Corporate social responsibility
CKS is fully aware of the potential impact of clothes on society and the environment. That's what drives us to bring items to market that are produced in an ethical, environmentally-friendly way with respect for the people who work hard to produce them.
Our items are created with a lot of passion and dedication. The best way to show this to our customers is by offering consistent quality. This quality is about more than just the material, in our eyes; it's also about respect for every step in the production process.
We have fully outsourced the production of our items to our factories across the globe. To monitor our supply chain as efficiently as possible, we share the full list of all of our known product locations, including the name, address and details of the production process with the Fair Wear Foundation.
Fair Wear Foundation
CKS has been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation (www.fairwear.org) since February 2017. The Foundation is an independent organisation that helps us to improve working conditions in our sewing workshops. We also seek to ensure that people working in our workshops are treated well and are able to work in a safe environment.
Local Fair Wear Foundation teams inspect our production locations to ensure the FWF code of conduct is respected. This code covers eight international standards: no forced labour, no discrimination, no child labour, right to a healthy and safe working environment, freedom to unionise and collectively bargain, no excessive overtime, livable wages, and the right to a legal work contract. Improvement plans are drawn up based on these inspections, which we then implement in collaboration with our suppliers.
The Fair Wear Foundation also annually inspects our head office to verify whether we are helping to improve the production process.
We are happy to share the outcome of our first Brand Performance Check with our customers. This report is published on the website of the Fair Wear Foundation and can also be found here.
Local procurement platforms and MVO officers
We receive support from local procurement offices in our three biggest production countries in Asia (Turkey, India and China). Communication flows smoothly with our suppliers thanks to the close cooperation between the sourcing team at our head office and these local offices. This also ensures that we are frequently visible and present on the workfloor.
FNG has invested in a dedicated local team of MVO officers in our three biggest production countries. These officers specialise in social and environmental issues and are experienced in factory auditing. Our MVO officers are tasked with checking that our Code of Conduct and the FWF Code of Labour Practices is respected and applied. They do this by regularly visiting production sites. The MVO officers are ambassadors of our vision, and spread this vision by training factory owners and workers, raising awareness of MVO issues, and collaborating with factory management teams to implement recovery plans.
As well as the factory audits held at our most important factory partners in risk countries, our MVO coordinator of the head office and the buyers also visit our main low-risk suppliers in European countries, including Portugal and Italy.
We believe passionately in social dialogue, transparency, mutual respect and partnership. We also focus on these values when it comes to our suppliers, meaning we are able to construct stable, sustainable partnerships. Thanks to the close collaboration between our local MVO officers, our MVO team in our head office and our procurement teams, we want to tackle the key aspects of human rights and heath and safety issues first and foremost. Maintaining reliable relationships with our suppliers is an important part of this.
CKS helps a number of social initiatives through financial donations and by donating clothing and footwear. This is our way of helping in the fight against poverty. To better achieve this aim, we have decided to work with the charity Wereld Missie Hulp, a global aid organisation which helps around 250 development projects across the globe each year, offering financial, material and/or logistical support. The WMH obtains most of its operational and project resources by collecting clothes, some of which are distributed during humanitarian projects, and directly helping disadvantaged people. The rest of the clothes are sold to screened buyers and the income from this is used to support WMH projects worldwide. WMH does not only help with clothing; it also provides financial support to help build schools, water sheds, hospitals and more.
This way, we ensure that our clothes don't end up in a landfill, but are instead re-used by people who really need them, or are recycled.
At the end of each season we donate what is left of our store uniforms to the organisation Mothers for Mothers, which focuses mainly on mothers with young children. This organisation aims to provide material support to mothers with young children and help them through difficult situations.
Every year, we try to offer our help to as many people and organisations as possible. That's why our MVO coordinator screens and selects new charities every year.
Feel Good at the Head Office
Our company has a policy of constantly striving for a great atmosphere between employees. We organise several information moments and team events every year. We're aware of the impact our jobs can have on us, which is why we offer our employees the opportunity to take part in yoga and self-coaching sessions organised at our head office. That way, we learn to deal with stress, we don't forget how to think creatively and positively, and restore our energy balance.
We are a proud partner of YOUCA (Youth for Change and Action, previously known as Zuiddag), and offer them our offices for a day every year. This organisation was founded by, and supports, young people. They encourage young people to work together to create a sustainable, fair society. They achieve this aim by raising awareness on important social issues and supporting them with engagement. Additionally, almost every department in our company trains interns.
Being a member of MODINT gives CKS the opportunity to keep learning about sustainable materials. MODINT regularly provides us with information about sustainable innovations in the fashion industry and helps us find better alternatives. They also keep us motivated to take steps towards more sustainable fashion.
Restricted Substances List
The products brought onto the market with the CSK label must comply with the provisions of REACH legislation, prohibiting the use of harmful chemicals on products sold in Europe. These chemicals can be found on our restricted substances list (RSL). This list is updated and adjusted on an ongoing basis to ensure it complies with the most recent legislation. We conclude agreements about this legislation with our suppliers. We voluntarily carry out tests on our products each season, as part of our commitment to REACH. Our RSL has been uploaded to our company website and is publicly available.
CKS is committed not only to avoiding the potential negative effects of producing our items. We actively want to go a step further and focus on having a positive social and environmental impact. We want to trailblaze a cleaner textile industry. So we've developed a Corporate Product Policy where we set out our directives, requirements and preferences for ethical (sustainable) material procurement. Our Corporate Product Policy has been uploaded to our company website and is publicly available.
The production and transport of our products, and the work in our shop and head office, require a significant amount of energy. Furthermore, production requires huge amounts of water, and the process inevitably creates waste. This is why we focus on Energy & Climate, Water and Waste Management
[Recycling] In our head office and in all our shops, we separately recycle paper, glass, plastic, metal and textiles. Our clothes-hangers and boxes are reused.
[Sustainable construction] Our main office in Mechelen was built in 2015 using the most sustainable materials and energy. The building's location was chosen strategically - just a few minutes' walk from the train station and close to the main bicycle path. Both our offices and shops use LED lighting and have motion sensors. We've also developed a rain-recovery system. To help counter the decline in bee populations, we have installed a number of beehives on our green roofs. We also have a few company bikes, available to our employees at all times. Additionally, we have facilities in place for cyclists, including a bike park, showers, and changing rooms.
[Minimising waste] We're always looking for new, smart ways to manage waste. In our main office and in all our shops, we use ecological glass water bottles. We also strictly avoid disposable materials in both the main office and in our shops. Our kitchens are sustainably equipped with fixed supplies. Once we've done a photo shoot or used our shop decorations, we also always try to find a second home for the materials we've used. Most of these items are donated to charities or second-hand shops.
We're always looking for ways to cut our CO2 emissions, so looking at how we transport our goods was a natural starting point. That's why we always primarily opt for the most eco-friendly solutions.
If you have questions regarding our sustainability, have a great suggestion, or have always wanted to know something about MVO, send an email to email@example.com!