Since launching footwear in 2010 we have been refining the offering to create collections for customers that are fashionable, comfortable and durable. We spend a great deal of time travelling India and China to search for suppliers who we believe not only have the technical skills but the best facilities, business practices and ethics which align with our own. In 2012 we found the perfect supplier in Agra India and in 2018 we found another supplier in China who also shares our values.
A specialist footwear maker, our maker in China has an up-to-date Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) social compliance audit (dated November 2017) conducted by independent auditor ESTS.
We are proud to welcome this Maker to the ELK family of suppliers. Read on to see the findings from their audit -
- The factory employs 70 staff, 36 of whom are women
- No evidence of child labour, the minimum legal age is 16 and the youngest on staff is 19 years old
- No evidence of forced labour, with all staff free to leave the factory after their work hours and able to resign with reasonable notice. Employees are not required to deposit a fee or ID papers to secure work.
- There is an elected workers representative committee with freedom of association
- No discrimination based on gender, with women paid the same rate as men for the same work.
- Each employee receives a clear written contract on commencement
- 100% of the workforce is paid at or above the legal minimum wage, with a bonus scheme in place, and pay slips provided to all employees.
- Employees receive paid annual leave, marriage and funeral leave, maternity leave and other legal benefits
- Overtime is voluntary and paid at a higher rate, and employees have at least one day off in seven
- The minimum wages and overtime wages of employees are guaranteed
- Safety training is provided to employees when they commence work and ongoing
- Clean drinking water is provided, with access to first aid kits and trained first aiders on site
- The factory has an environmental policy and environmental management system in place
- Waste is collected and segregated, and no hazardous waste is produced in the factory
This family owned factory opened in 1987 and have a culture of wanting to improve themselves, their people and a commitment to giving back to their team and community. Some of their latest initiatives are outstanding and they are certainly leaders in sustainable and ethical practices with initiatives seeing them going above and beyond the usual requirements and standards of others.
They run an in-house training institute with the sole objective to train the rural, underprivileged youths, particularly those who are from below poverty line to enhance their employability.
“These prospective candidates are mobilised by us. The company also arranges their accommodation and food and pay them a monthly stipend. The entire expenses of the training institute are born by us. It is so we give back to the community and these people can then have skills to get work in future.”
- Mr Chetan Gupta, Director
Their fair manufacturing standards, innovative policies and incredible factory are all examples of their endeavours to produce 100% in-house in sweat shop free, safe conditions in sustainable facilities. We are so happy to be aligned with them and to be a part of their wonderful story.
- Members of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition.
- Certified to SA 8000 (social accountability) and ISO 9001 (quality management) standards.
- Members of Sedex, and undertake regular Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) social compliance audits.
- No forced or child labour. All employees are over 18 years of age.
- They employ over 1200 employees, 70% of whom are salaried with the other 30% paid by individual piece work with a minimum equivalent wage of 8 hours work a day to ensure they earn a fair wage.
- Wages equate to twice the legal minimum wage rate.
- Workers are paid for voluntary overtime hours.
- All workers are given contracts on commencement outlining their employment conditions, entitlements and policies.
- In a predominantly male staffed company, 100% of female employees are in management or senior roles
- Workers committee exists to represent workers interests in areas such as health and safety, facility safety, first aid etc.
- Workers are provided with filtered clean drinking water, subsidised canteen food, in-house first aid, loan facilities, pay advancement facilities if required, Employees Provident Fund and pension facilities.
- All work is conducted in-house, no labour is outsourced.
- Workers are provided with insurance through ESI Government Insurance Scheme.
- Their R&D centre has been designed in line with LEED certification standards and approved by the Green Building Council of India. It has a solar plant, standard temperature and pressure (STP), water harvesting, reverse osmosis drinking water and is formed wholly using the earth it was excavated from.
- A 250 KW Solar power generating system was installed in March 2011, saving 200 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
- Energy efficient LED lights have been installed to reduce electricity use.
- They have an independently appointed sustainability manager on staff with the aim to “get the best sustainability management practices”.
- Water saving initiatives include using reverse osmosis waste water in flush & cleaning, using waste water for gardening & water harvesting and an awareness program to save water.
- All leather offcuts are recycled.
- They have extensive chemical management processes in place to ensure safe conditions in the factory. They adhere to a strict list of restricted chemicals in line with ELK standards and local and global regulations, including EU REACH guidelines.
- Chemical waste is sorted and segregated in an identified area within the factory and is disposed of through a government approved vendor.
Shop our range of footwear here.