Social & Ethical Compliance Policy

about our policy

gorman is a proudly Australian owned fashion label. Our policy is founded on the principles of:

  • Quality
  • Integrity
  • Fairness
  • Equality
  • Accountability
  • Sustainability
  • Respect

As a leading Australian owned brand, we are committed to the communities in which we live and operate, ensuring that we integrate good corporate behaviour into all aspects of our operations. We believe in looking beyond financial results and include social, environmental, and ethical indicators in the measure of our performance.

To be a supplier to gorman, companies must pass through a strict evaluation process including social and ethical compliance audits. We work to build and maintain long term manufacturing partnerships, both locally and overseas, with like-minded vendors who maintain the high standards that we set.

We closely monitor the entire supply chain and all stages of production with senior management completing both scheduled and random audits on suppliers.

To facilitate decent and humane working conditions and promote ethical business practices at facilities around the world, we have developed an ethical standards policy based on the ETI code of practice.

Whether we enter into or continue with a business relationship with a supplier depends in part on its compliance and commitment to our standards and principles.

The cornerstone of the policy revolves around:

  • Freedom of employment
  • Freedom of association
  • Safe working conditions
  • Prohibition of child labour
  • Sustainable living wages
  • Reasonable working hours
  • No discrimination
  • Fair and equitable treatment
  • Environmental consciousness
  • Auditable systems

Freedom of employment

Suppliers must not use forced, bonded or prison labour. Workers will not be required to lodge deposits, or identity papers with an employer and must be free to leave work at the end of the shift and terminate their employment with reasonable notice.

Freedom of association

Suppliers will recognise the right of employees to join unions or representative committees and the right of worker’s associations to collective bargaining.

Safe working conditions

A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided, bearing in mind the prevailing local knowledge of the industry and any specific hazards. Adequate steps shall be taken to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, or occurring in the course of work by minimising as far as practical hazards in the workplace.

Health and safety training shall be practiced on site and clean toilet facilities and potable water shall be provided. Where accommodation or food is provided it shall be clean , safe and meet the basic needs of workers.

Child labour

There shall be no recruitment of child labour. Companies can only employ people who meet the local legal minimum age for employment as stipulated by the ILO and the national standards This policy will be severely enforced.

Sustainable living wages

Terms and conditions of employment must be clearly communicated to all workers. Written records of payments must be maintained for audit purposes. Wages must be paid in line with national legal standards or industry benchmark whichever is greater.

Wages must be paid at regular intervals according to national or industry benchmarks. Any deductions not provided for under national law are not permitted without the express written permission of the worker.

Reasonable working hours

Suppliers must comply with applicable laws and regulations in regards to working hours and must operate in a manner that promotes humane and productive hours of work and working conditions.

Non Discrimination

There is to be no discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation.

Fair and equitable treatment

Physical abuse, the threat of physical abuse, sexual and other forms of harassment, verbal abuse and other types of intimidation will never be used by a supplier or factory in relation to their workers.

The deduction of wages s a disciplinary measure will not be used.

Obligations to employees under labour and social security laws and regulations arising from the regular employment relationship shall not be avoided through the use of labour only contracting, subcontracting, or home based working schemes or through apprenticeship schemes, where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment, nor shall any such obligations be avoided through the excessive use of fixed term contracts of employment.

Environmental consciousness

Suppliers must comply with applicable environmental laws, must maintain a written environmental policy and must implement a system to minimize or eliminate negative impacts of its practices on the environment.

Auditable systems

Suppliers must provide representative with unrestricted access, without advance notice, to all factory premises, employees as well as to documentation relevant to determining whether it is in compliance with these policies and all applicable laws and regulations.

All suppliers are regularly audited by senior management of gorman to ensure they are compliant with our policy and standards. If we find evidence of unethical practices or non-compliance with our policies we will take action to invoke corrective procedures. If the corrective procedures and standards are not achieved, or not adhered, to we will cease supply with that company.

Social Compliance Audit Report

Click here to view.

If you have any further concerns please contact the PR and Media.

gorman and sustainability

technically, gorman organic doesn’t only use ‘organic’ materials specifically. this means the use of organic, recycled or sustainable materials. for example, sometimes a recycled synthetic might be more environmentally sound than organic cotton. back when the gorman organic brand was introduced in 2007, it was simply all about organic cotton, hence the brand name. but as we know, technology and time move super-quickly, and consequently, we have found other great fibres and processes that suitably fit into gorman organic. this may be for their growth, harvest and processing, or for their ethical certification. <'p>

now days, from season to season, we use a selection of sustainable fibres and materials such as; organic cotton, tencel, recycled polyester, non-mulesed merino, recycled cotton fibre, and raw rattan linen. we aim to have 20% of our collection under the goman organic label each season as a standard percentage.

our leather is sourced from New Zealand where the ethical treatment of animals complies with New Zealand law.

gorman do not use angora yarn in any products.

non-mulesed merio yarn is used in our merino knits.

beyond clothing and accessories, we consider the following factors within the gorman business to support and maintain sustainability within our industry...

shop fit-out materials

we like the natural approach. recycled or plantation timbers are used, with non-toxic natural oils and low toxic paints. unbleached linen curtains and scottish goat hair carpets by tretford, as well as locally sourced recycled timber plinths and rises, made by our friend charlie in preston, victoria, are also featured. we use uncoated copper and timber racking and love some vintage mid-century furniture from angelucci 20thc in fitzroy, melbourne. when it comes to lighting, we use recycled or salvaged vintage pendants rather than purchasing new fittings and utilise LED, energy-efficient lighting.

swing-tags and packaging

our 'no bag thanks' is in full swing. say no to a shopping bag (albeit an unbleached recycled brown paper one...) and gorman will plant one tree for every three customers who say 'no bag thanks'. this program is currently managed through friends of the earth.

packing of stock

in 2010, gorman reduced plastic packaging of bulk orders by 90% in just one year. this has been one of our proudest manoeuvres to date on the green front, and has involved all of our suppliers getting on board...and to be honest, it was not that hard. if you too are in the fashion industry, all you need to do is use one large bag to line a box instead of popping each item into its own bag, as this is exactly how we achieved such a dramatic reduction in plastic packaging.

freight and shipping

currently, 63% of our orders are sea freighted, which is down by 43% since 2009. ‘travel miles’ is one of the most environmentally concerning elements of any garment. the textile industry in our country has declined dramatically over the last decade, meaning that offshore production has become common, and with that, long distance shipping in of goods. we are conscious of this, and work to combine our deliveries together so that we ship and truck less frequently. we allow enough time to sea freight rather than airfreight our deliveries.

our goal is to make sure our fibres and materials are grown and produced close to the point of manufacture. either way, australia is quite a long way from the rest of the world. whether it's grown, milled, woven or sewn, generally a good part of this process now happens offshore. the closer the fibre is grown, milled and processed to the sewing point, the better.

longevity of product

when the design team sit down to create and technically develop a product, we are thinking of value. this, to us, means that if you happen to be very fond of it, you buy it, and you want to be sure that you're going to wear it a lot. none of this one-season-and-it's-over business. we love nothing more than seeing a girl/ lady/ woman getting about in a gorman thing from 3, 5,10 years ago. the older garment, the better.

word on the street

karen webster, head of fashion at rmit, describes gorman as a pioneer for sustainable fashion. "when you talk about lisa, you talk about the significant impact she’s had on bringing attention around organic clothing and sustainable practice. up until then everything in organic fashion was neutral and natural and a bit hessian-like. and what lisa was able to do was integrate really modern, contemporary fashion, quality design and still have the ethics aligned to it. that was the big thing from my perspective."