Uniform Brands B.V., a company for corporate wear, joined FWF in 2008.
Brand Performance Check 2016
Orcon-SJ (formerly Uniform Brands Europe) meets most of FWFs management system requirements. It has a monitoring percentage of 93% where 90% is required for members who have been a member for more than three years. The score of 52 is also sufficient to achieve the ‘Good’ status.
Orcon-SJ has its main production facility in Tunisia, that uses several satellite locations in the nearby region to support its production. Next to that, it sources a reasonable amount from factories in low-risk countries Hungary and Portugal. Orcon-SJ has been able to attract investments and focuses on growth. Currently, it wishes to expand its production more towards Asian countries. The past years, it has started small productions in China and Bangladesh that does not account for more than 5% of Orcon-SJs’ total production. In the near future,
sourcing from Asian countries is very likely to grow.
In 2015, Orcon-SJ consolidated its supplier base to meet the required 90% monitoring percentage. It placed more orders at its main Tunisian supplier, that has been FWF audited. It also took several steps to improve its purchasing practices and monitoring system, such as collecting existing audit reports. It worked more systematically towards improvement of working conditions, did not have new suppliers but continued working with suppliers that are under monitoring and stopped working with an agent. This has ensured that Orcon-SJ reached the ‘good’ category again.
At the same time, Orcon-SJ still faces considerable risks of human rights violations at its suppliers. It is either not aware of legal minimum wage levels at suppliers or did not sufficiently assure that the legal minimum wage is paid at suppliers. Also, it is only partially aware of the large human rights risks when sourcing from Bangladesh. The only step of mitigation that Orcon-SJ took was to check whether the Bangladeshi supplier had a Fire and Building Safety Certificate. Considering that the safety of workers is both a responsibility of the factory as well as of the brand, Orcon-SJ needs to take additional steps to ensure workers’ safety. Finally, it should put a system in place to check whether the FWF Code of Labour Practice has been posted in all production locations and take steps to make workers more aware of their rights and the FWF worker helpline.
In 2016, Orcon-SJ will integrate more of its purchasing practices with those of Simon Jersey, for whom social compliance is a core value. Orcon-SJ hopes that cooperation with Simon Jersey will lead to a more integrated and systematic approach towards social compliance. FWF encourages Orcon-SJ to strengthen its systems. Since Orcon-SJ is planning to expand its supplier base in Asia, FWF strongly recommends Orcon-SJ to ensure that its human rights due diligence for new suppliers is good enough to detect human rights issues and to mitigate these. Lastly, FWF recommends Orcon-SJ to increase worker awareness of labour rights through participation in the Workplace Education Programme.
Score: 52 Percentage under monitoring: 93% Category: Good