From our inception, Fairware has had a Supplier Code of Conduct that has guided our selection of suppliers and our approach to ethical sourcing.

When we started our company, ethical sourcing codes were not commonplace in our industry. We’ve been encouraged over the past few years with the increased awareness and effort by our suppliers regarding their social compliance and environmental efforts. Fairware is a Category C Licensee of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and our code has always been modelled on that of the FLA. You can review our Code of Conduct here.

We have a multi-tiered approach to ethical sourcing. We ask suppliers to review our Code of Conduct and complete a supplier survey on their own supply chain practices. The questionnaire includes questions on country of origin for their products; certifications the facilities may have; whether their facilities have been audited for social and environmental performance; highlights of any social, community or environmental programs they operate.

Suppliers must sign off on our Code of Conduct, stating that to the best of their knowledge their supply chain is compliant. While the majority of our suppliers have reviewed and signed off on our Code, we accept suppliers that provide copies of 3rd party certification or that have publicly accessible information on their own Code of Conduct and social compliance program. We ask suppliers to fill out our questionnaire regardless of whether they’re in the USA, Canada, China or any other country.

More recently we’ve added questions relating to minority ownership and supply chain mapping to better support diverse suppliers and to better understand the impacts of our complex supply chain.

We actively seek out suppliers that have independent 3rd party certification verifying their environmental and social performance and management systems. Examples of the certifications we look for include SA8000, Fair Labor Association, Quality Certification Alliance, and Certified Fair Trade. We also support social enterprises, minority-owned and diverse suppliers, ventures operated by non-profits, North American Union Made and cooperatives as a way to encourage community development opportunities in our supply chain.

We audit our factories on a case by case basis at the request of clients who are placing large orders or creating long term programs. These audits are done on a cost-shared basis, and as a general rule, are done to the client Code of Conduct specifications. We have experience working with auditors on both FLA and SA8000 standards in addition to Quality Assurance audits.

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