In 2020 we started reporting on our sustainability journey and shared our sustainability commitment - Made with Care.
Made with Care is our pledge to bring affordable fashion to our customers as ethically and sustainably as we possibly can - it applies to the life cycle of every fashion garment; from the fabrics we use, how it's made and supplied, how we package it, upcycle it, and how we can minimise waste at the end of its life.
There's always more we can do and wherever possible, we'll continue to improve sustainability and visibility in all areas of our operation, so our stakeholders and our customers can see what we've done, how we've improved and what we have planned to minimise HGH's environmental impact on the planet and be a force for good
Every sustainability journey needs a framework to work to and measure progress against. Ours is based around three broad pillars: Product, Planet, People. Under those we have developed areas of focus with the important issues for us to address.
Our Sustainability Governance Board Committee guides our sustainability strategy and monitors how we are tracking against our sustainability goals, with a team that support our day-to-day operations.
Our vision as HGH is to build a sustainable business founded on integrity; and when it comes to being a sustainable business, we're certainly not perfect, but as you can see, we are working hard at being better and addressing the things that matter.
HGH have published a Modern Slavery statement, prepared in accordance with the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018.
This statement outlines how we combat risks of modern slavery and reduce the risk of it happening within our operations. You can find a link to the Modern Slavery statement inside the 2022 Sustainability Report
Our people are what makes Glassons and Hallenstein Brothers the iconic brands they are today. Whether it be our frontline staff in our stores, our dedicated staff at our DC's or the office staff in the engine room, all play a crucial role in our success.
We recognise this; our people are entitled to feel valued, respected and appreciated. We also want to make sure they feel safe and happy whilst at work
An empowered workforce makes for a happy crew - and we are committed to supporting that empowerment by promoting our values of respect, dignity, non-discrimination and providing safe workplaces. We review performance and job satisfaction six monthly, setting goals and KPIs with staff to ensure they continue to grow in their roles.
We're very serious about providing our staff with a safe place to work. Our health and safety policies and programmes go beyond compliance to ensure this. We care about our employees - feeling safe in their workplace is a given for us.
Healthy, valued staff are more likely to be productive and have more to contribute. Simple really. HGH cares for staff in a number of ways; one of those is our membership of the Employee Assistance Programme, EAPworks.
EAPworks can provide assistance and counselling to employees in need in a number of ways. The programme can help employees with stress or relationship issues, as well as providing mentoring, career planning, life transition skills and more.
We actively promote health and safety throughout the business. Our Health and Safety Committee (which includes HGH Board members) monitors HGH health and safety and regularly reports directly to the Board with recommendations for improvements. We also have a workers committee who provide very valuable 'shop floor' health and safety input on specific issues.
Supporting our staff early in their careers is critical to ensuring a dynamic workplace and this is something we focus on doing really well. Healthy, happy, empowered staff can achieve great things!
Once a staff member is part of the HGH family, we provide ongoing professional development support through numerous training opportunities.
The need for agility around day-to-day operations, to work remotely and to adjust to a new normal were learnings that came out of the COVID-19 experience, has helped us innovate, and led to us focusing on improving communication and education of customers and staff, mainly through digital channels.
We've focused on:
We're an Equal Employment Opportunity employer with policies that ensure we employ a diverse and inclusive workforce. Everyone who joins our team is supported with a comprehensive induction programme and a career development plan that we develop together.
As a business, we encourage diversity and inclusion not only within HGH, but also in our interactions with customers and suppliers. We have introduced a programme that educates our employees on unconscious bias with a view to encouraging more mindful interactions and more inclusive decisions.
HGH is a strong advocate for women excelling in the workplace, and we provide many opportunities and pathways for our female workers to further their careers in management within the fashion industry.
It's well-documented and commonly accepted that embracing and supporting diversity in the workplace results in increased productivity. An inclusive culture boosts morale and encourages creativity and self-expression. We recognize and encourage that dynamic, because it's great for everyone, our staff, our customers, and our business.
For HGH, an ethical factory is one which focuses on worker welfare, has a safe working environment, upholds international labour rights, and respects the environment.
We don't own or manage factories ourselves - we outsource our manufacturing to selected partners - ones that we know meet our high ethical and quality standards. Because we build close relationships with our suppliers we can, and do, demand high standards and transparency from them.
Our manufacturing partners are located in four countries:
China, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam.
Our supplier code of conduct is created for the purpose of ensuring that HGH suppliers put into place safe working conditions and their employees are treated with respect. Our Code of Conduct encompasses the core labour standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). These include:
Workers' welfare and safety is a cornerstone of our ethical factory programme and auditing gives us the visibility into a typical day within a factory. Our external audit partner, Qualspec SgT, conducts factory audits on our behalf to assess our suppliers' compliance with our Code of Conduct.
As a company we pay 'Fair Wage' and support 'Living Wage' by working with our suppliers to meet Living Wage benchmarks.
