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Sustainability, Ethical, Environmental and Social Responsibility

At Regatta, our "outdoors" is for everyone and we love encouraging people to get out into the Great Outdoors and experience 1000s of adventures! We produce quality, affordable clothing, footwear and accessories for all the family. And when we are not working, we are out there enjoying the Great Outdoors for ourselves!

We realise that producing quality clothing will have an impact on the society and the environment we live in, but it is our way to act responsibly and minimise this impact as far as we reasonably can.

- Sustainability - We welcome the responsible use of natural resources and insist on finding ways to reduce or eliminate the use of finite resources, recycling where possible, what we do use.

- Ethical - We feel very strongly that workers in factories are treated fairly and benefit from working with us. We do not want our production of value and quality products to be at the expense of workers in our factories. Our Ethical Trading Code sets out the process and standards which we insist upon before working with a supplier.

- Environmental - We look to control or eliminate any adverse impacts that chemicals and waste products, resulting from our business, may have on the wider community and environment.

- Social - We want to know that working with us will have a beneficial impact on the lives of our employees, suppliers and customers and their communities. We work hard to make that happen.

- We are serious about our responsibilities to the people of this world and the environment we live in. To this end, we set up an action team in 2009, called the SEE group which spearheads initiatives across these key areas. Employees from different departments are empowered to instigate new ideas and encourage the participation of all employees within the company.

It is an amazing world out there and we want to keep it that way. Our way.

Keith Black - Chief Executive

Our sustainability responsibility

Waste Management

Our sites in the UK all comply with waste management legislation and the relevant environmental regulations by recording all movements of general waste. This is then matched with certificates received from authorised contractors, verifying the appropriate disposal. Clean and foul drain systems are identified where appropriate and comply with the requirements of pollution control regulations. Arrangements are in place to manage chemical spillage with appropriate spill kits installed at all site facilities.

Our suppliers are required to hold the appropriate licences and records for monitoring and managing waste, material discharge and waste treatment and comply with the appropriate regulations in force under local laws. 3rd party audits are carried out to make sure that:

- Waste water/exhaust are purified before they are released into the environment
- Factories have the relevant permit for waste discharge
- Factories maintain programs targeting avoidance of water, reduction of raw materials and energy use


We aim to recycle as much "waste" as reasonably possible. At all our operating sites we have recycle centres and we segregate waste streams ready for disposal. Working with properly registered and licensed contractors, the following waste streams are shipped to recycling facilities: cardboard packaging, polythene packaging, office paper, printer cartridges, lamps & lights, WEEE (electronic equipment), cans, bottles and wood.

Regatta adheres to the Green Dot European network of industry-funded systems for recycling the packaging materials of consumer goods for Germany.

Energy efficiency

Our warehouses are fitted with high frequency TS light fittings and they are on sensors so the energy used changes to the presence of people in that area. Lighting sensors are also used throughout the offices. We also use low energy usage battery chargers for our MHE.

Our ethical trading responsibility

Our way

We believe that making good quality clothing, footwear and accessories need not come at the expense of others. We’re proud to be foundation stage members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), which brings together brands, retailers, suppliers, unions and voluntary organisations to improve conditions for workers worldwide.

As an ETI member we are committed to upping our game each year – changing the way we source our garments so that workers benefit, and helping our suppliers to be better employers too.

We work with our factories all over the world, but before doing so we ensure that they share our passion for the outdoors and that they follow the same working ethics as we do. Before we consider working with a supplier, we check that they are as passionate about what they do, as we are. Following an initial introductory letter which clearly shows our commitment to Ethical Trading (including a Child Labour Zero Tolerance Letter and a AZO dye Letter and PFOS fabric protector letter) a visual factory evaluation will be carried out. The workers and managers of the factory are then questioned further. It is our responsibility to ensure all suppliers understand the code and the importance of it.

In addition to our own evaluations, we also use a recognised third party organisation, called SGS that carries out strict ethical inspections.

SGS will initiate training to ensure each factory understands the audit requirements and can prepare the necessary documentation. The audit is scored on a points basis with 95% classed as outstanding and 60% and below as not recommended. Those suppliers with 70% and above will be passed. An action plan is sent out and we would work with the factory on all recommendations suggested to help them achieve the best level they can. Each month new targets are set to encourage our suppliers to continually improve and they are monitored by regular visits from the UK and our office in the Far East.

Child labour - Zero Tolerance

- Child labour is not tolerated by Regatta.
- No children younger than the minimum age established by law or under an age interfering with compulsory schooling shall be employed.
- Each worker is required to provide an ID card or proof of age documents before employment commences.
- In the event that child labour is found, the supplier must immediately react with due consideration for the care of the children.
- No new recruitment of children shall occur.
- Further breaches will prevent Regatta from continuing to work with the factory.
- Young persons under the age of 18 shall not be employed at night or in hazardous conditions.

Employment and Discipline

- Regatta does not condone and will not be party to any form of forced or involuntary labour.
- All employees must attend work voluntarily.
- Any requests for employees to lodge "deposits" or identity papers are strictly forbidden.
- Workers are free to leave their employers after reasonable amount of notice.
- Any sort of disciplinary measures must be recorded.
- Deduction of wages as a disciplinary measure is not permitted.

