Tree of life respects all stakeholders and offers dignity and fairness every step of the way. It embodies the code of ethics as a way of life, a value system that translates into ‘dignity, care, respect, equality and transparency’..
Our goal is to uphold this value system into a concrete action, at the same time abiding by the law of the land, the best industry practices and ensuring the well-being of the communities we deal with. Our relationship with the people who make our goods is far from being disconnected and anonymous. We know their faces and value their contribution. Apart from running a workplace that complies with international standards, our suppliers assist their employees with children’s education costs, medical care, and marriage costs.
Any employee working within the supplier factories are expected to have completed their compulsory schooling in their respective country. No one under the age of 18 can be employed at night or in hazardous conditions. There is no child labour in any of our warehouses.
We have an ongoing policy since our inception to only engage with companies that are ethical and reputable and that we can form long and continuing business relationships with. In the last year we have decreased the amount of tier 1 suppliers from 15 to 8. We have been dealing with all but one of these suppliers for more than 5 years and our 2 main suppliers for 20+ years. These companies in turn have long-term relationships with their suppliers/sources.
If we do not believe companies we deal with are ethical in their treatment of staff we do not continue to do business with them. Wherever there has been questions about treatment of employees in the past we have ceased business dealings immediately.
Our clothing is made by two main suppliers to which we supply the designs. In each case, they are family businesses owned and run by an Indian couple. We have been working with these people for 15 years or more. We visit their factories at least 3 times a year and are extremely familiar with the working conditions and operational procedures. In both cases, the businesses are well-run, ethically conducted work-places. The owners are concerned for their workers’ welfare and apart from having workplaces which comply with international standards, go out of their way to care for them and assist them for example in times of medical need, helping with marriage costs and assisting with children’s education costs. They are fair and humane employers and we feel proud and privileged to be associated with them.
Here is our Code of Ethics, which is printed in multiple languages and hung in our warehouses. Our contact information is at the bottom if they want to share any issues or complaints.
Employment is freely chosen, without force, or bond or any kind of slavery or involuntary prison labour. Every employee has a right to express their opinion, represent themselves and collectively bargain as a group on issues of concern towards mutual consent. With respectful dialogue and an open attitude to collective bargaining, no discrimination, harassment and abuse is the dignity we offer to all our working relationships. Dignity of childhood and encouraging child education to ensure that no child will ever be employed.
Wages and benefits respect national legal standards and industry benchmark standards or pay higher to meet not just basic needs but to provide some discretionary income. The right to wages is respected and no unforeseen issues, even disciplinary action, will resort to deduction from rightfully earned wages. Self-discipline in respect of the Environment.
Exemplary compliance to ensure that Continuous Improvement Monitoring Systems both internal and external are in place that can play an important role in maintaining proactive standards of compliance. Transparency, commitment to and accountability with people and processes, ensures a healthy work environment. Every employee is equipped with full knowledge both written and verbal of their terms of employment, wages as per hours of work, and period of renumeration. Open and free communication is encouraged with access to the email hotline to share any issues anonymously.
A safe and hygienic working environment that protects each employee, addressing all risk areas to prevent accidents and injury that may harm or adversely affect their health. Risk areas that need guidance and training to better protect every individual in the work area is carried out after careful consideration. Health care, hygiene care and sanitation is of utmost importance and a priority expectation. Food, water and accomodation must be clean, safe and secure, under supervisions by a senior management representative.
Working hours respect national laws or collective agreements, to offer the best protection for workers, honouring the contract under which working hours, overtime, rest days, renumeration and voluntary employment is clearly specified. Respectful employment includes: no discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to skills training, promotion, termination or retirement. People from all castes, creeds, genders and nationalities are honoured and respected and appreciated for their skills, without any bias. An open and free communicative environment to engage and encourage commitment to work within deadlines, so that reasonable lead times are honoured and excessive working hours are not a burden or pressure on the workforce.