What does sustainable business mean to Sissy-Boy?
Sissy-Boy sells its products in the dynamic fashion world. A world that is always changing and in which new developments happen in rapid succession. Sissy-Boy strives for growth and innovation, but in a responsible way. There is a continuous search for improvements in our product chain. Sissy-Boy finds it important that everyone who works on our products does so under the best possible labour conditions. All of our suppliers have signed our Code of Conduct and there are regular meetings with suppliers in which the labour conditions are discussed. We live in a world where there are more and more people while raw materials are becoming ever more scarce. Sissy-Boy sees it as its responsibility to, together with stakeholders, look for possibilities to have our products made in the most responsible way possible. This is a continuous process and certainly not finite. We respond to new opportunities every day and will adjust our vision through renewed insights. Sissy-Boy has implemented sustainability into its organisation and policy in various ways. Below, we explain what we have achieved so far and what still needs to be done.
Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile
Sissy-Boy is proud to say that we, as a forerunner, have signed the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile. The purpose of the agreement is to join forces with over 60 Dutch fashion brands, the government, NGOs, trade associations, and unions to improve and strengthen sustainability in the international clothing and textile production chain.
We signed the agreement on 4 July 2016. We took our first steps toward sustainability in terms of labour conditions and materials during the first year:
- We mapped where all of our clothing is made and, where necessary, we have invested a lot of energy into improving the labour conditions at these production locations.
- With the factories that need to implement improvements, we had talks and made plans on how they can achieve this.
- We also created an overview of the impact of our raw materials and will start using more sustainable raw materials in our products over the coming years.
- Furthermore, we compiled a list of animal products we want to exclude from our production process.
We have described all our plans in an extensive report, which we have submitted to the secretariat of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile for review. These plans were rated 'good' and will now be verified annually by the secretariat. An overview of these plans can now be found on our website, and we will report on the progress there every year.
Click the link to find out more about the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile. http://www.internationalrbc.org/garments-textile?sc_lang=nl
We value good labour conditions for the people who work on our products, which is why we have been part of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) of the Foreign Trade Association since 2009. Together with the BSCI, we work on improving the labour conditions at our manufacturers step by step by means of audits and improvement plans.
- We have implemented the BSCI Code of Conduct into our policy, participate in training and workshops, and independent audits are carried out at our production locations.
- The results of these independent checks are sent to the supplier and to us, after which we collectively create an improvement plan, should this be necessary.
- Only if a supplier meets our social compliance requirements and has read and signed the Code of Conduct can they be added too our supplier base.
- Important themes during audits include: healthy and safe working conditions, no form of forced labour, and no child labour.
If you want to know more about BSCI, visit: www.bsci-intl.org
We purchase our private label (Sissy-Boy) clothing directly from manufacturers as much as possible, without interference from traders and agents. Sissy-Boy does not have any factories of its own, but works together very closely with the factories that manufacture our products.
Objective : All factories we work with have been checked (audited) in 2018.
Objective : During the first quarter of 2019, we will publish the clothing production locations we work with on our website.
- We work with factories in the following countries: Bulgaria, China, (FYRO)Macedonia, Greece, India, Italy, Portugal, and Turkey.
- Over 30% of our clothing is manufactured in Europe.
- All suppliers of Sissy-Boy products have signed our code of conduct.
- 93% of our factories has had a social audit (inspection) (late 2017).
- We have provided the names and address details of the factories (production locations) we work with to the secretariat of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile. The website of the SER contains an aggregated list with the names and addresses of these factories. https://www.internationalrbc.org/garments-textile/news/2017/7/factories?sc_lang=nl
Sissy-Boy is aware of the impact it has on the earth, people, and animals by producing clothing. We realise it is difficult to restore affected components. Prevention is better than cure! That is why we want to reduce our impact and not affect the environment where possible.
To reduce out impact on the environment and the use of certain materials, we have created an overview of the materials that are considered sustainable. We used the Higg Material Sustainability Index as a foundation for this. For more info about the Higg MSI, check: http://msi.higg.org/page/msi-home
Objective : In 2020, at least 25% of our clothing will be made of sustainable materials.
- We will start using more of these sustainable materials in our clothing, such as organic cotton, lyocell/tencel, and linen. One of our priorities is to replace cotton with organic cotton, because cotton is our most used material and one of the least sustainable ones.
- A good step we have already taken is using only 100% organic cotton in our hamam and hand towels.
Water pollution, chemicals, water and energy
Fabrics that produce clothing have a major impact on the environment because they consume water, energy, and chemicals.
- Objective : : In 2018, all of our orders will meet the requirements on our Restricted Substances List
- We will become more sustainable in the following processes: painting, printing, and the places where clothing is washed. In close cooperation with our partners, we have created policy plans to reduce the use of chemicals and the impact of water pollution and energy consumption in the coming years.
- There are restrictions on the use of chemical materials in our products based on the European legislation (REACH) and in late 2017, we will expand these restrictions with the Sissy-Boy RSL (Restricted Substances List).
When it comes to choosing animal materials, we are looking for animal-friendly alternatives.
Objective : We exclude certain products of animal origin such as: angora wool, real fur, and material from exotic and protected animals (e.g. crocodile leather). You will not find these materials in any of our products.
- Furthermore, we have set the goal for ourselves to only purchase down from suppliers with a valid down certificate (Responsible Down Standard).
- In the future, we want to only use leather that was obtained under decent conditions.
- We also do not make use of sheep wool (merino) that was obtained by means of mulesing. All suppliers must provide a statement that their merino wool products are mulesing-free.
- All suppliers of Sissy-Boy products have signed the Sissy-Boy Code of Conduct, in which they declare that animal welfare is respected on the farms, during transport, and in slaughterhouses.
