Cheap Monday was born in 2004, as an alternative for people who wanted fashionable jeans but didn't agree with the increasing prices of the brands which were popular at the time.
We started our business in a simple way, but with deep values and beliefs. These values were a part of who we were, and they guided our actions. Our values are about being daring, taking initiative and choosing our own path. But we also value the strength of partnerships and co-operation.
We push our boundaries and want to continue to develop. Some would say we’re a bit rebellious, but at the same time we want to play fair and be humble. We care about how our clothes are manufactured, the people involved and about the environment. Here you can read more about what that means.
We see and treat people as of equal value, with respect for human rights and an appreciation of diversity.
We have a Code of Conduct which requires suppliers to follow the law and to respect fundamental human rights, good working conditions and a good working environment.
An important part of our CSR-work is to ensure decent working standards and conditions for the employees of our suppliers. Cheap Mondays objective is that good working conditions and human rights should be respected at our suppliers.
The suppliers that produces our collections has to follow our Code of Conduct (based on the International Labor Organization’s conventions on working conditions and rights at work, as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) :
- No child labour
- No forced, bonded or prison labour
- No discrimination
- No excessive working hours
- Payment of at least the minimum wage
- Safe and healthy working conditions
- A legally binding employment contract
- Freedom of association
- We say NO to sand blasting.
As part of the textile and fashion industry we strive for a broad environmental and ethical approach to business. We are aware of how chemicals are used in both growing and the production. We understand the burden this places on the environment and on farmers and workers. We apply the precautionary principle in our environmental work and have adopted a preventative approach with substitution of hazardous chemicals.
It’s also important to our customers that our products are free of harmful chemicals. We don’t sell furs or feather down. We strive to use resources as efficiently as possible and to minimize the waste.
We believe in the power of the collective. To gain and share knowledge and find solutions to drive our business, and the development for the textile business as a whole, forward we team up with organizations and initiatives.
Cheap Monday is part of the H&M-group. H&M is a member of Fair Labor Association- FLA FLA is a collaborative effort of universities, civil society organizations and socially responsible companies dedicated to protecting workers’ rights around the world.
Cheap Monday is a member of Sweden Textile Water Initiative (STWI). STWI is a joint learning project between 30 Swedish leading retail and wholesale companies and brands, within the textile and leather sector, and Stockholm International Water Institute. The aim of the learning process is to raise consciousness on water issues in the supply chains and to find guidelines leading to sustainable water management in all the processes from thread and leather to the readymade product.
Cheap Monday is a member of NICE (Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical). The goal of NICE is that the member companies should be in the leading edge of sustainable fashion.
All our clothes and products must live up to high standards of quality and safety. These are our guidelines at the design stage and throughout the production process. We work in a number of ways to ensure that customers can rely on our products’ quality and safety. We fulfill the relevant environmental laws and set a variety of requirements to see that products are free from toxins. We carry out preventative inspections at our suppliers to avoid the use of inappropriate materials.
Random inspections at suppliers and a variety of tests on our clothing products before the products reach the shop are a part of our production process. That includes everything from shrinkage tests, to tests of colourfastness and advanced chemical analyses. Cheap Monday’s product policy means that we for example:
- Do not use PVC
- Do not use Mulesed Marino Wool
- Only use skins from stocks reared for meat production
- Do not use furs or down due to animal rearing concerns
In addition, we have strict chemicals requirements which mean that we do not use chemicals which could be harmful for the environment or health. The substances which must not be used, or which shall be limited, are included in a long list which is continuously updated according to current guidance or legal requirements. We adhere to European norms and standards, but also to regulations governing product safety in the USA, Canada and Japan and Australia. Some examples are:
- Heavy metals, including cadmium, lead and mercury
- Formaldehyde, antibacterial substances, nonylphenol ethoxylates and some AZO-dyes
- Dyes that cause allergies
Our products are covered by workplace law and the EU's REACH laws on chemicals, as well as other country's product safety regulations in, for example, the USA, Canada, Japan and Australia.
