According to customers – 2018 research
In customers’ opinions, wearing comfort as well as good and durable materials are the features evidencing the high quality of clothing.
 Results of the research Postawy polskich konsumentów wobec zakupów odzieży (Attitudes of Polish Consumers towards Clothing Purchases) assigned by LPP and carried out in 2018.
LPP QUALITY STANDARDS
Quality standards of all LPP brands are described in the LPP Quality Guidebook. This document contains utility parameters regarding, among others, colour fastness, shrinkage properties, permissible twist. In the said Guidebook, we specified also quality thresholds according to AQL (Acceptance Quality Limit) and classified errors. The said document also provides for the requirement to use a metal detector when manufacturing apparel for children. All the said criteria must be met by all our suppliers, without exception.
In 2018, we added to the LPP Quality Guidebook a list of forbidden chemicals and permissible concentrations. Requirements previously enclosed to an order now constitute an inherent part of our quality requirements and are contained in a single document. They comply with the EU REACH Regulation. The Guidebook also provides now for the suppliers’ duty to use damp detectors to prevent the occurrence of mold at the transportation stage.
 REACH is an EU regulation adopted to better protect the environment and human health against hazards posed by chemicals. As required by the Regulation, enterprises must identify and control risks associated with substances produced and introduced to trading in the EU. They must evidence that a given substance may be safely used and inform users of any factors reducing such risk.
Actions aimed at increasing the quality of manufactured clothing:
- As part of a pilot programme, we had chosen factories with the biggest quality problems and carried out there a series of intensive controls. As a result, we held talks with factory management staff to sum up problems and jointly agree on possibilities of solving them and a time-frame required for implementing required changes.
- We carry out inspections on all manufacturing stages. Our office employees visit factories to verify the quality of garments.
- We closely cooperate with the Trading Department to effectively react to any irregularities reported by brand stores.
- We have trained e-commerce inspectors working in Stryków in respect of footwear quality control.
- We have undertaken periodical controls of assortment in our brand stores, paying attention also to problems which may affect quality (np. hangers incorrectly matched with a garment model).
- In our systems, we have implemented quality data of importance for merchandisers. Therefore, all information is transparent and accessible for them in a single application.
Auditing solutions we have implemented in recent years in the entire supply chain help us supervise the maintenance of proper working conditions in our suppliers’ plants. The Bangladeshi market is of special importance for us. Therefore, in order to strengthen inspections in Bangladeshi factories, we have employed a social compliance officer in our representative office in Dhaka. We put special emphasis also on inspections of working conditions in factories in Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma), that is countries in which the number of our manufacturing orders is growing. Considering the fact that we have no offices in those countries, Chinese companies act as intermediates in the cooperation with suppliers. The research on the above-mentioned markets and standards adopted is a challenge we will certainly meet.
Three units in the LPP organisational structure and two external companies are responsible for increasing the number of inspections of working conditions in our suppliers’ manufacturing plants.
- The Auditing Department in the head office in Gdańsk, responsible for developing standards and requirements for suppliers and for their effective verification.
- Representative offices in Shanghai and Dhaka, carrying out inspections in our suppliers’ factories.
- The Communications and Sustainable Development Department, involved in setting forth key directions of our CSR policy and informing the public of the results of activities in this area.
- SGS – an independent auditing organisation controlling working conditions and wages.
- ACCORD – an industry-specific organisation carrying inspections covering buildings’ structures, electricity and fire protection.
In 2018, LPP inspectors carried out in total 1307 inspections in 12 countries.
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR SUPPLIERS
We have developed a document specifying strict requirements to be met by our suppliers in terms of employment conditions. This Code is the key tool disseminating the values and standards of LPP among suppliers. In the Code, we have given consideration to the most important sources such as provisions of the International Labour Organisation and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each supplier planning to start cooperation with LPP must have an in-depth knowledge of the Code’s wording and sign it.
The Code we have prepared covers social issues, sets forth health and safety standards and obligates suppliers to care for environment, specifically factories using chemical substances, e.g. in textile printing. Currently, we are introducing the Code of Conduct also in local languages, for example, in Ukrainian. We have decided also to share the Code’s Polish version among domestic suppliers.
100% of our foreign suppliers are required to sign and comply with the Code of Conduct. A person responsible for that process is the merchandiser starting cooperation with a given business partner. Furthermore, before engaging in cooperation with LPP, each factory in Bangladesh must undergo an auditing procedure covering social and safety issues.
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR SUPPLIERS
ACCORD ON FIRE AND BUILDING SAFETY
Since 2013, as the only Polish clothing company, we have been a member of the ACCORD. This organisation brings together textile companies from all over the world, acting to improve working conditions and train factory workers in terms of safety issues and their rights. The first ACCORD agreement was in force for 5 years. In 2018, we signed another agreement titled “Transition ACCORD”, which provides for the continuation of activities aimed at lasting improvement of working conditions in factories and, ultimately, at enabling, among others, the government in Bangladesh, to carry out their own inspections and audits in manufacturing plants.
“The Accord is a global initiative engaging companies from all around the world and it is also given support by international trade and labour organisations. The timing, methodology and scope of the Accord inspections ensure workplace safety for employees of our business partners.”
SGS — AN INTERNATIONAL AUDITING ORGANISATION
Since 2017, we have been increasing the monitoring of working conditions in factories manufacturing garments for LPP in Bangladesh. To that end, we conduct inspections ourselves and commission SGS, an independent organisation, to assess our Bangladeshi suppliers’ compliance with LPP’s Code of Conduct in terms of working conditions, wages and environmental protection.
In June 2018, representatives of LPP suppliers in Bangladesh were invited to a meeting at the SGS headquarters in Dhaka. The main purpose of the Awareness Day was to reiterate the detailed requirements of LPP for factories, inspection methodology, assessment categories and conditions that must be met to ensure compliance with LPP’s Code of Conduct. Representatives of 46 factories took part in that meeting.
The average result of SGS inspections was 84% – this was the level of compliance of manufacturing plants with the requirements of our Code of Conduct in 2018. Incompliant suppliers receive a Corrective Action Plan and must improve their conduct within a given deadline.