Fair Trade Policy

How do we Engage in and Promote Fair Trade?

As a fair trade organization, we have a commitment to fair trade as the principal core of our mission.

We make every effort to conduct business in accordance with our fair trade policy and to the highest ethical standards.

We aim to ensure that every accommodation product we supply is sourced and obtained in accordance with our fair trade policy and those ethical standards, in an acceptable manner, in accordance with current best practices, and in particular lawfully, through fair and honest dealing, without exploiting the people who made/built and operate/manage the accommodation product, in decent working conditions, and with environmental impact during production and transportation being reduced.

We endeavour to ensure that all of our suppliers and their sources adhere to our fair trade policy but recognise that it is not possible to provide absolute assurance that suppliers will do so. Where we identify transgressions by any supplier we try to work with them to develop an appropriate remediation programme. However we will stop using any supplier who we find persistently contravenes our fair trade policy or fails to implement an agreed remediation programme.

Our fair trade policy, as follows, is based on the World Fair Trade Organization’s 10 principles.

Creating Opportunities

We aim to create opportunities for wholly independent, but economically disadvantaged suppliers who would not normally be able to access markets in economically developed countries.

We aim to ensure that the quality of each type of accommodation product that we source is the best available from that country and area.

The quantities of some of the accommodation products that we source from such suppliers are sufficient to make a real difference to their business.

We work with our suppliers to create a happy, trusting and long-term relationship with them. We aim to help our suppliers where possible to have a dependable and regular source of income which helps them create a secure and stable lifestyle.

We help market our suppliers products by emphasizing to our customers and prospective customers the craftsmanship, cultural influence and skills involved which make their products special.

Transparency and Accountability

Certain commercial information needs to remain confidential, but, subject to that, we aim to act with transparency and accountability in all our dealings with our suppliers and we have open discussions with them about our and their business plans and their aspirations.

Paying a Fair Price

We agree and pay our suppliers for accommodation products a fair price which is acceptable to them and which ensures that they are adequately compensated for their work and skill.

Fair Trading Practices

We adopt fair trade practices in our dealings with our suppliers.

We make payment to our suppliers on time and in full.

Ensuring no Child Labour or Forced Labour is Employed

We ensure that no child labour is used in the making of accommodation products that we sell/offer. For this purpose, we adopt the same age used by the International Labour Organization Convention No. 138 to define “child”, namely the age of 15 years, or, where any such product is produced or worked on in any country where the minimum age for completion of compulsory schooling is greater than 15, then we apply that greater age instead.

We are aware that some of many of the artisan skills involved in producing some of our products have been traditionally passed down through generations. However, we ensure that where any children are involved in learning any such skills, it is only in the context of apprenticeships and education-related work which are legitimate and legally sanctioned in their country and that it will not adversely affect their well-being, security, education, or development.

Further, we make sure that where any person who is under 18 but 15 or over (or if greater, the minimum age for completion of compulsory schooling in their country) is involved in producing, servicing or maintaining any of the accommodation products that we sell, neither the nature of their work nor the circumstances in which it is carried out is likely to jeopardise their health, safety or morals.

We ensure that forced labour, whether in the form of prison, bonded or uncompensated labour is not used.

Commitment to Non-Discrimination

We believe in equality and fairness for all and do not discriminate or tolerate discrimination of any type on any basis against any of our employees, regardless of age, sex, race, religion or disability. We also expect our suppliers to do the same and to provide equal opportunities and pay for all.

Ensuring Good Working Conditions

Our own employees enjoy good general working conditions, and in particular a safe and healthy environment.

We require our suppliers to meet their local laws on working conditions, welfare health and safety, minimum wages, hours of work, overtime and deductions.

We require our suppliers to make every effort to ensure that:

accidents or injury in the workplace are prevented;

health and safety procedures are implemented and employees are regularly trained and tested in what to do in certain situations;

there is always adequate lighting and ventilation;

clean drinking water is always available.

We do our best to both raise awareness of our suppliers of health and safety of employees, and to encourage them to improve their health and safety practices.

We require our own employees to treat all of their colleagues with respect and dignity, and ensure that no employee is treated with threatening behaviour, physical punishment or any form of mental or verbal abuse. We also require our suppliers to do the same.

We require our suppliers to ensure that their employees have the right to associate or unionise with any organization that is legal in their country.

Providing Capacity Building

We try to help our suppliers grow their business by providing them with any advice, training or contacts that we can, and by working with them to build capacity through development of management skill and access to other markets.

Promoting Fair Trade

We want to spread the word that fair trade is the best way to trade, and we communicate this as much as possible.

Respect for the Environment

We minimize our environmental impact and help our suppliers to do the same by returning to the manufacturer toner cartridges from laser printers that we use, recycling cardboard waste, using recyclable plastic bags, reducing our use of paper.

We are continuing to develop our environment practices in the production of the items that we sell.