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This is the start of our sustainability journey. Currently, we’re working hard behind the scenes to develop and create a sustainability strategy that aligns with the 2015 Paris Agreement and The Sustainable Development Goals (also known as the 2030 Agenda). Through this, we’ll be able to implement changes bit-by-bit that protect the planet and the people on it. We’ll release more in the up-coming months!
Keep reading to find out more about the positive steps we're already taking in and out of the office.
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 the charity in the last few years.
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’re performance driven and we’re committed to giving our customers unique, high-quality designs without compromising the principles that Oh Polly was built on.
Measuring our emissions - We worked with Carbon Footprint Limited to calculate and verify our FY22 Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions to comply with Streamline Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR). We produced 20.52 tCO2e (market-based). We're in the process of measuring our Scope 3 emissions for the same time period to establish a baseline for future reporting and locate emission hot spots, allowing us to create a carbon reduction plan.
Solar panels - We’ve partnered with Engenera who have installed ground-breaking combined heat and power units (CHP) on site. But why is this important? This specially designed system offers a clean and renewable heat source for the entire warehouse and office space in our Bromborough location. It provides year-round warmth when necessary.
Eco friendly deliveries - You can select a Click & Collect store or an InPost locker at checkout! By choosing this option, it means our couriers only need to make one journey to either location with multiple parcels instead of numerous journeys to different addresses for one. See the data to back it up here.
Cycle to work scheme - We’ve introduced a new incentive scheme for our staff, to opt for a bike instead of a car, when travelling to work. They can purchase a bike of their choice and then pay it back at an affordable rate straight from their pay slips.
Carpooling - Where possible, our staff love to carpool! If there are up to four of you in a car, that's up to three cars off the road making the same journey! This is great for reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions, mitigating traffic and reduces the demand for parking infrastructure. You can do this too!
Motion activated - The lighting in our distribution centre is motion activated so that we minimise energy use.
Animal Welfare - No animals are harmed in creating our pieces. We only use faux leather and fur.
Paperless returns - This means that you no longer receive an invoice inside your order. We’ve cut back on ~1,350,000 pieces of paper a year! To return your parcel, please use our returns portal here.
ReCover IT - We’ve partnered with ReCover IT who are a local IT disposal company in Liverpool. They securely destroy all data on our end-of-life devices. The remaining hardware will then be repaired or recycled! They even donate a portion of their sales to charity.
Packaging - All our mailing bags and boxes are fully recyclable. They’re made from a minimum of 30% recycled LDPE Low density polyethylene. These can be recycled anywhere you see the LDPE4 logo, i.e. Super Markets, Travel Hubs etc. For UK customers, please use this link to locate your closest drop off points.
Boxless - We've started phasing our boxes to reduce the amount of packaging we produce.
Recycling and general waste - B&M Waste Management, a carbon neutral company, takes all the waste from our office and distribution centre, in Bromborough. This is separated and diverted to the correct waste streams in the depo. From this, renewable energy can be generated along with organic fertiliser. From their most recent report (01/09/2021-31/08/2022), 100% of our waste from the site has been diverted from landfill. You can read more about their processes on their website here
Donate for a discount - We’ve partnered with The Salvation Army so that you can donate your unwanted items to charity for free through us with our new scheme - they don’t have to be Oh Polly items, it can be any brand! To find out more about this, please follow this link
Product recovery scheme: repair and rewear - If you receive a less than perfect item from us, or your item becomes faulty within six months after purchase, we may be able to help you! We now offer a sustainable option, by refunding 20% of the item value. This means that you can take this to your local tailor or fix it yourself! Did you know that extending a garment’s life by just nine months can reduce its carbon, waste, and water footprints by between 20 to 30 per cent?!* Remember to fix it before you ditch it! Please note that all cases are reviewed individually.
Spot Wash Machine - 93% of our returns are re-sellable. Wonder what we do with the rest? We now have an inhouse spot wash machine that we use on 4% of returns. This means that they can be cleaned and re-packaged in perfect condition to be sent out.
Remaining stock - We’ve partnered with Parker Lane who help us to re-distribute end of season, slow selling stock and damaged items to areas that we don't have as much footfall. This helps to prolong the end-use of our products. They also take the remaining 3% of returns too! Find out more here.
Corporate social responsibility - We’re following our Code of Conduct across the whole value chain, especially within production and manufacturing. You can find more information about how we manufacture below.
Gender pay - No matter your gender, everyone is paid equally for their work.
