Our products are currently made by supplier factories located in China, Germany, Indonesia, Portugal, Turkey and the UK. These suppliers are important to our business and we choose our partners carefully.
We require all our suppliers, wherever they are based, to provide a safe workplace and to meet high standards in areas such as human rights, labour practices and the environment. Our commitment to ethical trading is fully integrated into our sourcing process, alongside criteria such as quality and reliability. We look for suppliers who are open about how they work and willing to engage in a dialogue with us.
We communicate our standards to suppliers and if improvements are needed we work with them to make the required changes. By working together we aim to create meaningful and lasting change that benefits factory workers.
Our Code of Conduct sets out the principles we expect of our suppliers to ensure safe and fair working environments. It is based on international standards including the International Labour Organization conventions. Our Code is available in our six sourcing languages (English, Chinese, German, Indonesian, Portuguese and Turkish). Its core principles include:
All new suppliers must meet the base standards outlined in our Code of Conduct before we work with them. We meet with any potential new suppliers to discuss our ethical trading requirements and we commission independent third-parties to carry out audits, checking for compliance with our Code. It is only after these checks have been completed, full transparency has been shown, and the supplier has shown a genuine commitment to ethical trading that we will agree to a business relationship.
We also visit and audit key ‘Tier 2’ suppliers. These companies supply components and materials to the factories such as natural rubber, metal buttons, leather linings and yarn.
We are a member of the Fair Factories Clearinghouse, an initiative that enables different brands to work together to improve supply chain practices. We collaborate with other members, who use the same factories as Hunter by sharing visit reports and audit results. By working together in this way, we can support improvements in working conditions while reducing the burden on suppliers by avoiding multiple audits of the same factories.
We work with factories on a regular basis to help them develop and improve their working conditions and ethical standards. If we identify any issues through our audit process, we support the factory in making improvements.
Our team supports suppliers, answering any questions they have about specific issues and providing them with examples of good practice and sources they can use to help them improve. We organise personalised training sessions and workshops for suppliers, which are run by in-country experts, and we bring factories together at our supplier conferences, providing them the chance to share their own experiences. We remain in continual contact with supplier factories, which must provide regular updates on their progress. These are verified through regular Hunter visits to their factories and follow-up audits.
Audit results are shared with our product development and sourcing teams, who are given regular updates on the progress of the factories they work with and any outstanding issues. These team members support the ethical trading programme by encouraging suppliers to make improvements and by monitoring these during their own visits to factories. By making sure that all our teams are aware of and involved in implementing our ethical trading standards, we achieve better results and demonstrate to suppliers the importance we attach to respecting workers in our supply chain.
Helping factory workers protect their health
Personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves and protective clothing, plays a critical role in protecting the health and well-being of factory workers. Despite its importance, workers do not always know how to use this equipment correctly and may not be aware of the risks of not doing so. This is a challenge across the manufacturing industry and one of the most common issues identified in factory audits.
To help address this problem, we launched a project with our rubber footwear suppliers in China to ensure all their workers were using PPE in the right way. The project kicked off with a basic training session for all workers in both factories, over 1,200 people. The factory owners, Hunter’s Corporate Responsibility Manager and a Chinese factory health and safety expert addressed the workers, explaining the factory policies on wearing PPE, the health risks of not using PPE and the correct way to use equipment. This included identifying different protective masks for different kinds of jobs in the factory and information on how each mask work to protect against various risks.
The next step was to conduct a thorough inventory of the PPE used in each section of the factories. This took into account how many people work in each section, what risks they are exposed to, how often their health is monitored by a doctor and what training they have received on PPE. We also reviewed the results of air-quality monitoring tests. Using the results of the inventory and the tests, and with the help of an occupational health and safety expert, we helped the factories select the appropriate PPE for each section of the factory.
Factory supervisors have an important role to play in making sure workers are using the right PPE on a day-to-day basis. We arranged for a ‘train the trainer’ session for managers as well as select employees. The sessions covered the specific risks in their factory, focusing on the equipment they used and how it worked. This included details that sometimes get overlooked such as how to store it correctly and how often it should be replaced.
We also guided workers and managers on how to communicate these topics effectively to factory workers, who may underestimate the importance of PPE. The skills they learned included public speaking, presenting, using visual aids and handling questions from workers. Supervisors then put these skills to use, running small group training sessions for workers on health and safety and PPE. These have now reached 100% of the workforce in each of the two factories.
Hunter organises projects to benefit communities in our supply chain.
In Indonesia, for example, we worked with our long-term supplier to make improvements to a local primary school. After applying for government approval, we were able to fund the construction of new toilets with a modern sewage system, install a new security gate, and fix broken desks and chairs, as well as purchase new furniture. We continue to show our support to the school through regular visits by Hunter employees who spend time reading with the students, teaching art lessons and supporting them in their studies.
In China, we arranged for skills-training classes open to all workers in one of our key supplier factories. The classes addressed issues relevant to all aspects of their lives from safety in the workplace to emotional welfare and psychological well-being including stress-management, dealing with conflict at home and communications skills.
Please click here to view Hunter’s Statement of Compliance with US Senate Bill 657 (California Transparency in Supply Chains Act).