Birthday present to myself – a new black Cardie May 13 2017, 0 Comments

It was my Birthday last week, so I bought myself a present. A new black Cardigan!

Me and Black Cardigan

I was not quite ready for the amount of searching and research I would need to do to find said cardigan. I thought, pfft, it will be easy to find an ethically made black cardigan, it’s a staple in every wardrobe right? Well, apparently, I am not as fashionable as I thought, and the humble black cardie is not on the top of everyone’s ethical shopping list. If only I was looking for an asymmetrical, or oversized, full-length cardigan, I would have had an easy time.

I thought I had hit the jackpot when I found Everlane… sold out (side note, I plan to shop this site some other day). My search continued. I stumbled upon the unlikely candidate, Boden. A UK brand (with distribution in Australia) that is stepping up in the ethical realm. But, when a brand says it is ethical, what does that mean and is it true? Cue my dive into the depths of the internet for some research.

Me and Black Cardigan

Boden is a British catalogue and online retail brand (see what I mean, unlikely right?). Boden has been a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) since 2008, which requires brands to commit to the ETI base code, and its ETI’s Principles of Implementation. Boden reports annually to the ETI on the steps it is taking to address working conditions in its supply chains.

All suppliers working with Boden sign up to the ETI, which forms part of Boden’s terms and conditions of trade. Factories producing Boden products are monitored through independent ethical audits to help them adhere to this strict code of conduct. Boden also works with their suppliers to constantly help develop improvement plans that will provide long-term benefits for their employees.

An initiative I found really interesting is the HERproject. Boden collaborates with BSR (a global network of companies working collaboratively to improve ethical and sustainable trade across the world – find more information about that ongoing work here) on the HERproject. The HERproject aims to increase knowledge, improve behaviour and provide wider access to critical health services for women working in factories. Since it was started in 2007, the HERproject has reached over 250,000 workers in 250 factories, in 14 countries, including China, India, Kenya and Mexico. It’s now recognised as a leading innovation for women’s health by the UN Every Woman, Every Child initiative.

Boden uses the innovative Good World Solutions Labor Link technology in China and India. Labor Link is a mobile platform that collects anonymous, real-time data from employees about their working conditions.

This is what Boden has to say on their ethical policy:

Wherever we do business, either in the UK or overseas, we are committed to doing our best to deliver a high standard of ethical conduct. We are longstanding members of the Ethical Trading Initiative and, for us, it's not enough to simply comply with legal requirements; we are constantly looking for new ways to improve our relationships with our suppliers and support their employees even further.

Boden is a brand that is always striving to improve. The 2017 Baptist World Aid Australia Ethical Fashion Guide scored them a B- (up from a C+ in 2016). Clearly, Boden is working on improving the way it operates and that, my friends, is a win for all ethical fashionistas, indicating our voices are being heard!

Jane Signature

Me and Black Cardigan