Modern Slavery Statement
This statement is published in accordance with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015. It describes the steps taken by TOAST within the financial year ending 31st July 2019 to prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chain.
Organisational Structure and supply chain.
TOAST provides women’s clothing, accessories and home wares which are available online and through 17 own branded stores, and in approximately 20 multi branded department and independent stores across the UK, Europe and the USA.
TOAST has no ownership interests in the production chain but cooperates with approximately 76 suppliers who develop our designs and 50 subcontractors across the UK, Asia, Europe, Africa and South America. We also buy directly from 82 brands and small businesses and support individual makers through our New Makers programme. Our Code of Conduct sets out our requirements to our suppliers, and our audit programme is the core mechanism for ensuring that our suppliers comply with our requirements.
TOAST recognises that a collaborative approach is needed, we work closely with our regional sourcing offices, and directly with our suppliers to assist our producers in building capacity to make long term improvements at their factories and organisations.
Policies in relation to Slavery and Human Trafficking.
In our Code of Conduct, we set high standards to our suppliers and sub-contractors to ensure, among others, the respect for human rights and labour rights at the production facilities are understood and met. We set out our requirements for child labour, working conditions and labour rights in addition to homeworkers and artisan’s policies.
Due Diligence Process
We seek to minimise the adverse impacts of our business in our own operations as well as our supply chain. Our due diligence procedures are based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human rights, and the International Labour Organisation principles.
- Identify, prevent and mitigate any risk of adverse impact on human rights in all our operations and business relationships
- Consider any adverse impact we may cause or contribute to through our supply chain practices, as well as the adverse impact we may cause or contribute to within our business
- Remediate any direct or indirect adverse impact that our business operations have on human rights
- Promote the respect for human rights among our employees, partners, suppliers and other business relations
- Report on and account for our work with human rights continuously and once a year
Based on our due diligence process we have identified that the highest risk of violating human rights is in our supply chain, we have identified forced labour, discrimination and child labour to be the most likely forms of slavery and human trafficking.
Prevention and effectiveness training.
In order to avoid adverse impact on human rights in our supply chain, we take necessary measures to improve working conditions for the workers and to protect their rights. The foundation of our due diligence in the supply chain is our basic audit programme, where we demand an audit through a third party or conduct our own audit programme in compliance with our Code of Conduct, and identify issues that may need to be prevented, mitigated or remediated. In addition we work in collaboration with local regional sourcing offices and fair trade producers who frequently visit the factories and engage with the suppliers to raise awareness and build capacity of the workers. In the past financial year TOAST Code of Conduct team, along with our regional partners focused our efforts on our main suppliers who produce the majority of our clothing ranges. We visited 23 out of our top 26 suppliers and their subcontractors between November 2018 and November 2019. From this work we strengthen our knowledge about where and how to engage further. Our aim is to help create a strong foundation for management and workers, which they can use in their further joint efforts to ensure workers’ rights in factories, hubs and cooperatives across our supply base.