Expresso Fashion B.V., a Dutch women’s fashion brand, joined FWF at the beginning of 2004. Expresso Fashion B.V. is sold in Expresso stores across The Netherlands. Most of the clothes are produced in Tunisia, China and Bulgaria. Expresso Fashion B.V. also has production in India, Lithuania, Poland and Turkey.
Brand Performance Check 2019
Expresso Fashion has met most of FWF’s performance requirements. Its monitoring threshold of 94% is an improvement compared to last year. To achieve this monitoring percentage, Expresso used FWF audits conducted at its production locations and continued to use external audit reports to address labour conditions. The monitoring percentage, combined with a benchmark score of 60, means that FWF has awarded Expresso Fashion the ‘Good’ rating.
Expresso started consolidating its supply chain in 2016, which led to a critical evaluation of the required production locations. This process included an integration of its purchasing and CSR efforts, not just within the specific brand but also within its holding company, FNG Group. In 2018, the company was able to present a more manageable supply chain and a sourcing strategy in which CSR is a deciding factor.
Looking at Expresso’s supplier base there is a split between Eastern European production locations and production locations in Turkey, China, and India. This split influences the company’s ability to follow up on CAPs and more generally address human rights issues. The former are smaller production locations, within which Expresso has leverage and good working relationships. Audits conducted at these production locations reveal limited findings and CAP follow up is quick and effective. On the other hand, the brand sources from a number of production locations in Turkey, China, and India. In these locations, the audits reveal many more findings and CAP follow up is slow and difficult. This is despite the fact that the brand has local representatives in these countries that regularly visit the production locations in order to follow up.
Although living wage has been on Expresso’s radar for a few years now, the brand has not been able to show specific results. Fair Wear Foundation requires the company to ensure it knows how buying prices relate to wages and use this knowledge to contribute to higher wages in different production locations. The company is encouraged to provide buyers (or other employees involved in price negotiations with suppliers) training on cost breakdowns.
When visiting production locations, Expresso staff share information with workers to increase their awareness of FWF Code of Labour Practices and the complaints mechanism. However, the company has not yet organised any training to reinforce this or training that supports transformative processes related to human rights. Fair Wear Foundation expects Expresso to put more effort into training workers and management at production locations to achieve progress on human rights violations.
Percentage under monitoring: 94%