A Living Wage should be earned in a standard work week (no more than 48 hours as a maximum) by a worker and be sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and their family.
Elements of a decent standard of living include food, housing, and other essential needs such as clothing, education, healthcare, transport and including provision for unexpected events.
A Living Wage should allow individuals to work and help themselves and their families escape poverty.
We report our wage gap analysis annually in our sustainability report.
Click here to see a list of our Supply Partners:
Since our 2021 Sustainability Report, we have been busy collecting the data we need to measure our carbon footprint as it stands.
We are now in the process of analysing the data - this is the first step in developing our carbon management and reduction strategy. To achieve meaningful carbon reduction as a business, we needed to know where we're at - what base level we are working from. Now we have that information, we'll set our targets and develop a reduction road map.
The journey ahead will be a challenging one, but one we are excited about. The key to reducing our carbon footprint significantly is education and empowerment, building knowledge and empowering the entire business to act.
Three Rs continue to be our focus - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
We're making good progress reducing our plastic use, but the reality is dealing with plastic in the supply chain is more complicated, as eliminating polybags completely from the supply chain is not always the best environmental solution. That may sound counter-intuitive, but polybags protect garments from soil and damage in transit from factory to store, and the environmental cost of damage to a garment can outweigh that of producing a polybag, if that garment is damaged and needs replacing.
We are rapidly moving toward packaging that's disposed of properly and has less environmental impact. But we are also reducing the amount of packaging we use, and the amount of waste we generate. And where we cannot eliminate waste, we're doing all we can to reuse or recycle. This is our reduce, re-use, recycle policy.
Our 117 retail stores, 3 distribution centres and our head offices in Auckland and Sydney, all generate waste, consume electricity and use resources, so we're always looking for ways to make our stores and operations more efficient and environmentally sustainable.
Managing waste continues to be a priority for the business and a key part of our carbon reduction strategy.
While we can't eliminate waste - there will always be some - we can recycle and reuse more and more if we think smart and laterally. We're ramping up our efforts to reduce the amount of packaging we use and ensure recycling is at an optimum level.
We have an ambitious goal - by 2025, to reduce by 50% what goes to landfill from our distribution centres. We are working hard to achieve this and are engaging an independent waste audit later this year to help us plan a robust waste minimisation strategy.
So we can showcase our product the best way possible we use Visual merchandising to enhance the store experience for the consumer. We have always taken pride in our visual merchandising and the attention to detail that goes into the planning and implementation is inspiring. But this comes at a cost and we want to reduce the impact that these materials have on the planet.
Each year we challenge ourselves to reduce the environmental impact of our materials used for visual merchandising. It's an ongoing process of improvement and partnering with key third party suppliers and distributors with a similar mindset has helped.
It will come as no surprise that fabric is the cornerstone of our business. Without it we would not exist. It comes in many forms, some of it sustainable, some not.
So our goal is two-fold: make product as sustainable as possible, and ensure that product is affordable and accessible for our customers, so they can make a sustainable choice without compromise. Our garments should not only function properly and look good; but do so with minimal negative impact on the environment.
Our customers and employees told us that delivering a greater percentage of recycled and organic fabrics matters to them, and this continues to be a priority for us. In 2020 we set ourselves a goal of reaching 30% certified product by 2022, and we have achieved this! We have done a lot of work to bring genuine certified product to market and are now focussed on our next goal of 60% by 2025.
Fashion production makes up 10 per cent of humanity's carbon emissions, dries up water sources, and pollutes rivers and streams. Washing some types of synthetic clothes sends thousands of microfibres into the ocean. However, there are solutions and alternatives to mitigate these problems.
Conventional cotton farming involves the application of substantial fertilizers and pesticides. Pesticides threaten the quality of soil and water, as well as the health of biodiversity in and downstream from the fields.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
Synthetic fibres are manmade fibres using petroleum, the process is the not the best on the planet, we are aware of this and are working towards replacement options.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
When washed, synthetic clothing sheds tiny plastic fragments known as microfibers. Microfibers are the most prevalent type of microplastic (plastic pieces less than 5 mm in diameter) found in the environment.
With every wash, tiny plastic fibres from our textiles find their way from washing machines into the wastewater, polluting rivers, lakes, oceans, and soils.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
As consumers, we can reduce our own individual carbon footprint by making changes to how we wash our clothes.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
Textile waste is a well-known global issue within the apparel industry, as a business we have taken this very seriously over the last 5 years. We have reduced our textile waste by improving quality control, and internal processes.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
For HGH, product stewardship is an approach to managing the environmental impacts of different products and materials throughout all stages of the products' life cycle, including end of life management.
Our ultimate goal is no textile waste, which is difficult to achieve, but we are reusing and recycling an increasing amount, as much as we possibly can.
We have collaborated with several organisations to help find solutions for all our end-of-life products.
These organisations include: