vendor code of ethics
Want to know what we stand for when it comes to manufacturing? Just take a look at our Vendor Code of Ethics and you’ll see that our core values extend to our supply chain partners as well. Our Vendor Code of Ethics outlines our global compliance principles to ensure that, despite cultural and legal differences among countries where we produce or source goods, all of our business partners adhere to a single set of policies. This important doc is a non-negotiable pre-condition to start and maintain a business relationship with us.
Our Vendor Code of Ethics is based on international industry recognized principles, including the International Labor Organization (ILO)’s conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United National Global Compact Principles (UNGC), and the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act. We support these government and industry initiatives and our Vendor Code of Ethics addresses them.
The Vendor Code of Ethics is first and foremost designed to protect the people manufacturing our product by outlining minimum requirements for a partnership; however, we support our partners to excel beyond these minimum requirements. All factories must abide by all applicable local laws — in addition to our Vendor Code of Ethics — and embed the most stringent regulation into their own operating procedures.
In order to maintain our core values while sustaining business growth, we recognized that it was time to update and clarify our factory relationship requirements. We developed our Vendor Code of Ethics in collaboration with our manufacturing partners because we see this as a true partnership rather than a set of rules to follow. We worked with key vendors, industry leaders and third parties to solicit feedback and ensure that the updated code reflects developments in the industry, and addresses challenges we’ve encountered.
In our code, we have clearly outlined our non-negotiable items (aka the zero-tolerance policies) as a pre-condition for working with us. These include:
- must be open, transparent and cooperative
- no unapproved facilities or subcontractors and no homework
- minimum wage is guaranteed
- no forced or bonded labour
- no child labour
- no corruption or bribery
In addition to our zero-tolerance criteria, our Vendor Code of Ethics covers the following issues:
- environment, chemicals and waste
- workplace health and safety
- fire safety
- informed workplace
- young workers
- wages and benefits
- working hours and overtime
- time off and breaks
- harassment, abuse and disciplinary action
- freedom of association and collective bargaining
- community engagement
selecting our partners
The first step in establishing a great and lasting supplier relationship with us is a conversation about the legal, social, ethical and environmental requirements outlined in our Vendor Code of Ethics. Once we have selected our partner, we require full access and resources to the factory to conduct an initial audit. If all the zero-tolerance criteria and minimum requirements are met during the audit, and the vendor agrees to honor our compliance commitment, we will then start a business relationship together.
For any violations found during the initial audit, a corrective action plan and root cause analysis are put in place. Together with the factory, we create a plan that clearly outlines the issue, a workable solution, and who is accountable and responsible to fix the issue within an agreed timeframe. Supporting our vendors, our Partner Sustainability team not only lends expert advice but regularly visits the factory to personally review and approve the changes. We take this work seriously and work hard to ensure that we choose partners who are best in the world at what they do.
monitoring and enforcement
To ensure that our code is upheld, we visit our factories in addition to working with independent third party auditors who audit on our behalf. This allows us to benchmark a vendor’s performance against industry standards and best practices. All of our partners agree to announced, semi-announced and unannounced audits for all facilities producing for lululemon when they sign our Vendor Code of Ethics certificate of compliance. Frequent visits and audits are an opportunity for us to strengthen our partnership and enhance transparency.
For our partners to be successful with our code, we seek systematic, continuous and measurable progress until a high standard of ethics has become entrenched. We settle for nothing less.