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A lot of brands don't work closely with the factories that manufacture their clothing, so they have no idea how much waste can occur as items move down the production line. Oh Polly owns 50% of its factories and has a responsibility contract with the other 50%.
Oh Polly is a brand with purpose. On seeing the awful poverty that many children were living in across southeast Asia, our founders Claire Henderson and Mike Branney started selling clothes on eBay and donating the profits to charity. After gaining huge success on eBay, Claire and Mike created their own website, but the value and purpose behind the brand was never lost. Oh Polly has donated over £600k to charity in the last few years. In 2019, we took a group of our brand ambassadors to Cambodia to see first-hand the kind of work we do for families and young children - watch their experience and find out more here.
Our brand is built on ethical values, and we believe we have a responsibility to help the planet, just as we're helping communities in southeast Asia. We are committed to giving our customers unique, high-quality designs without compromising the principles that Oh Polly was built on.
All of our mailing bags, boxes and garment bags are fully recyclable or biodegradable – yay!
The lighting in our distribution centres is motion activated so that we minimise energy use
All of our computers and machinery are turned off when they aren't in use; many companies will put their computers onto 'Sleep' mode, which is basically the same as having it turned on!
Our thermostats are adjusted as the outside temperature changes with the seasons, so we can allow for natural heating and cooling as much as possible
Server usage for the website scales according to demand - so we only use what is needed.
We use energy-saving light bulbs throughout our office buildings and distribution centres25% of our stock is sent by boat, instead of on a flight, which massively reduces our carbon emissions
Oh Polly works closely with several different courier companies to agree on energy-efficient collection and distribution
Every year we keep getting bigger and better, which means we need to take even more responsibility for the sustainability of our brand. Over the next few years, we pledge to:
Have the roof of our distribution centre fitted with solar panels so that we can use renewable energy
Create a carpool system so employees can travel together and cut down on car emissions
Make sure we have paperless invoices, paperless returns and reduced paper marketing in all of our orders
Reduce the use of Oh Polly packaging by 20% through a new checkout initiative, which allows the customer to remove the box from their order
Carry through a bike-to-work scheme with added employee incentives by mid-2021
Ensure all packaging is made from at least 30% recycled paper and cardboard and all plastics are made from at least 30% recycled materials by the end of 2022
Cut the number of damaged returned garments going to landfill by 50% by the end of 2022
Introduce a customer clothing recycling system by the end of 2022, which will allow customers to give their used items a new home
Remove plastic tags from all of our products by the end of 2022
Send 50% of our stock by boat by the end of 2022
Encourage our staff members to drive electric cars by installing electric vehicle charging points in our staff car park by the end of 2022
Eventually, we will use electric trucks for all in-country transportation by the end of 2025
We want to encourage other fashion brands to be accountable for where and how their garments are manufactured. We want them to care about the people who made their clothing. We want to inspire brands to realise that they can be successful by exclusively purchasing from factories that treat their employees fairly.
If you’re a fashion fanatic who knows their stuff then we’re sure you don’t need us to remind you of the harmful effects the industry currently has on the planet. Here at Oh Polly, we’re proud to say our pledge to the planet is one we take seriously.
Oh Polly creates iconic stand out pieces that are sure to get you noticed, but sis, wearing them once just isn’t enough. From new season trends you don’t wanna miss to wardrobe essentials that can be dressed up or down, we’ve got shapes and styles for all. It’s become all too familiar that the jaw-dropping dress you’ve had your eye on for months gets worn only once for cocktails with the girls. As soon as you click “post” on that all important insta pic, you better believe it’s thrown to the side, never to be worn again. But why?
WE ARE BUILT TO LAST...
Once you feel like you’ve reached your max amount of wear then head over to Depop because baby, these pieces were built to last. Made from high-quality, durable materials, our staple styles were designed to be worn time and time again, making sure you’ll never have to ‘buy cheap, buy twice!’ So once you feel like your clothing has served it’s time, and you’re on the hunt for a refresh, make sure to list it up or why not donate it to charity. By doing this, you’re saving your item from going to landfills that release masses of harmful carbon dioxide into the air
Here at Oh Polly, we're not like every other fashion brand. You might have already heard that we don't use buyers to purchase wholesale and that's one of the reasons why our designs are so unique - and extra! We design everything in-house with a small, incredibly talented team. You might not have heard how involved we are with the people and production behind every Oh Polly 'fit. More than half of our clothing comes from factories owned by us. This means we have full control over our workers' safety, the wages they are paid, and the quality of the product at every stage of manufacturing.
