Sustainability, Ethical, Environmental and Social Responsibility
At Dare 2b we think the mountain is for everyone to enjoy. It's a place for adventure and adrenalin; for energy and excitement...all washed down with a nice cold beer. We make great quality, outdoor gear for both summer and winter, for a load of great sporting activities. We realise that producing quality clothing will have an impact on the society and the environment we live in; and it's something that all of us at Dare 2b take very seriously. This guide will tell you exactly what we do...and don't do to keep our environment and everyone involved in the production of our gear healthy and happy.
We realise that producing quality clothing will have an impact on the society and the environment we live in, but it is our way to act responsibly and minimise this impact as far as we reasonably can.
Sustainability – We welcome the responsible use of natural resources and insist on finding ways to reduce or eliminate the use of finite resources, recycling where possible, what we do use.
Ethical – We feel very strongly that workers in our factories are treated fairly and benefit from working with us. We do not want our production of value and quality products to be at the expense of these workers. For this reason we joined the Ethical Trading Initiative(ETI) in 2012 and as an ETI foundation stage member we request our suppliers to follow the ETI Base Code which sets out the standards which we insist upon before working with a supplier.
Environmental – We look to control or eliminate any adverse impacts that chemicals and waste products, resulting from our business, may have on the wider community and environment.
Social – We want to know that working with us will have a beneficial impact on the lives of our employees, suppliers and customers and their communities. We work hard to make that happen.
We are serious about our responsibilities to the people of this world and the environment we live in. To this end, we set up an action team in 2009, called the SEE group which spearheads initiatives across these key areas. Employees from different departments are empowered to instigate new ideas and encourage the participation of all employees within the company.
It is an amazing world out there and we want to keep it that way. Our way.
Graham Rickard - Managing Director
OUR SUSTAINABILITY RESPONSIBILITY
Waste may be the least glamorous side of our business, but we make sure it's all done nice and proper. Our sites in the UK all comply with waste management legislation and the relevant environmental regulations by recording all movements of general waste. This is then matched with certificates received from authorised contractors to make sure disposal is done just as it should be. Clean and foul drain systems are identified and meet all the requirements of pollution control regulations. And should anything go wrong, we have all the right spill kits to deal with chemical spillage at all of our sites.
Our suppliers must hold the appropriate licences and records for monitoring and managing waste, material discharge and waste treatment and meet the appropriate regulations in force under local laws. We even carry out third party audits to make sure that:
- Waste water/exhaust are purified before they are released into the environment
- Factories have the relevant permit for waste discharge
- Factories maintain programs targeting avoidance of water, reduction of raw materials and energy use
We are recycling obsessives, and always aim to recycle as much "waste" as reasonably possible. At all our operating sites we have recycle centres and we segregate waste streams ready for disposal. We only work with registered and licensed contractors to make sure all of these waste streams are recycled properly: cardboard packaging, polythene packaging, office paper, printer cartridges, lamps & lights, WEEE (electronic equipment), cans, bottles and wood.
Dare 2b follows the Green Dot European network of industry-funded systems for recycling the packaging materials of consumer goods for Germany.
Even our warehouses and offices are energy efficient as they are all fitted with high frequency TS light fittings on sensors. We also use low energy usage battery chargers for our MHE.
Our Ethical Trading Responsibility
Ethical Trading has always been a cornerstone within our businesses. It is championed by our owner and Group Buying Director Joanne Black and runs through the core of the business. We believe that making good quality clothing, footwear and accessories need not come at the expense of others. We are proud to be foundation stage members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), working towards improving working conditions for workers in our partner factories in the Far East (Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China and India among others). The ETI brings together brands, retailers, suppliers, unions and voluntary organisations to improve conditions for workers.
We joined ETI in 2012 and as an ETI foundation stage member, we are committed to upping our game each year – continuously improving the way we source our garments so that workers benefit, helping our suppliers to be better employers and benchmarking our procedures within our supplier base with the most forward looking companies in the UK and Europe. We have learnt a lot. We thank our partners who have worked with us over the last year.
We are pleased to have developed better internal systems to analyse our factory inspections. We have developed more rigorous reports and we have completed several training sessions for internal staff and with key suppliers.
