Fashion business is known for facing some challenges related with the manufacturing industry (poor working conditions, low wages, no respect for human rights) and environmental issues.
As conscientious and responsible company, we don’t want to contribute to the continuous growing of these problems, so we take our employees and workers Ethical & Labour Rights very seriously.
We are committed to follow our Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and our suppliers and subcontractors should share the same ethical values to work for us.
Ethical Code of ConductDignity
At Minga London, we do business with respect for people’s fundamental dignity.
We have the responsibility to make sure that everyone who works for or with our business is treated with dignity and respect.
We are committed to create a pleasant working environment in which everyone feels comfortable and is approached free of prejudice and in a respectable manner. In our working environment everyone needs to be accepted as they are. There are no excuses for disrespectful behavior.
We welcome and support people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes but is not limited to members of any sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, social and economic class, educational level, color, immigration status, sex, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, and mental and physical ability.
At Minga London we are committed to act with integrity – to keep our commitments and values, to take responsibility of our actions, to act with respect and honesty. Honesty encourages open communication between employers, employees and co-workers.
Freedom of Association
We do not restrain our workers and employees from joining any form of organizations, unions and workers associations that collectively promote the rights of employees and workers in an honest and fair manner.
Harassment & Intimidation
Harassment and exclusionary behavior are not accepted at Minga London. This includes but is not limited to threats of violence, psychologic abuse, personal insults - especially those using racist or sexist terms, unwelcome sexual attention or sexual intimidation, punishment of suppression.
We do not accept child labour, and we do our utmost to determine the correct age of the workers employed by us and by our subcontractors. More concretely, we reject work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential, their schooling and their dignity, and whatever is harmful to their physical and mental development.
We do not use forced labour. Employees have permission to leave the office under reasonable circumstances, such as personal or family emergencies.
No labour should be demanded as a means of repayment for a loan.
We do not under any circumstances support forced or bonded labour, trafficking or the exploitation of human beings in general.
All employees have a written employment contract that contains an accurate and complete summary of the terms of employment, including wages, benefits and working conditions.
No employees are to be asked to sign any blank papers. Labour contracts should extend to sub-contracted employees.
We accept apprentices working on the basis of an apprenticeship contract, but we monitor continuously that apprentices actually perform an apprentice function.
Wages, payroll records and deductions
We respect the employee’s right to earn a living wage and we ensure that wages paid meet at least legal standards. The wage should always be sufficient to meet the basic needs of employees and their families.
We keep understandable payroll records for at least two years. We do not accept deductions as a disciplinary measure. Wages are paid regularly, on time and in a way that is convenient for the workers.
We do not exceed local limits on working hours. In accordance with the law we do not require employees to exceed 40 hours of work per week on a regular basis. Employees are provided with at least two days off for every seven-day period.
Overtime is voluntary and should not exceed 12 hours per week.
Overtime is not demanded on a regular basis and is always compensated at a premium rate of wages.
Occupational Health and Safety
Safety of employees is a priority at all times, ensuring they are protected from hazardous, insufferable surroundings or unsafe premises.
Our suppliers, similarly, need to provide a safe workplace for their employees in compliance with all regulations and applicable laws. We provide them a Chemical Compliance Policy and a RSL (restricted substance list) that they should follow when working for us.
Sustainability & EnvironmentSustainable fashion concerns more than addressing fashion textiles or products. It comprises addressing the whole system of fashion. This means dealing with interdependent social, cultural, ecological and financial systems. It also means considering fashion from the perspective of many stakeholders - users and producers, all living species, contemporary and future dwellers on earth.
Although sustainability is such a complex matter and very difficult to control process, at Minga London, we really pride ourselves for working under strong ethical commitments and to do fashion in a responsible way.
Below are the steps we have already taken towards sustainability and some that we are still working on:
In-House Manufacturing (Ethical Values & Fair Wages)
Most of our products are cut, trim and finished in our in-house manufacturing.
This allows us to assure that the garments are made following the legislative requirements & best practices of the textile industry and to guarantee that our employees receive fair payments and operate in an ethical environment.
We definitely know “who made your clothes”!
Suppling Locally & Responsibly
Most of the fabrics, materials and processes we use to make the garments (cut, trim, dying, accessories packaging) are developed or bought from familiar companies in Portugal. Not only this allow us to assure a great quality of the materials, but at the same time we are helping the local community.
We would be able to get cheaper prices supplying from other countries (where the wages and work conditions can be poor) but we are seriously committed to follow our ethical values and prefer to pay a fair price.
Elimination of hazardous chemicals
To ensure the maximum safety of our products (for consumers and employees) and to minimize the environmental impact, we follow a Chemicals Compliance Policy of chemicals that shouldn’t be used, or the usage should be limited (RSL) in our garments. All suppliers or partners that work for our business are aware of our chemical compliance policy and are committed to follow it too.
Minimize Waste / Recycle
We don’t stock a lot of products. We have a relatively fast capacity to produce more quantities when a product runs out of stock (in-house manufacturing advantages) and this allow us to reduce the waist of unsold styles. If that happens for some reason, we first try to recycle those garments and to create new styles from them and lastly, we donate them to local associations.
We’ve already started to adopt some product-level initiatives, such as replacing one fiber type for a less environmentally harmful option – recycled and organic fabrics - although we still have some work to do on this subject. It’s not as easy as it might sound. It implies to find new suppliers, making sure they are as reliable as the ones we work with at the moment, learning new textile techniques, and also considering the prices. We pride ourselves to practice “fair prices” for our ethical commitment as a brand, but we don’t want to develop products our customers can’t afford.
This a matter that we definitely have in mind and will try our best to keep working on.