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Mothercare

More information about Mothercare can be found on the company’s website

Click here to see Mothercare’s latest statement on its supply chain, as required by the UK’s Modern Slavery Act 2015. 

The infomation we hold on Mothercare was last updated on 20 March 2017. 

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1. Ethical code?  -  yes

Information about Mothercare’s Code of Conduct, which is based on the UK’s Ethical Trading Initiative’s Base Code can be found on the company’s website

2. Living wages?  -  no

Mothercare’s supplier code of conduct mentions the payment of living wages but there is no further information on the company’s website or in its latest annual report on how it calculates what a living wage is and whether its suppliers are paid enough for workers to be given a living wage. 

We wrote to Mothercare on 23 September 2011:

‘In the light of this I wondered if you have any programmes underway to assess what a living wage is in the countries from which you source and to assess whether suppliers are paid enough for workers to be given a living wage?’

Mothercare responded in an email dated 18 October 2011:

‘We make all publicly-available information accessible via the mothercare plc website http://www.mothercareplc.com/our-approach , where our Annual Report carries the key points about our CR programme. All other information would not be made public and so we would be unable to help you further at this stage.’

We asked Mothercare in emails dated 12 March, 5 May, 18 June and 27 June 2014 whether there is ‘anything further you can tell us at present about any programmes you might have underway to ensure that living wages are paid in your supplier factories?’ However Mothercare has not responded with any further information.

3. Factory address list?  -  no

There is no factory list available on Mothercare’s website or in the company’s annual report. 

We wrote to Mothercare on 23 September 2011:

‘In the interests of transparency some companies have recently started providing a list of the locations and addresses of all their supplier factories- is this something you would be able to provide?’  

Mothercare responded in an email dated 18 October 2011:

‘We make all publicly-available information accessible via the mothercare plc website http://www.mothercareplc.com/our-approach , where our Annual Report carries the key points about our CR programme. All other information would not be made public and so we would be unable to help you further at this stage.’

We asked Mothercare in emails dated 12 March, 5 May, 18 June and 27 June 2014 whether the company has ‘thought any more about publishing an address list of all supplier factories’ However Mothercare has not responded with any further information.

4. Thorough factory checks?  -  yes

Mothercare’s Modern Slavery Act Transparency Statement – FY15/16 states:

‘We review and approve independent factory audits which have been carried out against our Code or against the ETI Base Code. We require this for all factories which produce Mothercare or ELC branded products, regardless of production country or product type. An approved independent audit is a pre-requisite of becoming a Mothercare supplier/factory. The audits must be no older than one year and carried out by a firm from a shortlist of reputed auditing firms…

‘We have a team of Responsible Sourcing professionals, based in country who work closely with factories and workers to understand the daily working conditions. These teams are experts in their fields and local contexts, they take a practical, solutions-based approach, spend time understanding workers’ situations and are aware of the risks around modern slavery.’

In addition, P.40 of Mothercare’s Annual Report and Accounts 2016 states:

‘In addition to third party audits, our RS teams cover Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam where they carry out announced and unannounced assessments of factories and support them to implement improvements.’

5. Factory check results published?  -  no

There are no ethical audit results available on Mothercare’s website or in the company’s annual report. 

We wrote to Mothercare on 23 September 2011:

‘Many companies now publish a summary of their ethical audit results - is this something Mothercare would be able to provide?’

Mothercare responded in an email dated 18 October 2011:

‘We make all publicly-available information accessible via the mothercare plc website http://www.mothercareplc.com/our-approach , where our Annual Report carries the key points about our CR programme. All other information would not be made public and so we would be unable to help you further at this stage.’

We asked Mothercare again in emails dated 12 March, 5 May, 18 June and 27 June 2014 whether the company would be willing to publish a summary of their ethical audit results for supplier factories.  However Mothercare has not responded with any further information.


6. Worker complaint procedure?  -  no

This information is not available on Mothercare’s website.  We asked Mothercare for it in an email dated 27 October 2011.  Mothercare told us in an email dated 7 November 2011:

‘Unfortunately we are unable to provide any more information at this time.’

We wrote again to Mothercare on 8 November 2011 saying that we were disappointed no information could be provided and that we would therefore have to assume that the answer to this question is ‘no’, given that no evidence has been supplied to the contrary.  Mothercare did not respond to our email.  We sent Mothercare another email on 26 March 2012 asking again for this information.  The company responded on 27 March 2012 to say:

‘There is still nothing further to add at the moment.’

We asked Mothercare again in emails dated 12 March, 5 May, 18 June and 27 June 2014 whether the company has ‘any plans to create a confidential hotline for supplier factory workers to report issues of concern’.  However Mothercare has not responded with any further information.

7. Checks on suppliers of suppliers?  -  yes

Pages 19 and 41 of Mothercare’s Annual Report and Accounts 2016 state:

‘We continue to take great care ensuring our product is responsibly sourced and extending our audits to include full service suppliers, which means our entire supplier base is now audited… In addition to supporting the ETI work, we continued our project which began in FY2014/15 to include spinning mills owned by our suppliers in the scope of our assessments and improvement work.’

8. Reuse or recycle scheme?  -  no

We could not find any information either on Mothercare’s website or in the company’s Annual Report to suggest that Mothercare has any programme underway for its customers to reuse or recycle old Mothercare clothing.  

9. Sustainable cotton?  -  no

Neither Mothercare’s website nor the company’s Annual Report provide any information on the company’s cotton policies. 

10. Eliminating toxic chemicals?  -  making progress

P.42 of Mothercare’s Annual Report and Accounts 2016 makes the following statement on waste treatment at supplier factories:

‘Environmental sustainability is an integral aspect of our Code of Practice and we are committed to helping suppliers reduce the environmental impacts of manufacturing. All of our assessments provide guidance on environmental compliance, such as ensuring that effluents are treated properly, that hazardous waste is handled, stored and disposed correctly and that natural resources are not wasted.’

However, the company does not provide evidence of a full commitment to end the use and discharge of toxic chemicals at factories in its supply chain. 

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