Thousands of people are involved in producing our garments, a job that offers stable employment opportunities in countries where the textile industry is the biggest driving force for development. We guarantee the very best standards on human rights and working conditions and collaborate with our suppliers to continuously improve their practices and technology, so that we can help produce a positive impact in the countries where we operate.
Our Code of Conduct lists the values that inspire all of our actions, as well as a set of operational guidelines on social, environmental and transparency issues. We only work with companies that share and abide by our values, with the hope that our guidelines are used as a tool for continuous improvement rather than a mere list of directives.
OUR CODE OF CONDUCT IS A SET OF BINDING GUIDELINES REGARDING THE ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNITY AND PERFORMANCE IN ORDER TO IMPROVE SUPPLIER TRANSPARENCY AND SUSTAINABILITY LEVELS OVER TIME.
Our Code of Conduct ensures that everyone takes responsibility in the creation of an ethical circle at an economic, environmental and social level, contributing to improving working conditions with positive effects on local communities.
All suppliers who work with OVS are required to sign the Code of Conduct.
Each supplier is sent a graphic document to hang on their company’s premises, translated into the local language, that summarises the main point of the code of conduct to be followed to that all workers are aware of their rights.
The actual placement of the document is verified by our staff during visits to the factory.
When evaluating our suppliers, we attach as much importance to sustainability as we do to our primary assessment criteria (Quality, Service and Cost).
With a view to transparency and collaboration, we openly share the results of our assessments with factories, in order to identify areas for mutual improvement. We pair our Vendor Rating system with an audit initiative, which is carried out in several different areas in order to verify effective compliance with our Code of Conduct and to measure our suppliers’ environmental and social performance.
Since 2020, each new provider is confirmed only if they share their data on the online HIGG Index.
Before starting the supply and then every 12/18 months (unless a higher frequency is required), every factory is evaluated with respect to its compliance with the code of conduct and its environmental / social performance. The integrated supplier assessment is carried out using all available information gathered through certificates issued by independent third parties, analysing the performance data on HIGG and considering any reports received from trade unions or other associations.
This information is supplemented by direct checks by our staff and / or external auditors. If critical issues are identified, an action plan is agreed upon with the factory managers to fix them.
In 2020, through this programme 72% of suppliers representing 91% of production were evaluated.
OVS adopts responsible purchasing practices throughout its supply chain to reduce any negative social or economic impact on the industry workers, always taking care to agree conditions with the supplier so that they operate safely and consistently the various compliance requirements (for example: avoiding changes of orders when in production, paying the amount due with the agreed terms, etc.)
By using the online HIGG platform we can effectively analyse the performance of most of our suppliers, with the aim of acquiring 100% of our products from suppliers on HIGG, by 2022. In 2020, the production volume from suppliers on HIGG was approximately 80% of the total value of the collections.
Thanks to the information provided in the platform we can identify priorities for action and support them in making positive changes, with the help of third party verification and the definition of action plans where necessary.
We are committed to promoting decent working conditions and ensuring that a fair wage is paid to workers so that they can face the real necessities of life, anywhere in the world. We regularly analyse the salaries paid by our suppliers through surveys and checks on site, comparing them to a benchmark, such as the Global Living Wage Coalition, to identify opportunities for improvement.
We believe that collective bargaining and active participation mechanisms are the efficient tools in the hands of works to achieve a level of pay and working conditions consistent with their needs. For this reason we are committed to ensuring that all our suppliers, by 2030, have adopted programmes for the activation of democratically-elected worker representation bodies.
Based on the data analysed in 2020, we have estimated that 53% of our suppliers have representative organisations democratically elected by workers (trade unions or WPC) and 29% use collective labour agreements.
Contributing to profound change in the sector means embracing a team logic that involves all market players, promoting development projects that affect the entire fashion industry.
With this in mind, we were the first Italian company to join the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is a progressive clothing, footwear and home-furnishing alliance, founded with the aim of promoting sustainable production.
We work with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition to create tools that measure environmental and social performance in the supply chain and raise transparency standards for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Since 2017, OVS has adopted HIGG Facility Tools, the digital platform of assessment tools in the clothing and footwear industry, developed by SAC to encourage the sharing of information with other companies in the supply chain.
Through the HiGG Facility Tools FEM (Facility Environmental Module) and FSLM (Facility Social Labour Module) online questionnaires, we measure the social and environmental performance of our suppliers’ facilities in order to improve the impact generated during production.
In line with our own principles, the Group's Code of Ethics and a range of global sustainable development goals, we’re attempting to build a reliable supply chain that respects the basic principles of dignity, health and safety of workers in countries where we operate, but primarily in Bangladesh, where OVS's main production site is located.
In addition to our standard supplier practices, we have participated in drafting an agreement (Accord) on fire and building safety in Bangladesh in order to ensure the necessary safety conditions for our workers.
Accord is a legally binding agreement between brands, manufacturing companies and local trade unions in order to promote greater health and safety in Bangladesh’s clothing industry, helping to create a safer working environment and prevent risks.http://bangladeshaccord.org/
Shops are our window onto a better world, built on respect for the environment and care for the people around us.
With this inaugural sustainability report, OVS begins an important journey of sharing.
We are aware of the role that we can have in taking care of a more sustainable future for the environment.