This statement is made on behalf of Victoria Beckham Limited (for the purposes of this statement "VBL"). We are publishing this statement under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that our business and supply chain reflects our values and respect for human rights.
At VBL, we value human rights and dignity and are committed to maintaining and improving practices to combat modern slavery and human trafficking throughout our business. We encourage our suppliers to share our commitment to providing an ethical work environment.
Our organisational structure, our business, and our supply chains
VBL is a luxury fashion company which has its registered office in London. We design, manufacture and sell high fashion, quality garments, shoes and accessories. Since launching in 2008, the Victoria Beckham fashion brand has developed a distinctive and modern language of clothing. There are five Victoria Beckham lines including Ready to Wear, Victoria Victoria Beckham, Accessories, Shoes and Eyewear. These lines are stocked in over 400 stores in over 50 countries internationally, and they showcase only the finest craftsmanship and materials.
One of VBL's overriding objectives is to conduct all of its business in an honest and ethical manner. We endeavour to maintain a fair and ethical workplace for all of our staff. It is an essential part of this that all forms of forced labour or human trafficking are prohibited and that they have no place in our business.
Similarly, compliance with all employment laws is a fundamental objective of VBL and our employee handbook sets out strict rules and policies on anti-corruption, bribery, equal opportunities and discrimination.
Our whistleblowing policy invites employees to bring to our attention any illegal or improper behaviour and any breach of the Company's own policies. The whistleblowing policy encourages staff to raise any concerns about our supply chain management without fear of retribution.
Our supply chains
The key suppliers and partners in our supply chain supply fabrics and materials as well as manufacturing the clothes and other garments that VBL designs. Our methods of engaging with suppliers ensure that we are confident that we remain fully compliant with the law at all times. We do remain constantly vigilant and periodically monitor risks at all levels of the supply chain.
Our due diligence processes
We expect all of our contractors, suppliers and other business partners to uphold the same high standards as we do, by ensuring that all employees and workers are treated with dignity and respect in a fair and ethical environment.
Our employees are subject to right to work checks and we continue to work with our contractors to ensure that they comply with relevant employment laws including minimum wage requirements and right to work rules.
We work with our retail partners across the world to provide information on our own compliance with applicable ethical standards as well as that of our suppliers and manufacturers. As part of these partnerships, we have used various audit platforms including Sedex which is a collaborative platform for sharing responsible sourcing data on supply chains. Having found Sedex particularly useful for ensuring thorough compliance checks are carried out, VBL is now adopting Sedex to use as part of its own internal monitoring processes (see "Looking ahead" below).
Assessing and managing risk
VBL sources goods and services from the United Kingdom, Italy, Portugal,Turkey, China, India, Romania, Poland, Greece, Mauritius, Korea and Thailand. When selecting suppliers, we consider and scrutinise the reputation and integrity of the companies before deciding whether we want to work with them. Audits are carried out as part of the due diligence process before engaging companies. We regularly visit our production and supplier sites and exercise our right to carry out inspections and audits where appropriate.
We work to identify, assess, and monitor any potential areas of risk in relation to our business and supply chains. This includes considering the type of services being carried out, the nature of what is being supplied and the location from where it is being supplied. We will continue to look to manage any risks identified and work with our suppliers and manufacturers to uphold ethical standards.
We consider it vital that our employees and workers are aware of the issues surrounding modern slavery and support our values. Our legal team is aware of requirements of the Modern Slavery Act. Other key stakeholders in the business are experienced in carrying out relevant due diligence checks on our supply chain, and they continue to train other members of staff in this area.
We intend to train relevant personnel to recognise environment, health, safety, and labour/worker concerns, including issues relating to slavery, human trafficking and forced labour, and to report and investigate all suspicions of improper conduct at all suppliers globally.
We continue to monitor and develop our practices in respect of combatting slavery and human trafficking, particularly focusing on areas of the supply chain that may pose a higher risk of human trafficking or forced labour.
Because VBL is committed to sourcing and designing only the highest quality garments, our processes will continue to evolve and improve. We are strengthening our approach to supply chain management by adopting a well-established audit system, Sedex, which will enable VBL and its suppliers to verify that its supply chain operates in a legally compliant and ethical manner.
VBL is adding to existing protections in place by finalising new supplier terms across the business. The new terms require that suppliers agree that they will comply with applicable statutory and regulatory requirements. Additionally, suppliers are required to agree specifically that their services will be provided with due consideration of its staff and the environment.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes VBL's slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2016.