We believe in taking greater responsibility for our actions.
In many countries, the national minimum wage is below the actual cost of living. And that’s a gap we all can help to mend. Around 60% of our garments are made in Europe where wages are considered to be in line with or above the cost for basic standards of living such as food, health care, and education.
Since 2013, we have been paying our share of living wages for our products at one of our Indian suppliers and since 2016, almost 3,400 workers have received an additional amount from Nudie Jeans as a step to increase the wages at selected suppliers.
We began this initiative in support of the notion that everyone who produces a Nudie Jeans product should have a wage they can live on. The approach to working practically with living wages in the supply chain has been discussed and debated in the industry for a long time and we have chosen to have a very local collaboration, directly with our suppliers, and we have not engaged in a trade union or governmental discussions or initiatives in the producing countries. Different stakeholders, including FWF, have verified that payments have reached the workers.
In 2016, we decided to expand our living wage payments to the spinning mill at the same supplier. During our visit in late 2018, we discussed the possibility of including the workers in the knitting and processing units as well, which was carried out in 2019. An additional amount was raised internally at Nudie Jeans’ head office to further impact the payments. Through these actions, we pay our share of living wages to employees through the fairtrade system for the raw material and throughout the supply chain, to the final garment.
Social Audits & Training
On a regular basis, we conduct social audits and follow-ups at all our production facilities. The audits are made to guarantee that standards are followed and to find where improvements can be made. Our Code of conduct applies to all suppliers and subcontractors involved in our production. It makes no difference to us if our suppliers are located in a high-risk country or a low-risk country.
In 2019, we performed a total of 15 audits, seven in high-risk countries and eight in low-risk countries. The audits in high-risk countries were conducted by Fair Wear Foundation’s (FWF) audit teams, and the audits in low-risk countries were performed by independent consultants. During the year, we also worked on following up the audit results and non-compliances from the previous year. According to the latest FWF Brand Performance check, which reported on 2018 activities, we monitored 96% of our production units. The number of worker complaints was considerably lower in 2019, with one complaint from an employee at one of the Indian suppliers. The reports of these complaints are publicly available on the FWF website.
Although auditing is one of the processes that can improve conditions at the factory level, we also see the need for employee education and training in order to make sustainable improvements. Therefore, for several years, we have involved our suppliers and their employees in the FWF Workplace Education Program (WEP). In recent years, suppliers in India, Turkey, and Tunisia participated in the Fair Wear Foundation’s WEP. Nudie Jeans facilitated and paid for training at the suppliers, covering 57% of our purchase volume in the countries where FWF’s WEP was offered.