BARKERS' COMMITMENT TO AN ETHICAL SUPPLY CHAIN
Since its founding in 1972, Barkers has been all about the product. That doesn't just mean great fit, quality and style – it means knowing and trusting our suppliers, and making sure that every garment we sell comes from a factory which looks after its workers as well as we look after our customers.
In the old days, that meant Ray Barker heading down the road to Papakura or Henderson to pick up another batch of shirts or jeans. Today, while we continue to use local suppliers where possible, the vast majority of our clothes are made overseas.
While the location might have changed, the principle hasn’t. Ray regularly walked the factory floor, a practise we continue to this day. Our production team visit suppliers multiple times each year, often spending days with the people who make our garments talking about new materials or ideas. This doesn’t just lead to better, more innovative products – it means we eyeball working conditions to ensure that our clothes are produced in ethical environments.
In addition to our own regular visits, we require our suppliers to sign a Code of Conduct which binds them to both the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, and the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation. These are internationally acknowledged benchmarks for workplace safety and conditions. Our Code of Conduct also stipulates freedom from discrimination and harassment, while mandating maximum work hours, minimum wages and the prohibition of forced and child labour. Beyond our own visits and the Code of Conduct, many of our suppliers are subjected to regular social audits by the likes of Bureau Veritas.
To us, the integrity of our supply chain is of utmost importance – we want to know where everything we sell is made, and that everyone involved in the manufacture of our products is treated right. Our commitment to this is unwavering, and subjected to regular scrutiny. All this helps ensure that when you’re buying Barkers products, everyone involved comes out better off.