TShirtsUnited's Ethical Policy
When sourcing our garments, we have two major considerations:
- The quality of the garment
- Whether we are happy that the garment has been manufactured to ethical standards
In terms of quality, feedback from customers is consistently very high regarding our 100% combed cotton t-shirts. However, we are often questioned about the sourcing of our products, and asked for assurances that no "sweatshop" labour is used in their production.
We hope you take the time to read below. We welcome any comments or questions….
We currently source all our garments from two suppliers, both of which adhere to the highest ethical standards in terms of both the labour used to produce them and the environmental impact of production. Our sweatshirts, hooded-tops, women's t-shirts, kids' t-shirts and long-sleeved t-shirts are supplied by Starworld, whilst our 100% recycled t-shirts are manufactured by Continental Clothing. We use both suppliers for our standard men's garments to ensure we run out of stock as little as possible.
Starworld's excellent ethical approach has led to WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production) Certification. This guarantees that our products are produced under lawful, humane, and ethical conditions. It should also be noted that Starworld does not stop there but goes way beyond the accepted standard of Certification, embracing every opportunity to reduce the impact on the planet, whilst contributing positively to the well-being of the local community.
Environmental awareness is a key objective; a responsibility that is taken very seriously at every stage of the manufacturing and marketing operations which has resulted in Starworld now being recognised as the market leader in supplying certified made products in Europe. These initiatives include state of the art water treatment systems for dye baths, minimum of 80% recycled packaging used and all excess cardboard recycled as standard. Excess yarn is recycled and sold on to carpet manufacturers at subsidised prices. In this way, not only is waste minimised, but local businesses are also helped to grow and develop more employment opportunities for local people.
All employees are trained in-house and receive a comprehensive programme of education which includes aspects such as health and safety, continuous improvement, career development, and support for obtaining professional qualifications. All garments are manufactured by trained personnel, operating under fair, safe and well paid working conditions
Our products use only Oko-Tex – certified dyestuffs and all our products conform to OEKO TEX 100 Standard, which is one of the many internal controls our garments must pass before being ready for customer use.
All clothing is also REACH compliant. All our garments are manufactured in Egypt from Egyptian cotton.
Both ourselves and Starworld recognise our responsibilities to the workers for the conditions under which they manufacture our products. By operating their own production plants, we can guarantee that our clothing products are manufactured to the highest environmental and ethical standards:
EMPLOYMENT IS FREELY CHOSEN
There is no use of forced labour, slavery, bonded labour or prison labour.
A safe and hygienic working environment is provided.
Adequate measures are taken to prevent accidents and injury to health.
All workers are insured for injuries sustained by accidents during work.
Workers are given safety training.
Physical abuse, the threat of physical abuse, unusual punishments or other harassment is strictly prohibited.
Access to clean toilet facilities, cafeteria and potable water within the factory is provided.
CHILD LABOUR IS NEVER USED
Only workers above the age of 18 years are employed.
The wages and benefits paid for a standard working week is at least the minimum required to be paid under the national labour laws.
All workers are covered by the national Social Insurance scheme and the company contributes 60% of the premium paid.
Workers are not allowed to work more than 48 hours per week, in accordance with the national labour laws.
At least one day off is given every week.
Overtime if any, is always voluntary and paid at double the normal wage.
Overtime never exceeds 6 hours a week.
All employees are entitled to 3 weeks holiday per year.
There is no discrimination in hiring, promotion or termination based on race, religion, social background, political views, gender, disability or any other characteristic.
FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
The rights of all workers to bargain collectively is recognised.
All employees can apply for a higher post within the company, without restriction.
Continental Clothing believes that we all have a right to a safe and healthy work environment, a living wage, a legally binding contract. We all have a right to be free from discrimination and harassment, to join - or not to join - a labour union, to choose our work freely. We all have a right to fair and reasonable working hours. And our children have a right to go to school.
Continental Clothing Co. has adopted a robust policy with regard to the following minimum social responsibility criteria:
- No use of child labour
- No use of forced labour
- Safe and healthy working conditions
- Legal labour contracts
- Payment of living wage
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
- No discrimination against employees
- No excessive hours of work
Continental Clothing Co. has been running a pro-active social responsibility programme as a member of Fair Wear Foundation since early 2006. All the Company’s manufacturing facilities are regularly audited for social compliance and are running active monitoring programmes in accordance with standards advocated by the International Labour Organisation, the Ethical Trading Initiative and other international bodies. The Company publishes an annual Social Report.
Continental Clothing Co. recognises that garment manufacturing is one of the most environmentally damaging and harmful industrial sectors on the planet, and takes decisive and often pioneering steps towards addressing the many negative impacts. Starting with the sourcing of raw materials, the Company ensures full traceability of all fibres, choosing low impact cotton, Tencel® Lyocel, bamboo viscose and recycled polyester in the Continental® range, 100% certified organic cotton in the EarthPositive® range, and recycled organic cotton blended with recycled polyester in the Salvage® range.
Continental Clothing Co. has been a vivid supporter of many high profile campaigns, including the Clean Cotton Campaign, Pick Your Cotton Carefully, and has been working with the Environmental Justice Foundation and the Pesticide Action Network for many years. Continental Clothing Co. is an active contributor to the International Working Group on the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The Company is certified under the Global Organic Textile Standard and the Global Recycle Standard.
All the fabrics are knitted at their in-house facilities, and dyed with GOTS approved chemicals, using low-water and controlled waste discharge processes, certified to OekoTex 100 Class I standard and conforming to REACH. Organic certified fabrics are dyed in their zero-discharge dyehouse, where all the water is recycled in a closed-loop system.
Continental Clothing have reduced the carbon footprint of EarthPositive®products by around 90% through a combination of innovative product design, low impact organic agriculture, efficiency in manufacturing, and by replacing standard grid electricity with renewable wind power. It has been calculated that a single EarthPositive® T-shirt saves around 7 kilograms of CO2e, whereas a hooded sweatshirt saves up to 28 kgs. Having taken the greenhouse gas emissions to pre-industrial levels, all the EarthPositive® products carry the registered mark “Climate Neutral”.