Modern Slavery Act
M&Co Trading Ltd Limited (T/A Sonder Studio)
Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement
The statement below covers the policies and procedures in place during the Group’s financial year ending 22nd February 2019 to prevent slavery and human trafficking from occurring within its business activities or supply chain. The statement has been prepared in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
- Organisational Structure and Business Activities
M&Co Trading Limited is privately owned and, with the exception of a small investment in renewable energy, is solely focused on the retailing of clothing, accessories and homeware. At September 2019 we trade from 267 stores in the UK, have 13 overseas stores operated by franchise partners and a transactional website. Total annual turnover is £168 million (net of VAT). Our Head Office is in Inchinnan, near Glasgow Airport, and we also have a Buying Office in Paddington, London. There are approximately 3,200 employees, all UK based.
This statement can be considered under the following headings:
Product and product component suppliers
Non product suppliers
- Product and Product Component Suppliers
At M&Co Trading Limited we source a wide range of product from garments and footwear to home textiles and accessories. Due to the varied nature of our product offer, the M&Co Trading Limited supply chain encompasses 19 countries, 170+ suppliers and around 325 manufacturing sites. The number of suppliers and manufacturing sites we use have been reduced further in the last year as part of our strategy to consolidate and simplify our supply chain and to enable a reduction of potential risk. Over 70% of the annual buy comes from three countries, these being China, India and Bangladesh.
We are a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative and collaborate with other members to address issues, share information and work together to improve our supply chains.
As a business we ensure that all our suppliers are aware of our strict ethical requirements and base code. We have a dedicated section in our terms and conditions, which have to be signed before business can commence. This outlines the company’s current stance on forced, bonded and child labour and has been developed in line with best practice in our business sector and International Labour Organisation guidelines. We have spent time during the year updating our terms and conditions to ensure that they continue to offer robust guidance to our supply chain partners as modern slavery is not a static concept.
Currently we ensure that all first tier manufacturing sites are audited annually. These audits cover right to work, freedom of association and forced labour. Supply chains are highly complex and dynamic so we have used tools to look at social and human rights / trafficking risks in our key supply countries and have a process of mapping second tier sites such as mills and sub-contractors, in India and Bangladesh, and will continue to work with our suppliers so that they understand the importance of declaring 2nd tier sites.
We continue to build partnerships with our suppliers and factories to strengthen key relationships and to encourage transparency.
We continue to review and develop our on-boarding due-diligence process. We consider this to be a stringent process with strong auditing criteria. We continue to have meetings with all new suppliers to thoroughly understand their own supply chains and to communicate our own policies regarding what we expect as a business.
Going forward we will continue to review our supply chain and further map and audit the second tier which will include printing, embroidery and washing.
Non Product Suppliers
Most of our non-product purchases and purchases of services are made in the UK. We have confirmed our commitment to eradicating modern slavery in all its forms with our non-product suppliers.
The safeguarding of our employees’ welfare is of paramount importance and we have many controls in place to ensure that we are providing a safe, fair and rewarding environment in all our business locations. In our desire to protect employees in the workplace and to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place, the following policies are in place:
Harassment and Bullying Policy
Diversity and Equal Opportunities Policy
Training Needs Analysis
Company Values Tree
Employee Assistance Programme for confidential help and advice
Should any issue relating to human trafficking or slavery become apparent in the organisation, swift action will be taken to protect the human rights of employees.
In locations where we regularly employ temporary workers, close working relationships have been established with an Employment agency. This agency has a presence on site and people policies are in place which have been audited to ensure good employment practices.
- Franchise Operations
All of our international stores operate on a franchise model with partners who are established and proven local retail operators. We are currently trading with 6 franchise partners, in 13 stores across 10 countries. Our partners sign our standard franchise agreement which commits them to our corporate terms and conditions.
M&Co Trading Limited Board – September 2019