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sabre retail fashion limited
modern slavery act transparency statement 2015/16

This statement is published in accordance with section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 for the period 29 October 2015 to 30 April 2016 and sets out the steps taken by Sabre Retail Fashion Limited t/a Mint Velvet (“Mint Velvet”) to ensure that modern slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in its business and supply chains.

Introduction

We know that modern slavery, forced labour, human trafficking and bonded labour (together “Modern Slavery”) is a global issue across all business sectors and are committed to working to ensure that Modern Slavery does not occur in our business or supply chains. As part of the retail sector we recognise our responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking and already have policies and controls in place as part of our ethical policy and core value of honesty. These are administered by the Company Secretary, the Supply Chain Coordinator and HR together with additional, valuable input from various departments within our business.

Our business and supply chains

Mint Velvet is a retailer of own brand womenswear, footwear and accessories. We operate internationally online, through boutique stores in the UK, concessions in department stores in the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, as a franchise in the United Arab Emirates and via a joint venture in Switzerland. Since 30 November 2015, Sabre Retail Fashion Limited has been wholly owned by Mustard Global Limited.

Mint Velvet sources its products from 34 suppliers spread across 70 factories in China, India, Asia and Europe. We operate an Ethical Policy and pride ourselves on responsible sourcing and our commitment to high ethical standards of our supply chain. We require that our suppliers follow the ETI base code and insist on complete transparency from all suppliers.

We have due diligence processes in place for both new suppliers and new factories in order to risk assess our supply chain. We have carried out checks and audits on all our first tier suppliers and constantly follow up on all issues and work with factories to improve conditions for workers. The audits include, but are not limited to, working conditions, health and safety, hours worked, whether wages are above the legal minimum, ability to leave the premises after work shifts and whether any ID documents are held by the employers. Further audits are conducted on a regular basis so that we can work with suppliers to better their practices and help achieve a better way of life for staff in our supply chain.

During the period covered by this statement, we have continued with the audit process into our second tier to gain visibility of wool suppliers, print houses and embroiderers.

During this current year, we are increasing our focus on our supply chain for suppliers of services and goods not for resale which will include extending our existing due diligence to more comprehensively cover modern slavery.

Relevant Policies

We have communicated our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy together with our Anti-Bribery Policy to all our product suppliers and throughout our business. We will be extending this communication to our suppliers of services and goods not for resale during this current year. We also operate a Whistleblowing Policy within our business so employees can report any concerns and appropriate action can be taken.

All employees have to follow a code of conduct which makes it clear the actions and behaviour expected of them when representing the company.

Within our business, our recruitment policy covers due diligence on right to work, addresses and proof of identification and we only work with reputable recruitment agencies.

Training

Initial training, from a 3rd party company, