Fair Wear Foundation (FWF)
Working in dignity
Safe, ethical and adequately paid employment, no matter where in the production chain or where in the world. LIVING CRAFTS has been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation since 2016. This does not merely underpin our claim to put people at the heart of what we do. Membership also requires us to carry out checks and audits, and deliver appropriate transparency towards you, our customers.
Basic principles: the Fair Wear Foundation employment guidelines
1) Employment is freely chosen
Workers should not be forced to work — by withholding wages, or by being locked up in factories, for instance.
2) Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
Workers must have a say in improving conditions in order to bring about lasting change. The right to form a union and hold negotiations with the factory is a first step.
3) No discrimination in the workplace
Most people working in the textile industry are women. They are often victims of discrimination and harassment. FWF campaigns to improve workplace conditions for women, as well as for other disadvantaged groups such as migrant workers.
4) No exploitation through child labour
Children should be able to attend school. Once old enough to work, they should be protected from hazardous work and long hours.
5) Payment of a living wage
Work to live is what matters most. Wages for a normal working week should be enough to meet the basic needs of workers and their families, including an amount which they are free to spend as they please.
6) Reasonable working hours
Six working days, eight working hours a day. This is the maximum according to the UN. Anything more should be voluntary, paid and not exceed twelve hours a week.
7) Safe and healthy working conditions
Workers are entitled to safe and healthy working conditions This includes unobstructed emergency exits and suitable safety equipment.
8) Legally binding employment relationship
Workers are legally entitled to a contract and certain benefits, including pension arrangements, social security, insurance and severance pay. Employers must respect these rights.
Working together for change
Long-term relations with suppliers
Lasting improvement in working conditions requires reliable planning. An important Fair Wear Foundation principle is long-term partnerships between brand and manufacturer. These create reliability for producers and help with long-term planning. Partnerships are not exposed to the uncertainties of constant price gambling, and manufacturers can invest in employees and social standards. In the event of fundamental problems, Fair Wear Foundation rules set out a clear, timetabled process which prevents manufacturers ending the relationship unexpectedly at short notice.
Audits and checks
Anyone can simply claim they uphold high standards. Regular checks and audits are therefore an important aspect of membership of the Fair Wear Foundation. This ensures claims of high standards are actually being met. Obviously, where there is production for several members at a single site, they work together on this. The specific requirements for audits and checks are one of the main factors on which the credibility of Fair Wear relies.
Reporting obligations for Fair Wear members
Ultimate responsibility rests with ourselves, the brand. Which is why our performance is evaluated on an annual basis by the Fair Wear Foundation. As with all the other member companies, LIVING CRAFTS prepares a “Social Report” each year. This sets out which products are manufactured by which suppliers, lists the audits and checks, and addresses many other aspects in the reporting year. The Fair Wear Foundation itself carries out a thorough audit of every member company each year. Finally, a “Performance Report” is prepared for each company, which is published on both the FWF website and the website of the relevant member company.
Even more background
Below are some suggestions for further reading for anyone who wants to find out more.
Social Report PDF
Performance Report PDF