Cheap Monday carries out regular unannounced audits and tests products covered by legal limits. But we go further too, and test for other substances not covered by law, but which we choose to exclude or limit in the products we sell.
Caring for the environment requires a broad view of the issues. As well as keeping a careful eye on the products and the production chain, we’re gradually expanding our environmental goals to encompass the whole business.
We choose freight methods that lead to the least carbon dioxide emissions. We dispatch clothes by ship, and when we travel on business we choose an environmental option rather than flying when we can.
Other issues we prioritize include finding ways to use natural resources more effectively, increase recycling and improving energy efficiency in our offices and shops.
With the help of our Code of Conduct and regular auditing, we make sure that our products are made under a regime of good working conditions. We follow an action plan for auditing our suppliers. We prioritize this work at sites where we see that the needs and the opportunities for improvement are greatest. We have offices established in the locations where manufacturing takes place to get closer to our suppliers. A team of auditors carries out inspections on site in the factories where our clothes are made. They are experienced and trained to audit the practical conditions. During their visits they use a checklist, interviews are carried out with the company management and employees, and the team inspects all the factory spaces. Documents are inspected, including salary lists, timesheets and employment contracts.
We also make unannounced visits. After the visit the team writes a report with proposals for measures to be taken and then there is follow-up to ensure improvements are made. The supplier must develop a suitable plan and timeframe to address problems and set in place the actual solutions.
A supplier who cannot fulfill the basic requirements of our Code of Conduct must agree to carry out improvements in order to remain a supplier to Cheap Monday. We also require suppliers to disclose any subcontractors that may be used in the production of Cheap Mondays products so that we always know where our clothes are being made.
We believe that this combination of information, training and inspection on-site at factories is a good way to address problems and thereby improve conditions. Information on the Code of Conduct has been distributed to our suppliers and we are working to improve awareness of the code in different ways.
We are aware that it is difficult to take control of all parts of the production process through to finished item, so we set requirements that will lead to progress over time. We recognize that improvement can occur in a range of areas over time, for example, within the reporting and accounting of overtime, or within the worker’s environment or general welfare.
A number of initiatives provide guidelines for companies that are taking a wider responsibility for their operations. Cheap Monday fully supports a range of international standards within environment and human rights, including the following:
The UN Declaration of Human Rights
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” So begins article 1 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights from 1948. In 2008, the declaration had its 50th anniversary. The United Nations adopted the declaration after the Second World War. It consists of 30 articles, a sense of which is given in the following examples.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association
- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
- Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and everyone has the right to education
Read more: www.un.org/Overview/rights.html
ILO’s Eight Core Conventions
The UN organisation, ILO (International Labour Organisation), is charged with promoting good working conditions for all workers in the world. ILO’s core conventions from 1998 are:
- Freedom of association, freedom to organise and the recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
- Elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour
- Effective abolition of child labour
- Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation
The declaration is binding for all ILO members. Even for countries that have not ratified subsidiary conventions.
Read more: www.ilo.org/declaration/lang--en/index.htm
The UN Millennium Development Goal - halving poverty by 2015
To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, give children the right to education, increased gender equality, improved health and environment and stop the spread of HIV/aids, malaria and other sicknesses. These goals, together with sustainable development, are part of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, which the world’s leaders committed to in 2000 in order to halve poverty by 2015. Partnerships and co-operation between companies, organisations and other actors are important to support these goals in developing nations.
The goals show clearly how companies can act locally in order to take social and environmental responsibility, which promotes and strengthens both companies and regions.
Read more: www.un.org/millenniumgoals
About the Swedish Chemicals Agency and REACH
The EU Chemicals Directive, REACH, entered into force on 1 June 2007. REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances within the EU and on import into the EU. The Swedish Chemicals Agency is responsible for chemical safety and it works for a chemical-free environment. Because chemical regulations are harmonised within the EU, a lot of the agency’s work takes place within a European framework.
Read more: www.kemi.se/en
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