Harassment, Abuse and Discrimination

- The work environment shall be free from abuse, harassment, intimidation or physical punishment of any sort.
- Regatta and our third party organisation carry out interviews with workers in confidence to ensure there are no cases of bullying, abuse or discrimination based on nationality, race, religion, gender, age, personal characteristics or beliefs.
- Employees are hired, paid and promoted based on their ability to do the job. If the employee cannot fulfil their duties adequately it will be at the discretion of the employer to terminate the contract.

Health and Safety

- It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure the provision of a safe and hygienic working environment, including safe housing where appropriate.
- Health and safety is a major part of Regatta's initial visual factory evaluation and only upon completion of all points and compliance, will Regatta start working with the factory.
- Areas covered include: exits unblocked/unlocked, exits leading to place of safety, availability of fire extinguishers and other fire fighting equipment, sufficient aisle space which is free of obstruction and have clear markings, appropriate and adequate amount of first aid equipment provided.
- It is also a condition that employees will be provided with safety equipment and sufficient safety training.
- Unrestricted access to clean sanitary facilities and potable water shall be provided.

Working Hours and Remuneration

- Total working hours will not exceed the maximum legal limits.
- All overtime shall be voluntary and workers will be paid overtime in accordance with national law.
- Wages must be at least the minimum required by local law, including allowances and benefits.
- All workers must receive a clear contract, a letter of employment or other verifiable statement, setting out the terms and conditions of employment, including working hours and rate of pay.

Housing and Accommodation

- Accommodation, if provided, should be clean, safe and in good repair.
- There should be sufficient space, with no more than 10 persons per room, and suitable segregation by gender.
- There should be at least 2 fire escapes per floor with emergency exit routes clearly marked.
- The accommodation must have suitable furniture and facilities.

Freedom of Association

- Suppliers will recognise the right of employees to join unions or representative committees.
If there is any breach of this code which Regatta considers to be severe or persistent, or the supplier is unwilling or unable to make the necessary improvements within a reasonable time frame, Regatta may terminate its relationship with that supplier.

Our environmental responsibility

We recognise that our business will inevitably have some impact on the environment. Our policy is to minimise our environmental footprint, as far as we reasonably can and to make positive progress each year. By setting out a clear vision and having in place a mechanism to measure and monitor performance, we will ensure continuous progress towards our goals.

Control of hazardous substances

The health, safety and welfare of our employees and anyone else who comes into contact with our operations is of paramount importance. Our arrangements include provisions to comply with regulations setting out the measures for managing the presence and the use of chemicals or substances that may be potentially hazardous to health. This is relevant both within wholly controlled operational sites and those of our key supply chain partners.

The company has in place management systems that comply with the requirements of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). Under these regulations, UK operations evaluate and control the risks to the health of all employees from exposure to hazardous substances at work.

The company has in place a regime of 3rd party audits to verify that supply chain manufacturers comply with local legislation ensuring as a minimum that,

- Chemicals are well covered and safely stored
- Workers handling chemicals are appropriately trained
- Workers have access to suitable equipment and protective clothing when handling any chemicals


Regatta has over 30 years experience of global sourcing in the garment industry. The regulations act as our principle point of reference for protecting human health and the environment. We invest substantial time and effort to fully understand our responsibilities and obligations under the REACH legislation, and to stay at the forefront of the regulations as they come into force. We are committed to taking all reasonable measures to ensure that our products remain within the acceptable boundaries set out by the regulations.

Efficient use of resources

Regatta has offices in China and Bangladesh which are close to our factories. This has enabled us to make efficiency savings in getting better samples through better monitoring of sample production and eliminating unnecessary trips needed by employees in UK, thus controlling the environmental impact of our miles.

Our social responsibility

Keith Black is a very philanthropic leader and this ethos runs throughout the company. The Regatta Foundation was set up in 2007 as a charitable trust to support different causes as our on-going commitment to "giving something back".

At home

Employees and departments within the company are actively encouraged to undertake their own fundraising initiatives and challenges and we have been involved with everything from mountain challenges to cake sales. Regatta matches money raised by an employee and also every employee has the opportunity to take a (paid) day off to do charitable work of their choosing.

One such charity that benefits from our work is Stockdales, based in Sale, which cares for and supports children and adults with learning disabilities and complex health needs. We are delighted that many of our staff volunteer their own time to help with this worth cause. We also work with other charities in the area including Vinelife who support the homeless in Manchester and Challenge for Change who provide a fabulous high wire, activity centre in the Trafford area which is designed for all groups of people. In addition, Regatta donates hundreds of items of clothing and equipment for a variety of charities every year.

And abroad

As well as raising money for charities close to home we also care very much for the people we work with in our factories and we support their communities. Following the Tsunami in 2004, we raised funds to support the rebuild of a village in Thiraimadu, Batticaloa in Sri Lanka. Our monies have enabled the people of Batticaloa to rebuild their lives with new houses and a new infrastructure.

Regatta is also supporting the Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation school in Savar. Funds went towards the building of a new 4-storey school in January 2008 for 134 children including 13 with disabilities. The total amount donated was $55,043.13 and we have pledged a further $6,000 per year for three years (2012 to 2014).


Regatta has a responsibility for promoting a healthy lifestyle both internally and externally. Employees are actively encouraged to get out into the great outdoors and trial Regatta gear and those who participate in wearer trials are encouraged to blog about their experiences on our own blog site. We also have gym and weight watching classes and regular inter- departmental football matches.