In our stores you will find clothing made of 'sustainable materials'. Beautiful dresses made of Tencel (from sustainable fabrics supplier Lenzing) or T-shirts made of 100% organic cotton.
Our latest yoga collection was developed carefully and offers you everything you need to make your yoga moment perfect. The soft and stretchy materials shape with your body, breathe, and dry quickly. Recycled and organic materials are used as much as possible. This means the yoga collection is not just a great addition to your wardrobe, but contributes to a better world as well.
Our stores also have beautiful denims from the sustainable brand Kings of Indigo, children's clothing from Mini Rodini, and shoes from Veja for the upcoming summer season.
Many Homeland products that are for sale at Sissy-Boy contribute to sustainability. All of our hamam and hand towels are made of 100% organic cotton since this year. We also have garden furniture made of recycled materials, tableware made of bamboo, lamps made from pickle jars, toys from Greentoys, and many other products that all contribute to the people, planet & profit issue in their own way.
Sissy-Boy's products are primarily organic. So natural and fresh products without E-numbers on top of a slice of hand-made bread. A good example is our home-made tomato humus and grilled vegetables on a slice of 100% sourdough bread. Sissy-Boy sells products such as organic soft drinks, organic olive oil, pure honey, and organic tea.
Sissy-Boy also has a solution for clothing that is hanging in your closet either worn or unworn. Do not throw out these clothes, but hand them in at one of the selected Sissy-Boy stores. The Salvation Army grants this clothing a second life. For instance, they use the clothing for emergency relief or to sell in their own second-hand clothing stores, the ReShare stores. The proceeds of this go to the aid offer of the Salvation Army.
We plan our purchases tightly. This means we do not have many items left over at the end of a sales season. The small part that does remain is sold at our annual summer and Christmas markets in Amsterdam or in a sample sale.
The Sissy-Boy headquarters in North Amsterdam is designed to be fully modular and circular. This means you can take the building apart and set it up somewhere else. The headquarters is made of materials from a different company building. The company Sustainer Homes built the headquarters together with us.
All of our new stores feature LED lighting. The existing stores are also gradually being upgraded to this energy-efficient form of lighting. We only use paper bags with the FSC mark in the stores. Every day, we add products that are an addition to our current range and fit our vision ' Life designed with Sissy-Boy'. Our stores have literally become a bit greener with the introduction of cacti and succulent plants.
We set up our transport as efficiently as possible. We group our shipments from the Far East and nearly always transport them by boat. Of course, this is cost-efficient, but it also has less impact on the environment than transport by plane. We will provide more clarity on the shrinking of our footprint next year.
Do you have any questions about our CSR policy? Then first read our FAQ, as it may contain the answer you are looking for. If not, please send your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond as soon as possible.
How is the CSR sustainability policy organised at Sissy-Boy?
From the CSR department of Sissy-Boy, the sustainability policy is determined in consultation with all departments. Together, we ensure that the labour and environmental conditions in our chain improve and we can provide a collection which, every season, is a bit more sustainable than the year before.
How are the factories where Sissy-Boy products are made monitored?
We are affiliated with BSCI, whereby external independent parties regularly perform audits at our private label clothing manufacturers. The factory and Sissy-Boy receive a report with the results of the audit, after which we look at what steps need to be taken to improve the labour conditions, if necessary. For more info, see: www.bsci-intl.org.
What does Sissy-Boy to to prevent child labour?
Child labour is considered a zero tolerance issue in our policy and production process. This also applies to forced labour and unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. We put extra effort into these topics to avoid any malpractices from occurring in our chain. Factories are regularly subject to independent inspections that provide insight into the situation of this producer. We always discuss the results with our producers directly. Sissy-Boy also actively works together, with other Dutch fashion companies and NGOs (Unicef, Stop Child Labor) in the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile, on combating and ultimately preventing child labour in our chain..
When is it possible for Sissy-Boy to be fully transparent about the progress in sustainability?
We have aligned our plans with the annual planning of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile. This means we will become more transparent each year. In late 2018, we will provide more clarity on the use of sustainable materials in our products, and in the first quarter of 2019, we will be fully transparent about our production locations on our website.
In what ways does Sissy-Boy take animal welfare into account?
Our goal is to only use animal materials in our that have been obtained in a decent way. This measure means that, for instance, we do not use angora wool, (real) fur, and exotic animal skins in our products. In addition, we have set ourselves the goal that in the future, we will only purchase down from suppliers with a valid down certificate (RDS). The use of merino wool is also subject to conditions. All of our products must have a mulesing-free statement.
What kind of sustainable materials does Sissy-Boy use for its products?
Sustainable materials include organic materials on the one hand, and materials that are sustainable in origin on the other hand, such as linen. With organic production, the use of genetically modified seeds, pesticides, and chemical fertilisers is prohibited. Through the use of effective watering techniques, the production of organic products is more sustainable than the usual production methods. Sissy-Boy stimulates the use of organic cotton, linen, and tencel/lyocell, and more in our products. These materials will increasingly be found in our collections.
Where is Sissy-Boy's clothing made?
Our clothing is made in several places in the world. We know all the factories where Sissy-Boy clothing is produced. A number of factories is located on the other side of the world, namely in China and India, but we certainly also work with factories much closer to home, such as in Portugal, Greece, and Turkey.
Is Sissy-Boy aware of the labour conditions of manufacturers of its third-party brands?
Third-party brands make up less than 10% of our clothing collection. We have not been able to fully map how our third-party brands shape their CSR policy. We do know that a number of our third-party brands have, like Sissy-Boy, signed the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile. In 2018, we want to gain a better understanding of the CSR policy and transparency of production locations of these third-party brands. We will publish the results here.