Ethics

Social and ethical responsibility underpins everything we do. So from product development to delivery, your brand values, and ours, are always met.

We believe that making good quality products need not come at the expense of others.
Matrix recognises the importance of the communities from which we source and we have a strong commitment to improving the lives of workers within our supply chain.

We stand out as a supplier because we really care about where our products come from and under what conditions they are produced.

Firstly, we are proud to be full members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), which brings together brands, retailers, suppliers, unions and voluntary organisations to improve conditions for workers worldwide. The ETI base code forms the basis of our engagement with suppliers and is used as the internationally recognised standard against which we monitor our supplier’s performance.

Secondly, we use RESPECT and RESPONSIBILITY as the two principles that underpin our work;

  • We give RESPECT to all people within our supply chains, and build better conditions for our workers.
  • We take RESPONSIBILITY for all our everyday business decisions and their impact within the supply chain.

Here’s how we make a difference…

Our Team

  • The key to our success is the experienced team we have on the ground working directly with our suppliers. Within our team we have combined experience of over 100 years, working on ethical development programmes and specialist projects in the Far East.
  • We have our own China-based team of full time auditors and project managers who are able to give full support to our suppliers with regular visits. This enables us to forge strong, consistent relationships with our suppliers and work in partnership to build long-term, fully transparent supplier development strategies.

Monitoring

  • Because we work with so many prestigious clients, we have expertise in many of the different auditing requirements for individual brands.
  • For our own in-house monitoring days, we primarily apply SMETA audits, enhance this format to ensure the highest benchmarks are applied and best auditing practices adopted.
  • Where 3rd party audits are required, we have close relationships with many auditing firms and NGOs including Impactt, Level works, ILO, and many more.
  • Many of our clients rely solely on our own in-house auditing and feedback, knowing we have the relationships in place to ensure full transparency and clarity of information. In this case, our clients and suppliers are able to further benefit by investing the 3rd party audit budget into meaningful and targeted project work.
  • As AB members of Sedex we are able to give full visibility of our work, to our clients through this database where required.

Consultation and Remediation

  • We work in close partnership with our suppliers over a sustained period of time, to identify the underlying issues behind the audit findings.
  • Being in regular contact with the factory we are able to understand the root causes of issues and are therefore able to implement more sustainable change within the factory.

Training and Capacity Building

  • We encourage all of our suppliers to take control of their own ethical development and we are there to support them every step of the way. To give the supplier the ‘tools’ they need we offer on-going training.
  • We offer a range of access routes, from one to one bespoke sessions focusing on specific concerns, through to interactive workshops where the Matrix team are able to give training and Q&A sessions. These forums are particularly successful as our suppliers are able to share best practices and inform our next training sessions according to their needs.

Factory First

  • The keystone to our success is our full integration of ethical trade into our sourcing process, by developing our unique ‘factory first’ system throughout the business. This method helps our suppliers improve their efficiency and profitability thus we are able to remain competitive to our clients whilst continuously improving conditions and wages for workers.
  • Within this system we are also committed to rewarding factories who are fully engaged in their ethical development programme which in turn supports further success.

Sharing Knowledge

  • We believe it is important to keep these important issues top of the agenda and raise awareness wherever we can. We are pleased to have been part of many events that include participating in discussions on the panel at IImpact, presenting in ETI forums, and taking our own supplier training workshops.

UK Modern Slavery Act

The UK’s Modern Slavery Act requires organizations with an annual turnover of at least £36m to make a public statement on the steps they are taking to identify and prevent modern slavery occurring in their operations and supply chains. Matrix are below the financial threshold but as an advocate and supporter of this policy, we are proud to publish our first statement as an example to others of the positive steps we have taken to identify, monitor and reduce the risks in our supply chain.

 

Click here to download our 2017 statement.