At Joanie, our styles are made with wearability in mind. Everything is designed in-house by our UK team who, inspired by decades past, develop pieces to suit the modern wardrobe with a nostalgic twist.
We don’t believe in throwaway fashion - our clothes are designed to be loved and worn again and again. With this in mind, we don’t strictly follow passing trends or mass produce rigid seasonal collections; instead choosing to bring our customers regular drops of new styles, created in small quantities. We work closely with our manufacturing partners and are always striving to improve the fit of our garments and produce shapes you’ll love, updating pieces with beautiful new prints or fun slogans that will become firm favourites in your wardrobe.
We aim to be as transparent with our customers as possible and even as a small business, we still comply, or strive to comply, to the regulations that apply to brands much bigger than our own. As part of our continued commitment to improving our supply chain, processes and ensuring ethical working conditions, we’ve outlined our Ethical Policy below.
Ethical Trading and Environmental Impact
At Joanie, we want to be open with our customers about our supply chain on what measures we currently take and what can be improved to ensure we are working as ethically and with as little environmental impact as possible.
Over the last year, we have been working together with our suppliers to review procedures and find out more about how they operate.
When we started Joanie, we chose to work with suppliers that we have built relationships and friendships with over our combined 25 years experience in the clothing industry. We use suppliers who have the best reputation for producing quality goods. Joanie garments are mainly made in China with one of the nine regular suppliers we use to produce our ranges.
We have forged and nurtured some new relationships since we launched the brand through visits to China, factory inspections and making new contacts in India, Europe and the UK. We are careful to test orders with new suppliers before committing to large changes.
Areas we have already identified to tackle within the design, development and production processes include;
- Negotiating fair prices with suppliers
Ensuring that a fair price for all parties is reached. Pushing for cheaper goods forces factories to lower prices which then puts financial strain on the supply chain.
- Agreeing reasonable lead times
Pushing for large orders to be turned around quickly puts pressure on workers to work overtime and there may be a risk of subcontracting.
- Ensuring our Code of Conduct is understood and stringently followed
All factories must abide by our written Code of Conduct. This must be signed as part of the terms of contract and is clearly conveyed to all staff through our Joanie supplier manual.
All Joanie products are inspected at source by an independent quality control agency, to check standards are maintained. We work closely with our QC team, who inspect every order - we liaise with them weekly and request regular feedback of our factories along with factory visits. The performance and compliance of our factories are assessed against the code of conduct by factory auditing - all of our suppliers are factory audited. This gives us extra peace of mind that workers are being looked after fairly. We have completed our second annual supplier review based on visits with suppliers, factory visits and also feedback from our QC team. As part of this, we wanted to gain more knowledge about our supplier standards and their best capabilities.
This coming year we want to take a more proactive approach to work more ethically and identify what can be done to improve sustainability and minimise the negative impact on the environment.
This year, we have introduced several organic cotton tees into the range. We are currently working on creating more organic products, with the ultimate aim being that all of our cotton products will be made with organic cotton.
There are many benefits to using organic cotton which include;
- It is more environmentally friendly than regular cotton
- It doesn’t use pesticides so it’s better for workers’ health and safety
- It’s cheaper to produce
- It’s better for people with allergies and skin concerns
We are also looking to source other more sustainable fabrics/fibres such as recycled polyester and bamboo.
Joanie HQ and Staff
We have 8 employed members of staff working at Joanie HQ. We place high importance on each person’s human rights within our company, from Joanie HQ staff through to our factory base.
The welfare of our all of our co-workers is very important to the growth of our business and we must not lose sight of this. Whether it be Joanie HQ staff, partner companies or our warehousing staff, we encourage diversity and equal opportunities within the workforce and adopt a non-hierarchical approach to the business as we believe everybody should play their part in its functioning and in turn, growth.
We currently have a strong female presence in the Joanie Head Office with only one member of staff being male. We encourage more males to come and join us!
As well as full time and part time members of staff, we offer university work placements and work experience opportunities to students.
We are keen recyclers at the Joanie Head Office. All our plastic and cardboard is recycled. We will continue our commitment to sustainability over the coming year by;
Our new improved Joanie mailbags are made from Green™ PE, derived from sugarcane, making it a more sustainable option to regular plastics - and it’s fully recyclable.
We donate samples and unwanted or unsellable garments to local charity shops. Any fabric swatches are donated to students to use.
Any recyclable returned garments are donated to New Life. New Life is a charity for disabled and terminally ill children. It raises funds by repairing and reprocessing donated stock to raise funds for any equipment needed, medical research and campaigns.
This year we named Age UK as our nominated charity for the year. We developed a T-shirt in collaboration with the charity where 100% of the proceeds are donated to Age UK. Joanie staff have also volunteered at Age UK day centres and will donate funds throughout the year.
We will continue to donate proportions of proceeds on certain styles to local Manchester charities. For example, we donated 10% of proceeds of one of our T-shirts to the Pankhurst Trust.
Code of Conduct
All of our suppliers and their factories must abide by our written Code of Conduct. Suppliers must operate in full compliance with the laws of their respective countries and with all other applicable laws, rules and regulations; including those respecting labour, worker health and safety and the protection and preservation of the environment. This is something the factories have to sign up to as part of the terms of contract and is clearly conveyed to all staff through our Joanie supplier manual.