We work with many partner factories all over the world, but before doing so we ensure that they share our passion for the outdoors and that they follow the same working ethics as we do. Before we consider working with a supplier, we check that they are as passionate about what they do, as we are.
We carry out open face-to-face discussions followed up by letters of commitment stating the ETI Base code that all suppliers have to sign. These clearly outline the standards that we expect all of our suppliers to meet.
Following that,we carry out an in house visual factory evaluation, focusing on critical health and safety points, such as fire safety, cleanliness and safety of the working environment, availability of clean drinking water and first aid supplies as well as any indication that child labour may be employed.
In addition to our own visual factory evaluation, we progress to a 3rd party audit to verify our initial findings and to gain in-depth understanding of each factory’s compliance level, examining records on workers IDs, child labour, wages and working hours, fire and building certificates, internal health and safety procedures and training of workers. Employee interviews are included on a one-to-one and group basis to cross reference information and give the workers a voice. The factory is then provided with the audit report and corrective action plan, which they must work to complete within agreed deadlines.This is closely monitored by our own dedicated teams in China and Bangladesh.
We know that our business will inevitably have some impact on the environment. What we want is to make our environmental footprint as teensy as possible, and to make positive progress each year. By setting out a clear vision and monitoring how well we do, we can only get better.
Control of hazardous substances
The health, safety and welfare of our employees and anyone else who comes into contact with our operations is top of our list. So when it comes to the managing the use of chemicals or substances that may be hazardous to health, we take all the precautions possible. The same goes for our own operational sites and those of our key supply chain partners. Our management systems comply with the requirements of The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). Under these regulations, UK operations evaluate and control the risks to the health of all employees from exposure to hazardous substances at work.
Our third party audits make sure that supply chain manufacturers comply with local legislation insisting as a minimum that,
- Chemicals are well covered and safely stored
- Workers handling chemicals are appropriately trained
- Workers have access to suitable equipment and protective clothing when handling any chemicals
Dare 2b has over 30 years experience of global sourcing in the garment industry. These regulations help us to protect human health and the environment, so we put a lot into fully understanding our responsibilities under the REACH legislation. And we're committed to making sure that our products stay within the acceptable boundaries set out by the regulations.
Efficient use of resources
We have offices in China and Bangladesh which are close to our factories. This means we can manage sample production much more efficiently, and our employees in the UK needn't travel all that way. Less plane journeys means less environmental impact. Simple.
OUR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Graham Rickard gets involved in charity organisations all around the world and his ethos runs throughout Dare 2b. The Dare 2b Foundation was set up in 2007 as a charitable trust to support different causes as our on-going commitment to "giving something back".
At Dare 2b all the employees roll up their sleeves and get together to come up with their own fundraising ideas and challenges. From mountain challenges to cake sales... you name it, they've done it. Dare 2b then match the money they have raised. They also have the opportunity to take a (paid) day off to do charitable work of their choice.
One charity that benefits from our work is Stockdales, based in Sale, which cares for children and adults with learning disabilities and complex health needs. We are chuffed to bits that many of our staff volunteer their own time to help with this worthwhile cause. We also work with other charities in the area including Vinelife who support the homeless in Manchester and Challenge for Change who provide an awesome high wire activity centre in the Trafford area, designed for all groups of people. Dare 2b also donates hundreds of items of clothing and equipment for a variety of charities every year.
It's not just our home towns that get the Dare 2b fundraising treatment. We like to look after the people we work with in our factories. Following the Tsunami in 2004, we raised funds to support the rebuild of a village in Thiraimadu, Batticaloa in Sri Lanka. As a result the people of Batticaloa were able to rebuild their lives with new houses and a new infrastructure.
Dare 2b is also supporting the Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation school in Savar. We helped build a new 4-storey school in January 2008 for 134 children including 13 with disabilities. The total amount donated was $55,043.13 and we have pledged another $6,000 every year for three years (2012 to 2014).
We're a healthy lot at Dare 2b. Employees are actively encouraged to get out there and trial our gear for themselves. The ones who go out and get all muddy tell us about their experiences on our own blog site. We also have gym and weight watching classes and regular inter-departmental football matches. We think all this energy used out of the office brings energy into the office, producing a healthy, happy working environment.