Duty of care
For all textiles the problem of environmentally sound disposal at the end of the product life cycle applies. In any case, we have an agreement with our customers that no workwear that has been worn out may end up in the natural cycle, i.e. in the sea or in the soil. Especially textiles with synthetic fibre content are difficult to recycle. Time and energy expenditure hardly justifies this procedure.
In the case of thermal recycling, it should be noted that an incineration temperature of well over 900°C must be reached so that certain pollutants, such as aromatic hydrocarbons, are not produced. The filtration of fine dust emissions must also be taken into account.
With regard to recycling, the Dutch member of the teamdress group, De Berkel B.V., based in Varsseveld / NL, maintains the agreement with the Radboud hospital to take back used workwear, which then is reprocessed and converted into felt rolls.
We are fully aware of our social responsibility and pay attention to fair and safe working conditions along the entire production chain. In our own production plants in other European countries, we have been ensuring for years that neither child labour is incurred, nor is there any restriction on the education of and participation in employee representation. Furthermore, we have established trusted representatives who act as contact persons in case of any problems. To date, no cases of discrimination or harassment have been reported to us. We require the same from our contract manufacturers and check this continuously.
Without exception, we pay wages at least amounting to the legal minimum wage in our factories. We also help our employees to make their work area more effective by continuously optimising all work processes, thus reducing the workload. This optimisation process is ongoing. A continuous provision of cut bundles enables the seamstresses to work effectively and at the same time with high quality. Bonus payments are possible through additional training.
Both the management of the company‘s own production facilities and contract manufacturers were banned from subcontracting production orders. This not only avoids making quality control more difficult, but in particular prevents the undermining of wage standards.
Our own production facilities as well as those of other companies are bound to the principles of the Fair Wear Foundation and the Green Button and are regularly subjected to social audits
As part of the Covid 19 crisis, we took a number of protective measures at all the group‘s sites.
- In our sample sewing rooms in Poland, a sufficiently large number of mouth-nose protectors made of strong fabric were already produced at the beginning of March so that every employee could be equipped with at least two of them.
- Where it was technically feasible and possible in terms of work processes, home workplaces were created.
- For all office work, distance was prescribed. Meetings took place only via video conferencing. In addition to the provision of sufficient disinfectants, constant ventilation was ensured at all locations.
- All suspected cases were ordered to stay at home and asked undergo a test.
- After suspicious cases arose in one of our plants in Moldova, we had tests carried out on the entire workforce at our own initiative and expense, as no action was taken by government agencies. Contact persons were identified and infected persons were sent to home quarantine.
- Partition walls were installed in the sewing rooms to provide increased protection against infection by separating them.
Our group of companies has also been severely affected by the economic crisis. However, thanks to very timely orders and additional safety stocks of fabrics and ingredients, we were able to maintain delivery reliability to our customers as far as possible.
Care towards third parties
The above-mentioned delivery reliability is particularly important in the field of personal protective equipment (PPE), since it is here that the protection of people at the workplace makes their work possible. Although we are pursuing a purely B2B business model, especially in the PPE sector, we have intensified our contact with end customers during the period under review by hiring additional employees in order to incorporate the customer’s aspects and criticisms into the development of new products in good time.