Advocating for sustainable international supply chains
Hunkemöller is the leading European lingerie brand, with over 700 stores and a state-of-the-art e-commerce platform. The business has a clearly defined signature with a strong in-house design team that drive fashion and product innovation. The company has its own stores in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden, as well as franchise stores in Aruba, Bahrain, Belarus, Curaçao, Egypt, Greece, India, Morocco, Oman, Panama, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and UAE.
Carlyle acquired Hunkemöller in 2015. In 2016, Hunkemöller signed the Agreement on a Sustainable Garment and Textile Sector to encourage sustainable international supply chains. The agreement was proposed by the Dutch government in conjunction with a broad coalition of 75 clothing and textile companies, their trade associations, NGOs and trade unions.
Signing the five-year agreement significantly expands the company’s sustainability and transparency efforts, covering a wide scope of stakeholder concerns regarding labor conditions, environmental impact and animal welfare within the supply chain. Progress is periodically examined by an independent organization.
A first step in this process is to increase the company’s level of transparency. To this end, Hunkemöller will disclose all of its factory locations to the Secretary of the Agreement (an independent organization), which will be published in an aggregated list online. In addition, due diligence forms the starting point of prioritizing the sustainability risks in the supply chain, to be addressed in the roadmap the company is currently drafting. Hunkemöller plans to submit its strategy for evaluation by the Secretary of the Agreement in summer 2017.
In 2016, Hunkemöller also developed new supplier policies, including responsible chemical management, with a goal of reducing the use of hazardous and legally restricted substances in the textile and apparel supply chain. It also enrolled 95% of supplier factories in an auditing process.
Hunkemöller’s commitment to managing its supply chain began as early as 2004. That year, it introduced a Supplier Code of Conduct (2004) and joined the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), the European social monitoring system for ethical sourcing initiated by the Brussels-based Foreign Trade Association (FTA). The BSCI is based on International Labour Organization (ILO) labor standards and supports the continuous improvement of suppliers’ social performance. The BSCI audit measures performance in 13 areas that correspond to the principles in the BSCI Code of Conduct.