRACTICE

How do we translate our ethics into actions? Here are some examples:

In 2011, Oasis joined other stakeholders (including trade unions and industry peers) in publicly supporting a ban on sandblasting. Sandblasting can be extremely damaging to a worker's health if sand is inhaled can lead to a disabling and potentially fatal lung disease called silicosis. Our policy bans sand and other abrasive substances too.

We've also banned cotton from Uzbekistan as a result of long-standing concerns regarding child and forced labour in the harvesting of Uzbek cotton.

In China - our largest sourcing country - we carry out internal audits, conducted by our Ethical Trading team. The audit involves a review of records (including payroll, attendance records, labour contracts, personnel files, social insurance records, business licenses and health and safety certificates and permits), confidential interviews with workers, discussions with management and a physical inspection of premises.

Outside of China, we commission third-party audits to measure practices against our code. We only authorise certain third-party companies to carry out audits on our behalf. As a member of SEDEX, we can share audits conducted by other companies, but we only accept those we believe have been performed to our own rigorous standards. If an audit shows non-compliances with our standards, we work with suppliers to ensure progress is made over a reasonable timeframe. We support suppliers to implement solutions that are practical and make a difference. This support may include providing verbal advice on labour law, practical tools to better manage production and instructive training delivered to factory management teams.

As well as our suppliers and factories, relevant internal teams are trained on our policies so they know how they can support our ethical standards.

Oasis has also undertaken a project seeking to trace the source of raw materials in our supply chain. This has enabled us to better understand our environment and the impact we have as a business.

COMMUNITIES AND CHARITIES

Oasis supports Richard House, a children's hospice that provides care and support to children and young people who suffer from life-limiting or life-threatening illnesses. We've supported the charity in a number of ways including direct donations through fundraising team events, refurbishing the Richard House Upminster store and donating stock.

Our staff also support various charities through Workplace Giving (a scheme that allows employees to make tax-free donations to their chosen charities through payroll) or by undertaking fund-raising activities, which we always encourage.

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We're continuously updating our corporate strategy. If you have any questions relating to this statement, please email help@oasis-stores.co.uk .