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Operating Guidelines


We recognize and respect the variety of legal and cultural environments in which factories operate throughout the world. These guidelines outline the basic requirements that all factories must meet in order to do business with us, in accordance with internationally accepted standards.

We believe that no business should ever be complicit in human rights abuses. We promote greater responsibility and encourage the development and use of environmentally friendly technologies wherever possible. We seek to apply both the letter and the spirit of all applicable local laws and to promote continuous improvements throughout our operations. Our business partners are held to these same standards, and we actively seek partners who share our beliefs. We recognize that our own business practices can impact our business partners’ ability to implement these guidelines, and we commit to addressing any challenges for following these guidelines. Business partners agree to take responsibility for their behaviors related to the guidelines, to seek the root cause of problems when they are found, and to build management systems that prevent problems from reoccurring.

Legal and Ethical Standards

Our business relationship is built on a mutual respect for and adherence to all legal requirements and the highest ethical standards. We expect our suppliers to observe international standards and national and local law and regulations, while operating their business.

Wages, benefits, working hours, and transparent record keeping

All suppliers must comply with all laws regulating local wages, overtime compensation and legally mandated benefits. Wages and benefit policies must be consistent with prevailing national standards. Under ordinary business circumstances, employees must not be required to work excessive working hours per week including overtime and have the option of at least one day off in seven. We expect that all record keeping will be accurate and transparent at all times.

Health and safety

All suppliers must ensure that their employees are provided a safe and healthy work environment and are not subject to unsanitary or hazardous conditions. Suppliers must comply with all applicable laws of the countries in which they operate regarding work, sanitation and safety. Suppliers providing housing must ensure clean, safe and adequate sleeping quarters, bathing and toilet facilities.

Environment

Our suppliers must embrace a fundamental concern for environmental protection and conduct their operations and services consistent with both applicable local laws and internationally recognized environmental practices. They must also make progressive improvements by integrating principles of sustainability into their business decisions to operate more responsibly regarding natural resources, pollution prevention, and utilization of green technologies. Additionally, suppliers must meet all requirements related to chemical restrictions, safely labeling, handling, and storage of approved substances while preventing or mitigating the release of chemicals and hazardous materials. All employees who handle chemicals must be adequately trained to do so.

Child labor

Our suppliers must not employ anyone under the age of 15 or under the age of completion of compulsory education, whichever is higher. Young workers, under the age of 18, must not be exposed to hazardous, unsafe or unhealthy working conditions or materials. Adequate protection against such hazards must be provided to all young workers.

Forced or bonded labor

Our suppliers must not use involuntary or forced labor, whether indentured, bonded, prison or labor obtained through slavery or human trafficking. Suppliers are required to monitor any third party assisting in recruitment or hiring employees to ensure no individual is compelled to work through force, deception, intimidation, coercion, or as punishment for personally held views. Workers must not be required to lodge deposits or identity papers upon commencing employment with the supplier.

Freedom of association and collective bargaining

All suppliers’ employees must be free to join organizations of their own choosing. This includes the right to form and join trade unions and other worker organizations and participate in collective bargaining without fear of harassment, interface, or retaliation.

Nondiscrimination

Our suppliers may not discriminate against its employees during any stage of the employment relationship on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, color, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, political opinion, union affiliation, social group, marital status, pregnancy or any other classification protected by local, national and international law. All employment relationships should include effective mechanisms to protect migrant, temporary or seasonal workers from any form of discrimination.

Harassment

Suppliers are required to treat all employees with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse or to monetary fines as a disciplinary practice.

Traceability and material sourcing

Suppliers must use only designated suppliers for raw materials and components to maintain supply chain transparency. Prior written approval must be obtained before any portion of the product is vendor sourced or substituted.

Subcontracting

Our factories may only subcontract to previously approved suppliers for manufacturing or services according to our corporate requirements. All subcontracted suppliers must meet the same criteria as our direct contracted product and service suppliers.

Animal welfare

Mara Hoffman Inc. is committed to the humane condition and treatment of animals within our supply chains. We partner with suppliers that respect ethical and humane animal welfare practices and are committed to continuously working towards achieving higher standards in animal welfare, as well as, social and environmental standards. Suppliers must establish and refine best practices for maintaining, breeding, raising, transportation, handling, and slaughtering that follow the Five Domains framework while taking into account species-specific needs. The core principles of the Five Freedoms & Five Domains are Good Nutrition, Good Physical Environment, Good Health, Appropriate Behavioural Interactions, and Positive Mental Experiences. We use a limited portfolio of approved animal-derived materials, including non-mulesing sheep wool (RWS, GOTS or Climate Beneficial™), GRS-certified recycled wool, and GRS-certified recycled cashmere and we regularly review which materials we allow. We never use leather, furs, feathers, silk, exotic animal hair or skins, virgin cashmere, mulesing sheep wool, horn, bone, ivory, products from animals raised in cages, any product from wild or engendered animals. We are continuously pursuing higher standards of animal welfare, social responsibility, and environmental protections that go beyond national and international laws and regulations. To read more see our full animal welfare guidelines here.

Customs compliance and product safety

Our factories and suppliers must comply with applicable customs’ laws and regulations and participate in Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism Programs (C-TPAT) for all products and services as directed by the US Department of Homeland Security. In addition, all products must specifically meet all Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations and requirements and guarantee to abide by all international restrictions for Hazardous Substances.
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