We rounded up the most common questions our sustainability experts receive about our guarantees and Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) practice.
How many guarantees should I be aiming to achieve?
There is no specific number as some guarantees will be more relevant for certain collections and product categories than others, the table below highlights which guarantees are applicable to each category.
However, it is worth noting that happy worker and Independent are mandatory so you should aim to achieve these at a minimum. Additionally, responsible packaging, carbon reduction and charitable donation can be achieved by all brands so these are great guarantees to aim for.
|All Categories||Beauty||Clothing, Accessories & Shoes||Jewellery||Home|
|Happy Worker & Independent (mandatory)||No Nasties (beauty & candle brands only)||Re/Upcycled Materials||Re/Upcycled Materials||Varies depending on the product|
|Responsible Packaging||Cruelty Free (beauty & candle brands only)||Organic||Skilled Artisan||Textile homeware brands should follow the clothing column|
|Charitable Donation||Vegan||Non-Toxic Dyes|
|Carbon Reduction||Organic||Preferred Animal Materials (only for leather & animal fibre products)|
|Ethical Leader||Skilled Artisan||Skilled Artisan|
|Natural Materials||Vegan (only for animal free alternatives)|
Can we re-apply for guarantees?
Yes! Please get in touch with your updated guarantee selection and accompanying evidence at any time. All brands are re-vetted on an annual basis, giving you the opportunity to attain new guarantees at this stage too. You will be asked to complete the evidence submission form again following the same process as your first submission.
Can the guarantees be product specific?
Our guarantees assess your entire collection, not specific products. You will notice on many of our guarantees we state you need X% of your collection to meet the specified criteria, this is to ensure that you have built said ESG consideration into your entire business model and it is not a one-off or side project but that ESG is integrated into your entire business.
What if I don’t want to do this?
The guarantees process is entirely voluntary, except for happy worker which must be attained by all brands.
However, we strongly advise you to engage in activities such as mapping your supply chain and developing a sustainability strategy regardless of whether you wish to attain guarantees or not. This is because there is an increasing amount of legislation and consumer demand for businesses to become more sustainable and by starting now you are giving yourself time to comply and a competitive advantage compared to your peers.
If you have concerns about the vetting process or do not understand what you need to send, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we can advise you on the best solution. We would also like to remind you that all information you share with us remains confidential and will only be seen by the sustainability team. Your supplier and manufacturer names will never be shared publicly.
What if I am a sole trader with no certificates/ documents?
Please note, if you are a sole trader, (e.g. it's just you making your products) select '15 or fewer' workers and specify in the 'describe your manufacture' box that you are a sole trader. You can select 'no' to the audit question and proceed to upload the 'Manufacturer Declaration Form' signed by yourself. It would be beneficial to have your direct suppliers also sign the form if this is feasible.
Compiling Your Evidence
Does the evidence need to be translated?
Yes. We would like all the evidence in English. Please ensure any documents from suppliers have been translated before sending into us or a detailed description of the documents sent is provided. If there are any issues with this please get in contact.
What if I’m missing evidence or certifications?
Please only complete the form once you have all the correct evidence. If you do not have the required evidence for a guarantee then please do not select it, you can always reapply at a later date once you have the documents needed. Do get in touch to let us know what you’re missing and if you need any support or extra time in collating the necessary documentation.
What certifications should I be looking to attain?
This is entirely dependent upon the types of products you make and the size of your operation. For the majority of our guarantees our preferred certification is stated on the evidence form and knowledge base.
A lot of certifications can be obtained through your suppliers, saving you the time and cost of certifying these for yourself. For example many fabric suppliers will have certifications such as GOTS for organic cotton or GRS for recycled fabrics - look for these and ask for them when sourcing your materials and ingredients. These certificates from your suppliers can be sent to us as part of your evidence submission.
It is difficult to give generalised answers for this question so we encourage you to contact us if you have specific queries which cannot be answered through the resources on our knowledge base.
Assessing Your Evidence
How are the guarantees assessed?
We have developed our vetting criteria from extensive research and consultation with experts to ensure that the process works across different sized brands and product verticals. We have standardised our process which is why we ask for specific evidence criteria to speed up the vetting from our side and to ensure all brands are vetted to the same standards.
Once you have submitted the form, your evidence submission will be individually assessed. Please ensure you upload everything that is requested.
After we have reviewed your evidence we will get in contact to let you know if:
- All your guarantees have been approved, nothing further is required.
- Some of your guarantees have been approved and some require further evidence to be sent. We will provide personalised feedback to detail what else is required.
- None of your guarantees have been approved and we will send feedback as to what else is needed to achieve each guarantee selected.
You can read more about the process here
When can I expect to hear back about my evidence submission?
We aim to provide feedback on your guarantee submission within two weeks. You will receive an email stating whether all, some or none of your guarantees have been approved with feedback attached. You will be able to supply further evidence through an 'EDIT' button on the email, allowing you to update your original form submission.
Is there a deadline to upload evidence?
We recommend that you send your evidence at the same time as selecting your guarantees on the dashboard. We expect all brands to send their evidence within one month of selecting their guarantees.
If you manufacture in a high risk country you need to send your manufacturing data and audits within a month of onboarding / being contacted by the team.
How are the brands who submit evidence promoted?
For all our sustainability related marketing we are looking to prioritise brands who have submitted evidence as this means that we can substantiate any claims that are made in our marketing.
The more transparency you are able to provide over your manufacturing process and products the easier it is for us to select brands for specific marketing features. For example, if we run a ‘natural material’ spotlight, if you fail to provide information around what your products are made from we will not be able to feature you in this kind of marketing.
We will be running more sustainability focused activations with guarantee spotlights and communication around key events such as Earth Month.
I have an unanswered question or want to provide feedback, who do I contact?
Please use ‘contact us’ form on your dashboard to get in touch.