Joanie’s Code of Conduct is clearly communicated to all suppliers and must be signed as part of our contract.
Our Code of Conduct
- Suppliers must operate in full compliance with the laws of their respective countries and with all other applicable laws, rules and regulations, including those respecting labour, worker health and safety and the protection & preservation of the environment.
- Suppliers are encouraged to take concrete measures to minimise their ecological footprint.
- Employment is to be freely chosen. This means no forced workers and all workers must be free to leave their employer after a reasonable notice period should they wish.
- Regular employment must be provided.
- Living wages and benefits must be paid for a standard week and must meet the minimum national legal standards or industry benchmark standards, whichever is higher.
- Working hours must not be excessive and must comply with local laws and industry standards.
- No discrimination in the workplace is acceptable. This includes but is not limited to: discrimination of age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation or political affiliation.
- No harsh or inhumane treatment, physical abuse or discipline. Threat or other physical abuse or any other forms of intimidation is not acceptable and all local laws must be complied with.
- Working conditions must be safe and hygienic. Workers must receive regular and recorded health and safety training. This must be repeated for new workers.
- Suppliers must conduct themselves with proper business integrity. There shall be no improper advantage sought, including bribes.
- Suppliers must cooperate with Joanie to ensure that these standards are met.
Modern Slavery Act
Joanie Clothing Ltd. - who are we?
We are an online womenswear retailer who have been trading since October 2016.
We have 11 employed members of staff working at Joanie HQ and we are currently working together with 9 regular suppliers.
We source directly from our manufacturers in the Far East, Europe and also here in the UK. Our products designed in-house at our UK HQ and are distributed to customers through our UK warehouse facility.
We place high importance on each person’s human rights within our company, from Joanie HQ staff through to our factory base. We only work with suppliers we know from experience have a good reputation and whom we have worked with for over 12 years.
Our biggest consumers are predominantly here in the UK but we are beginning to see strong demand in Europe, US, Canada and Australia.
The welfare of our all our co-workers is very important to the growth of our business and we mustn’t lose sight of this. Whether Joanie HQ staff, partners or our warehousing staff, we encourage diversity and equal opportunities within the work force and adopt a non-hierarchical approach to the business as we believe everybody should play their part in its functioning and in turn growth.
Currently we do have a strong female presence in the Joanie head office with 93% being Female, 7% being Male. We encourage more males to come and join us!
What is the Modern Slavery Act?
The Modern Slavery Act was introduced by the UK Government in 2015. The act requires certain businesses to ensure modern slavery in any form is not happening within the company and its supply chains. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates there to be around 21 million people in forced labour, 14.2 million of which are within the manufacturing, agriculture, construction and domestic sectors. Many workers are being forced to work long hours for low wages, living in hostel like conditions without the support of trade unions. The difficulty in identifying that modern slavery is taking place in the supply chain is that it’s often happening though deception and its hidden from view.
We want to ensure that we are working with our existing and new manufacturers in a responsible and ethical manner. We want to take action wherever possible to improve the way we work together, put the focus on protecting vulnerable workers and to be proactive in remedying severe human rights violations.
Suppliers must abide by our ‘Code of Conduct’. It is clearly communicated to all of our suppliers from the outset within our supplier manual, which suppliers agree and sign up to as part of the contract. This includes a strict policy against subcontracting, which is a risk when orders are placed with a short lead time or higher quantities are placed.
Suppliers must operate in full compliance with the laws of their respective countries and with all other applicable laws, rules and regulations, including those respecting labour, worker health and safety and the protection and preservation of the environment.
We know that within our industry there is a substantial risk of modern slavery and human trafficking being prevalent within our supply chain.
We are working with our suppliers to improve our current contract terms to include stricter standards against anti-slavery and human trafficking to make ourselves aware what measures are in place currently and what needs to be put in place.
This includes the following areas;
- Develop and improve workers’ conditions including safety and human rights.
- Communicate and support the achievement of compliance to our technical standards with all suppliers
- Encourage the views from our suppliers; what we can do to improve the way we work together ethically.
- To recognise potential risks;
- Temp/ agency workers and migrant labour
- Workers are not employed directly by us or sometimes not directly through our suppliers, therefore less visibility of the supply chain
- Lower cost materials being sourced
- Suppliers subcontract without permission (in breach of contract)
- Operating in higher risk countries
- Increasing order quantities without giving enough advance warning
- Being mindful that factories/mills need enough production time
We have a moral duty to influence and incentivise ongoing improvements in the supply chain to make sure vulnerable workers are not being exploited and are being protected. This includes issues with wages, working hours, living conditions and health and safety.
UK organisations should respect internationally recognised human rights wherever they operate and treat the risk of causing or contributing to human rights abuse as a legal compliance issue. Joanie recognises the need to tackle and raise awareness that modern slavery is happening around the world in many industries and should not be ignored.
In the coming year, we want to work particularly on the areas of risk we’ve identified above together with our suppliers. We aim to do this through more frequent factory visits and contact with our independent QC to gain more knowledge of our supply chain map and build upon our relationships with suppliers.