How do I attain the Ethical Leader guarantee?

Definition: This brand is a sustainability leader, incorporating environmental and social impact into all decision making and practices.

What qualifies for this icon?

This guarantee is awarded to our ESG leaders, who have attained all other qualifiable guarantees for their brand. It is intentionally a difficult guarantee to achieve, only awarded to brands leading in ESG practice, with an innovative and ambitious ESG strategy and roadmap.

We’re looking for evidence that ESG considerations are embedded into your business model so you have a clear strategy in the following areas:

  1. Social Responsibility: providing good jobs for all in your supply chain, paying living (not minimum wage)
  2. Material Selection: choosing the most sustainable materials for your collection, prioritising natural fibres from either recycled or organic sources.
  3. Carbon Footprint: actively looking to reduce your carbon footprint wherever possible, switching to renewable energy sources, carbon neutral shipping methods, local production and reducing waste.
  4. Innovation: Looking to push the sustainability agenda in new and creative ways, e.g. implementing purpose-driven business models, utilising new material choices.
  5. Long-Term Vision: seeking to continuously improve your products and business to maximise positive social and environmental impact into the long term. Having a clear strategy / roadmap measuring and reporting on your ESG targets.

In addition, we require evidence that highlights that you have actively chosen the most environmentally sensitive options to produce your collection wherever possible. 


What supporting evidence do I need?

  1. As this guarantee represents multiple aspects of sustainability along your supply chain, it requires that you have attained: Carbon Reduction, Responsible Packaging, and either Natural Materials, Organic, or Re/Upcycled Materials.
  2. A written explanation of your ESG strategy outlining how you work to the 5 areas stated above. The more information you can provide, the better we can assess your suitability for this guarantee.
  3. Documentation to support the written explanation, e.g. ESG strategy / roadmap, third party certificates, proof of using renewable energy etc.


Example Evidence

  • Demonstrating full traceability for your supply chain, including a list of all your suppliers down to raw materials stage
  • Implementing circular economy practices by designing products for recycling, re-use and re-sale
  • Using existing resources and materials over virgin resources
  • Utilising regenerative practices that sequester carbon and work to restore biodiversity
  • Evidence that you or your supplier uses renewable energy sources and has waste and chemical management procedures in place.
  • Third-party certifications that assess social and environmental responsibility such as Bluesign, ISO4001, Cradle-to-Cradle, Responsible Jewellery Council: Chain of Practice
  • Reminder: a full % fibre/ ingredient composition must be listed under the ‘care & info' section of all product pages on the W&B website. More responsible options must be used throughout the whole collection, this means all materials must be either organic, recycled, or of natural origin.


Why is this important?

Sustainable development is not something that works in a silo, all aspects of environmentalism are interconnected, so we need to work towards business models that support circular systems. This means choosing environmentally sensitive methods throughout your entire supply chain in a way that protects, supports, and regenerates nature whilst ensuring the reuse, re-sale, and recycling of products and materials.