How We Conduct Our Business

Quality of life starts with respect.

At Esprit, we strongly believe that the people who make our products must be treated fairly and respectfully along with the environment.

This means for all our staff and suppliers, including their subcontractors:
no child labour; no forced labour; legal compensation; no involuntary overtime; no illegal or disciplinary deductions from wages; strict adherence to local law and regulation; no workplace discrimination; safe and healthy working conditions, including no use of restricted chemicals and, last but not least, minimised damage to the environment, e.g. no illegal discharge of wastewater or harmful chemicals.

With these fundamental rules in mind, we select our suppliers very carefully when we buy goods from developing countries and emerging markets. We monitor them on an on-going basis to make sure that they share our commitment.

Business Social Compliance Initiative

To improve the effectiveness of our efforts, in 2003 we voluntarily joined the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), which was founded by the Foreign Trade Association in Brussels, Europe's premier association for trade policy and global supply chains. The BSCI provides a common platform and monitoring system, ensuring that all its members uphold a joint code of conduct. If any of our suppliers violates the BSCI Code, we help them to make appropriate changes or, if necessary, terminate the business relationship.

We have a dedicated sourcing compliance team that continuously monitors the factories manufacturing Esprit products. Throughout the year, they conduct announced and unannounced audits, taking immediate action whenever our standards are not met.

Better Work

Improved workplace conditions in Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia.

Esprit has signed as a buyer partner with Better Work, a partnership between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) that brings together governments, employers, workers and international buyers to improve compliance with labour standards and promote competitiveness in global supply chains. Better Work Buyer Partners engage strategically with both the Better Work program and with national stakeholders to drive change within the industry. Better Work is an innovative partnership programme between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Operational since 2009, the programme aims to improve both compliance with labour standards and competitiveness in global supply chains. Better Work aims to have a significant and direct impact through its own country-based programmes in the garment sector, as well as indirect impact through its influence, knowledge sharing and partnerships.

Click here to read the full press release.

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition

We are a founding circle member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which represents more than a third of the global apparel and footwear industries. The SAC was formed by leading apparel and footwear brands, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organisations and NGOs to address current social and environmental challenges.

In July 2012, the SAC released a comprehensive tool to measure sustainability across the industry value chain: the Higg index. Esprit supported the development of this transparent, open source tool. It enables all SAC members to measure and evaluate the sustainability performance of their products, so that the coalition can spotlight priorities for action and opportunities for technological innovation.

Measuring the social and environmental impacts of apparel and footwear, the Higg index focuses on water use and quality, energy and greenhouse gases as well as waste, chemicals and toxicity. The next step will be to include key social and labour metrics in 2013.

In November 2013 the second version of the The Higg Index, the sustainability tool of the SAC was launched, making it easier to track sustainability performance of ourselves and our suppliers. The Higg Index helps us identify how sustainable we are as a brand and where our strengths and weaknesses lie. It gives us the tools to understand where we have the opportunities to reduce negative environmental and social impacts. Esprit supports the integration of the Higg Index and as such, we conducted a new benchmarking session with members of the SAC during the year. We see this as a means to building a more sustainable future throughout our supply chain – from the design through to manufacturing and into our stores.

Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group

Esprit cares about the chemicals we use in the manufacture of our products and we want to ensure those suspected or known to cause harm to our planet are eliminated. We believe the most effective way to achieve this is by collaborating with like-minded, responsible brands. This is why we have joined the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group (ZDHC), where members share their knowledge and work together on research of alternative ‘Green Chemistry’. Please find more information at

On June 11, 2013, the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Group released the Joint Roadmap, Version 2. We are pleased to share this ambitious plan that sets a new standard of environmental performance for the global apparel and footwear industry. This updated Roadmap builds on the initial 2011 Joint Roadmap and sets out a new plan, incorporating and reflecting comments received from a wide range of stakeholders, including textile industry suppliers and associations, government agencies in Asia, Europe and the United States, non-governmental organisations, international development organisations and the chemical industry.

Click here to read the full press release.

Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Bulding Safety

Esprit has, along with 91 other brands, joined the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh in April 2013. Signing this Accord complements our present efforts to bring about sustainable and effective health and safety measures in Bangladesh and underpins our efforts to assure fair and safe workplaces that Esprit has been implementing for a number of years. The Accord is an independent agreement designed to make all garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces. It includes independent safety inspections at factories and public reporting of the results of these inspections. Where safety issues are identified, retailers commit to ensuring that repairs are carried out, that sufficient funds are made available to do so, and that workers at these factories continue to be paid a salary.

Click here to read the full press release.