Traceability & Risk Assessment
VS&Co is committed to mapping our supply chain at every stage of the manufacturing process, from finished goods to raw materials. We have mapped 100 percent of our Tier 1 and Tier 2 supply chain for our lingerie and apparel products using Sourcemap. A substantial majority of our lingerie and apparel facilities are located in the countries where the largest volume of our production takes place: Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and China.
Our definition of tiers is aligned with the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Science Based Targets initiative, as follows:
|TIER 1||Finished goods manufacturing|
|TIER 2||Facilities that supply Tier 1 facilities with fabrics, trims or components
Facilities that provide processing services (e.g., embroidery, printing, laundries)
|TIER 3||Raw material processing|
|TIER 4||Raw material extraction|
VS&Co is committed to ensuring the traceability of cotton in our supply chain, and we align ourselves with suppliers who share this commitment.
We updated our Cotton Policy (Policy) in January 2022, to require all cotton fiber, cotton yarn, cotton fabric and cotton products be spun in or originate from one or more of the approved countries listed on the Policy.
Our suppliers are required to retain all documentation for the origin of raw material, processing and manufacturing to ensure the transparency and traceability of our cotton supply chain and ensure compliance with this Policy. Independent Production Services (IPS) will conduct chain-of-custody audits to verify cotton fiber, cotton yarn, cotton fabric and cotton product originated from an approved country. In addition, Oritain testing may be conducted on fiber, yarn, fabric or finished goods containing cotton to confirm compliance with VS&Co’s Cotton Policy. To view the full policy, click here.
Further, we are committed to increasing the percentage of cotton we purchase directly from farmers. This direct partnership allows us to better understand and support farmers' needs, and have direct visibility into the environmental impact of our cotton sourcing. We are actively partnering with farmers in the U.S. to purchase their cotton directly, which will be included in product beginning in late 2023.
We have a detailed risk assessment process to ensure we are working with business partners that are willing and able to comply with our standards.
About the risk assessment process:
An initial supplier verification and risk assessment is conducted to prevent involvement with high-risk suppliers.
Once a supplier has passed the risk assessment, the relationship between VS&Co and a qualified supplier begins with a written master sourcing agreement wherein the supplier certifies that its factories and any that it may contract with will comply with VS&Co's Supplier Code of Conduct, including codes and any applicable laws prohibiting slavery and human trafficking. No subcontracting is permitted without prior approval.
Each supplier must agree to allow VS&Co, or an independent third party hired by VS&Co to conduct an audit of their production locations without prior notice. IPS or a third-party auditing firm conducts announced or unannounced audits of each of our approved factories at least annually to ensure compliance with our Supplier Code of Conduct and supply chain standards. We may conduct more frequent reviews of factories located in countries designated as high risk by the U.S. State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report or identified through the company’s annual risk assessment process. Certain exemptions from annual audits may be granted to highly compliant factories with consistent and robust compliance. VS&Co requires a pre-production audit of all new factories to ensure the factory can meet our standards before production can begin.
In 2022, we conducted chain of custody audits on made of cotton or containing cotton components to ensure the cotton fiber, yarn and product is from an approved country in accordance with our Cotton Policy. In addition, Oritain testing was conducted on fabric and finished goods containing cotton to confirm compliance with our Cotton Policy. Audit and test samples were selected across various product types. The chain of custody reviews and Oritain test results reflected full compliance with VS&Co’s Cotton Policy.
Through our chain of custody traceability process, we are able to trace lingerie and apparel product back to Tier 3 and Tier 4 for cotton fibers.
We conduct additional focused risk assessments on specific commodities, regions and groups such as migrant workers. In addition, all suppliers are required to certify that they have received, read and understand our no forced labor policy.