A responsible manufacturer of compliant products...
Our products are part of the fabric of everyday life: from clothing, accessories and furniture to fibre optics and healthcare items. Our Industrial business is the leading producer of industrial thread for the apparel and footwear industry; we have a leading and expanding position in the performance materials market, and our Crafts business is a leading player in the Americas textile crafts market.
In 2017, we dyed over 170 thousand different colours in nearly four million production batches. Our products are sold in over 100 countries. We have over 2,000 direct material and product suppliers, located in more than 70 countries worldwide, who supply raw materials, components and finished goods for our industrial and crafts business units. We also work with over 10,000 suppliers providing, for example, equipment, consumables, agency workers, maintenance and cleaning services and a range of professional services.
Around 92% of our products are made from synthetic, oil-based polymers, from our industrial threads through to our specially engineered yarns such as ripcords, technical yarns for fibre optic cables, medically approved threads and many more. We appreciate that fossil-fuel derived materials are a valuable resource, and we believe that we are putting these materials to valuable uses, rather than merely burning them for energy production. We maximise the efficiency with which the materials are used in our manufacturing (see Our manufacturing for more detail on this) and are always looking for ways to re-use man-made materials and to derive new products from recycled plastics and textiles.
A small percentage (8%) of our raw materials is derived from cotton and a negligible quantity from other naturally occurring materials or animal derived sources (<0.03%). We understand that there are some important social and environmental issues associated with the supply chains of cotton, and we are supportive of the key global partnerships trying to address these. We are investigating the work of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) to see if we should engage with them, despite this being a small component of our supply chain.
Although we have very few product lines which derive from animal sources, we have developed a specific policy on Animal Welfare and through our new Supplier Code, expect high ethical business and employment standards across all our global sourcing operations. Our policies and codes of practice make specific reference to human rights and particularly the avoidance of child labour, slavery, forced or bonded labour both in our own operations and in our supply chain. Our responsible Supplier Code outlines the social, environmental and ethical standards we expect from all our suppliers and partners for all the products and services that we procure.