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 our 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 these workers. For this reason we joined the Ethical Trading Initiative(ETI) in 2012 and as an ETI foundation stage member we request our suppliers to follow the ETI Base Code which sets out the 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 responsibilityWaste 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.
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
Ethical Trading has always been a cornerstone within our businesses. It is championed by our owner and Group Buying Director Joanne Black and runs through the core of the business. We believe that making good quality clothing, footwear and accessories need not come at the expense of others. We are proud to be foundation stage members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), working towards improving working conditions for workers in our partner factories in the Far East (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China and India among others). The ETI brings together brands, retailers, suppliers, unions and voluntary organisations to improve conditions for workers.
We joined ETI in 2012 and as an ETI foundation stage member, we are committed to upping our game each year – continuously improving the way we source our garments so that workers benefit, helping our suppliers to be better employers and benchmarking our procedures within our supplier base with the most forward looking companies in the UK and Europe. We have learnt a lot. We thank our partners who have worked with us over the last year.
We are pleased to have developed better internal systems to analyse our factory inspections. We have developed more rigorous reports and we have completed several training sessions for internal staff and with key suppliers.
We work with many partner 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.
We carry out open face-to-face discussions followed up by letters of commitment stating the ETI Base code that all suppliers have to sign. These clearly outline the standards that we expect all of our suppliers to meet.
Following that,we carry out an in house visual factory evaluation, focusing on critical health and safety points, such as fire safety, cleanliness and safety of the working environment, availability of clean drinking water and first aid supplies as well as any indication that child labour may be employed.
In addition to our own visual factory evaluation, we progress to a 3rd party audit to verify our initial findings and to gain in-depth understanding of each factory’s compliance level, examining records on workers IDs, child labour, wages and working hours, fire and building certificates, internal health and safety procedures and training of workers. Employee interviews are included on a one-to-one and group basis to cross reference information and give the workers a voice. The factory is then provided with the audit report and corrective action plan, which they must work to complete within agreed deadlines.This is closely monitored by our own dedicated teams in China and Bangladesh.
ETI Base Code
- 1. Employment is freely chosen
- 2. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
- 3. Working conditions are safe and hygienic
- 4. Child labour shall not be used
- 5. Living wages are paid (at a minimum, national legal standards or industry benchmark standards, whichever is higher)
- 6. Working hours are not excessive
- 7. No discrimination is practised
- 8. Regular employment is provided
- 9. No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed
Our environmental responsibilityWe 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 responsibilityKeith 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".
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.
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.