What is sustainable life?
Sustainable Life is a mark that you can trust when it comes to purchasing cotton items. Products that carry the mark show the ethical commitment and eco consciousness of the retailer or manufacturer of the product. As a consumer you can be confident in the knowledge that the people involved in creating your products were paid a fair wage, decent working hours and work in safe and hygienic conditions.
Cotton products that adhere to the standards of Sustainable Life will carry the physical logo on the inner care labels and swing tags.
What does sustainable life aim to do?
Sustainable Life aims to bring you, the consumer, increased confidence in what you are purchasing. Many products claim to be ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘ethical’ without evidence to back this up. By being open about the integrity and values of the manufacturers we work with, we hope to take any doubt from your mind about the ethical origins of the cotton products you buy.
How are we going to do it?
We ask all our manufacturers to comply with a set social compliance environmental code of conduct and provide evidence of their Fairtrade status and most recent SEDEX audit. For a cotton product to carry the sustainable life mark, the manufacturer must:
- Be both Fairtrade certified and a SEDEX audited factory with up to date certification available upon request.
- Vehemently condemn illegal child labour, forced labour and discrimination. Strictly not engage with any supplier, factory or business that engages in such discriminatory practices. *
- Demonstrate good Health and Safety Management and provide safe and healthy working conditions.
- Have and adhere to a ‘Code of Conduct’ that they and their suppliers adhere to of which should include the following:
- Employment is freely chosen
- Freedom of Association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic
- Child labour shall not be used
- Living wages are paid
- Working hours are not excessive
- No discrimination is practiced
- Regular employment is provided
- No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed
- Show due concern for the environment and seeks to minimise the environmental impact of its operations whilst complying with all relevant and prevailing legislation. They ensure that all products are safe to manufacture and use.
- Ensure, where possible, that all materials used are environmentally friendly and that the Company operates the with eco-friendly values in mind.
- Have an Environmental Policy in use and can demonstrate that they follow, monitor and aim to reduce waste throughout their production process.
- Operate at all times in accordance with the Law and with honesty, fairness and integrity in relations with customers, suppliers, competitors, employees, workers and the community. It does not offer, pay nor accept bribes of any kind and does not make any political donations or participate with political parties.
* should such situations be identified; Sustainable Life are committed to informing the relevant third parties to prevent such activity continuing.
As a consumer, what does this mean to you?
It might mean that the products you buy carry a slightly higher price point, but this means that people that are making the items are compensated fairly. This price has come down the supply chain and it means that the retail price is higher than that of a bag made in unethical conditions. It is not just set by the retailer to make extortionate profit margins.
As a consumer it also means you can be confident in the origins of the product. Treat the Sustainable Life mark as an assurance that the cotton product comes from ethical origins.