Dialogue & Development

We want to enable and encourage our suppliers to work with us in finding solutions for long-term sustainable manufacturing.  The process starts with shared awareness of social, environmental and economical sustainability. It’s a special kind of awareness that can’t be enacted. It emerges based on knowledge, collaboration and trust. And we actively advocate it.

Development & training. We’re currently developing a range of training programmes as part of the “future fit” scheme. Looking ahead, the scheme will be more needs-based and bundle environmental, ethical and digital topics. 

Our goal is to grant all our suppliers, their employees and their partners access to our future fit training programmes by 2025.  By 2030, we want the programme to reach 50,000 employees.

Social topics and chemical management are currently the focus of our training activities. Through our free training courses, we want to motivate suppliers and factory workers to act independently and pursue better working conditions long-term. In 2019 and 2020, 28 wet process factories in China, India and Pakistan took part in chemical management training over the course of several months. In the same timeframe, 41 factories completed training on social responsibility as part of the Group’s EMPact programme

Strategic suppliers. We work with around 150 suppliers in the textile sector. Fifty of these are strategic suppliers who cover approximately two-thirds of our total order volume. Most of these have been our close partners for many years and we pride ourselves on strong relationships defined by trust. They are our first point of contact when we test any new projects or instruments. Our sourcing teams and suppliers maintain a close and constant dialogue.

In crisis times when markets react with great uncertainty these partnerships are invaluable. During the global pandemic of 2020, we were quick to engage in frank discussions with our suppliers and we continue to do so today. Early on, we reassured them that no orders would be cancelled and we would still accept all finished goods. And we kept our promise. 

Vendor scorecard. Our suppliers are key players when it comes to implementing change within the supply chain. As well as quality and profitability, sustainability topics such as transparency, social issues and environmental policies feature on vendor scorecards. Suppliers are graded in these categories and can score a maximum of 100%. A total of 30% of points are awarded for sustainability. It creates an incentive and rewards commitment by our partners. Positive results and potential for improvement are regularly discussed in talks with our suppliers.

Livingwages. Fair wages that not only safeguard livelihoods but facilitate social and cultural participation are a key instrument in improving conditions for workers in production countries. In future, we want to focus more closely on positive partners. As part of a broad expert circle, we discuss living wages and appropriate measures with other companies in the Otto Group. The subject has also been prioritised within the Textile Partnership.