Job roles - 71% of our senior roles are held by women. 70% of our employees within the company are women.
Discrimination - We have a zero-tolerance policy for any form of discrimination or harassment based on someone’s sexual orientation, gender, civil status, family status, religion, race, age, or disability. 30 of our managers have received a Level 2 Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. All members of our team complete a training module about Equality and Diversity and Bullying and Harrasment within their first 2 weeks at Oh Polly.
Charity donations - As well as our own charity, The Brannerson Foundation, we also regularly donate a portion of our profits to different charities throughout the year. Each charity helps to combat different issues across the globe. Additionally, our employee of the month also picks a charity to donate £250! They are always personal charities that we love to help.
Mental wellbeing - We are a Suicide Safer Organisation. We have 18 Mental Health First Aiders, 12 Suicide Prevention First Aiders and 12 Sucide Alert Helpers on site. The courses are delivered by the Martin Gallier Project through their Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST).
Employee assistance program - Colleagues can also access a confidential helpline, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Alongisde other mental wellbeing resources.
Take a look at how much we've donated this year alone! Since 2016, we've donated £871,900.90!
A large portion of our donations go towards our charity in Cambodia, The Brannerson Foundation. Every purchase made at Oh Polly helps to support a number of children in one of the poorest regions in the world. As the brand continues to grow, all thanks to the community who love wearing our clothes, so does the level of support The Brannerson Foundation is able to offer. Click the link below to find out more.
We know that there’s still a lot more to be done! 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’re looking to:
- Ensure that mailing bags are made from at least 60% recycled materials
- Invest in eco-friendly, recycled, and regenerated materials for our products
- Offer additional eco-friendly delivery options with efficient couriers
- Install EV charging points at our Bromborough location
- Provide further information about how we produce and manufacture
- Outline official targets in line with the UN Paris Agreement and UN Sustainability Development Goals for the upcoming years, with a main focus for 2030
- Work with partners, who align with our values, to ensure we’re on track to hitting our goals
We’re working hard on our official sustainability strategy and carbon reduction plan. Once we’ve completed this, we’ll update our progression, promises and targets for 2025-2050. They'll revolve around the following themes: decarbonisation, circularity, transparency, inclusion and diversity.
There are plenty of other exciting projects happening behind the scenes too. We’ll make sure to keep everyone updated when we release information on them!
Oh Polly creates iconic stand out pieces that are sure to get you noticed, but wearing them once just isn’t enough. From new season trends you don’t want to miss to wardrobe essentialsthat 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?
You make it happen! Once you feel like you’ve reached your max amount of wear then why don’t find your clothes a new home? ‘Cause 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 its 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.
Our product development and manufacturing process is unique to most. At Oh Polly, we like to be different and always with you in mind!
An environment that is safe and beneficial for our staff is our top priority here at Oh Polly. Here are some examples of how we take care of our workforce,inside and outside of work.
Here at Oh Polly, we're more than just dreamy 'fits, we're proud to be leaders in our field! Our founders, Mike and Claire own 80% of our two main suppliers, meaning that more than half of our stock and production is controlled and managed by us.
For the factories that our founders don't own, we like to choose our supplier carefully. We prefer to form a direct association with manufacturers so we can have full visibility on working standards and quality control. This means, we also have a presence in all our manufacturing units to ensure worker welfare at every stage. We follow a strict code of conduct in our own factory and make sure these are implemented with our manufacturing partners.
We recruit the most skilled employees in each market, from design, to pattern cutting and sewing. We understand what our customers love, which is why our products continue to outshine the competition. We inspect all our goods at an AQL2.5 quality standard. This reduces the number of defects across our products that make it into circulation, so what's delivered to your door is in excellent condition.
Healthcare - A doctor and nurse visit the factory for consultations free of charge.
Life pension – We provide a life pension for the low-income family of a worker who has passed away in hospital from a health-related issue.
Paid time off – For short-term sickness.
Wage advances and interest-free micro plans - We do this to help ease the pressure on employees when unexpected expenses occur.
Profit share - We’ve issued our Bangladesh factory with a 2% profit share, each year for the past five years.
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.
Bribery and corruption - All our staff choose to work there. We do not allow people to be coerced or forced into labour.
Slave labour - Everyone in our factories is paid for the work they do. No unpaid overtime.
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.
Excessive overtime - When overtime is required for certain projects, it’s always proportional and paid at the correct rate, for example time and a half.
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.