Oh Polly works with several factories around the globe, mainly in Asia. We are pretty picky about who we recruit; we only hire senior teams with Western market experience, who understand the look our customers love. At Oh Polly, we recruit the most skilled employees in each market, from design to pattern cutting to sewing, which is why our products outshine the competition.
We are dedicated to quality. Every product we make is carefully inspected by a member of our team using the international AQL2.5 standard. AQL2.5 quality standard reduces the numbers of defects across our products that make it into circulation, so what's delivered to your door is in excellent condition.
We are completely committed to our workforce's safety, which is particularly important in areas where security isn't always a priority. For example, two years before Oh Polly was founded in 2015, there was a devastating disaster in Bangladesh when the eight-story Rana Plaza building collapsed, killing over 1,100 people and trapping many more in the rubble. This disaster happened due to lax safety laws, and the factory owners desire to put profits before safety – something we will never do. This disaster involved several international fashion companies whose clothes were manufactured at Rana Plaza.
Other issues have appeared closer to home and shone a red light on some UK fast-fashion brands. A BBC Panorama investigation found that workers were not making minimum wage in several Leicester factories in the UK, and some worked in unsafe conditions during the COVID pandemic.
Despite full knowledge of the extremely low prices they pay for their products, these brands claimed to be unaware of these events, showing a complete lack of transparency.
These events highlight the effects of poor corporate governance and a desire to make money, ahead of everything else.
Oh Polly is committed to ensuring its global production process is transparent, never putting financial gain before quality, safety or worker conditions.
An environment that is safe and beneficial for our staff is the top priority at Oh Polly, which also means outside of work. Here are some examples of the sort of ways we take care of our workforce:
HEALTHCARE - A DOCTOR AND A NURSE VISIT THE FACTORY FOR CONSULTATIONS FREE OF CHARGE.
PAID TIME OFF - FOR SHORT-TERM SICKNESS.WE PROVIDED A LIFE PENSION FOR THE LOW-INCOME FAMILY OF A WORKER WHO DIED IN HOSPITAL OF A HEALTH-RELATED ISSUE.
WAGE ADVANCES AND INTEREST-FREE MICROLOANS - TO HELP WITH UNEXPECTED EXPENSES.
ACCOMMODATION - WE HELP FIND ACCOMODATION FOR WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES - THIS INCLUDES PAYING THEIR RENT FOR THE FIRST SIX MONTHS OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT.
PROFIT SHARE - WE HAVE ISSUED OUR BANGLADESH FACTORY WITH A 2% PROFIT SHARE. EACH YEAR FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS. THIS OFTEN AMOUNTS TO MORE THAN ONE MONTH'S WAGE TO EACH WORKER.
CHILD EXPLOITATION.EVERYONE WHO WORKS IN OUR FACTORIES MUST BE OF LEGAL WORKING AGE IN THAT COUNTRY; THIS IS USUALLY 17 OR 18 YEARS OLD. FOR AN APPRENTICE, THEY MUST BE OLDER THAN 16,
SLAVE LABOUR.EVERYONE IN OUR FACTORIES IS PAID FOR THE WORK THEY DO, AND THEY CHOOSE TO WORK THERE, WE DO NOT ALLOW PEOPLE TO BE COERCED OR FORCED INTO LABOUR,
EXCESSIVE OVERTIME.WHEN OVERTIME IS REQUIRED FOR CERTAIN PROJECTS, IT IS ALWAYS PROPORTIONATE AND PAID AT THE CORRECT RATE, FOR EXAMPLE, TIME-AND-A-HALF,
ANYTHING LESS THAN THE MINIMUM WAGE.WE PERSONALLY MAKE SURE THAT ALL WORKERS ARE PAID FOR THE HOURS THEY DO, AND THIS MUST BE ABOVE THE LEGAL MINIMUM WAGE IN THEIR COUNTRY,
UNSAFE WORKING PRACTICES.EMPLOYEES ARE GIVEN THE NECESSARY EQUIPMENT TO DO THEIR JOBS, PROVIDED WITH TRAINING ON HOW TO USE THE MACHINERY AND ARE MADE AWARE OF THE HEALTH AND SAFETY REGULATIONS.
UNSAFE BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES.OUR BUILDINGS ARE REGULARLY INSPECTED, AND WE CONDUCT FIRE DRILLS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE FIRE ESCAPES ARE EASILY ACCESSIBLE AND CAN ACCOMMODATE THE FLOW OF PEOPLE. FIRE PROTECTION AND FIRST AID EQUIPMENT IS CLEARLY MARKED AND IS WITHIN REACH FOR ALL STAFF.