I have to say, I’ve not been a huge shopper of Next products in the past, but did pick up a few bits in their Boxing Day sales (read pyjamas) and following on from some comments on my previous posts I’ve decided to have a delve into the internet to find out some more about the high street giant and whether they’re a company that need to do more for the planet and it’s factory workers. So without further ado, let’s have a look at Next!
Next are a huge UK high street giant that have been around for as long as our parents and grandparents (so if you’re pushing 30 like me, that’s quite a while). Known for their quality and being quintessentially British, people love to flock to their stores every Boxing Day to nab some quality clothes at a bargain price. I always remember my auntie getting up at the crack of dawn to grab everything she possibly could and coming back home loaded with bags – as much as I love shopping, I’ve never been one to camp out or get up before the birds are tweeting to grab me some clothes – absolutely mental!
Next’s Standard Principles
No child labour
No forced labour
Freedom of association
Healthy and safe working conditions
Reasonable wages and benefits
Respectful treatment of employees
Effective management systemhttps://www.next.co.uk/ethicaltrading/
On first sight, Next appear to be squeaky clean, they don’t appear to have any involvement in crazy scandal, not so much as a paragraph slagging them off in the Sun or the Daily Mail, so we’re off to a good start! It’s easy to locate their stance on being ethical and their standard principles – it’s looking good so far!
How they treat the environment when sourcing their raw materials e.g. cotton, silk. And how the factories that make the materials treat the environment around them
Making improvements in supply chain traceability and transparency is important to NEXT and we are working closely with our suppliers in different parts of the supply chain to understand where the raw materials come from and to identify where we can support improvements in the supply chain. We are making good progress in mapping our supply chain back to raw material and are focusing on understanding Tier 3 suppliers. Our plan is to complete this by 2020.
The entire section of their report goes into a lot more detail than this quote, they have a published list of their factories, have a thorough auditing system in place and appear to work well with their suppliers. There are sections covering the sourcing of raw materials, the initiatives they’re part of and what they’re doing as a business to source ethically. I’m giving this a thumbs up!
How the factories that make the garments treat their workers
Our specialist global team of 47 works directly with both our new and existing suppliers and their factories to ensure they understand the requirements of our Auditing Standards. These standards have been developed to support our overarching Principle Standards and provide detailed information to help a supplier fulfill its obligations to its workers and to NEXT. The strength of our team lies in having this resource located in our sourcing countries, enabling us to react quickly if issues occur and also build strong relationships with our suppliers by being able to offer one to one meetings, training and support even before orders are placed by the product teams. By focusing on prevention and the development of trust, we aim to encourage long term change.
The section this was pulled from is another big one with a lot of points about what they do as a responsible business to ensure the factories they’re working with are being as ethical as possible. I’m confident in giving this one a thumbs up!
How animals are treated in the production of their clothing
We want to work to develop a more transparent leather supply chain as it is recognised that leather has a considerable environmental footprint at all stages from animal farming to hide processing through to manufacturing the final product. The leather used in our products must be a by-product of the food industry, and our long term aim is only to use leather from known and well managed sources. Our work will focus on working to overcome the impacts of the leather tanning process as this is where we have the most leverage with our suppliers. Collaboration is also an important approach and we continue to work with other retailers within the Ganges Leather Buyers Platform, a programme run by WWF, which aims to reduce pollution from tanneries along the Ganges in India.
I couldn’t find a direct policy on animal welfare, but did find this quote on leather supply. I’m going to give this a half thumbs up as there’s something there, but not enough to confirm their stance on the treatment of animals which is a bit naff.
How they dispose of their waste
Our in-house recycling centre receives materials for recycling from around 400 of our stores. The materials include cardboard, polythene, returned carrier bags, Online packaging, broken clothes hangers, polystyrene and used gift cards. Once the materials are received they are segregated and baled, before being sent for recycling. Improved procedures within the recycling centre have ensured we have been able to control how these materials are handled when they are received to ensure we maximise the quantity to be recycled.
Carbon footprint reduced by – 31% since 2007 and -12% from last year. Electricity consumption reduced by -20% since 2007 and -4% from last year. 100% renewable energy purchased from 2007
I would say Next are one of the best when it comes to this point, they have in depth sections confirming everything they’re doing to protect the environment and have actually noted how much they’ve reduced their carbon footprint. This is a huge thumbs up from me!
So overall, Next have a score of 3.5 out of 4 which is pretty damn good! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to find a 4 out of 4!
As always, let me know in the comments if you’ve got anyone else you’d like me to cover and don’t forget to check out the other posts I’ve written about the other high street giants!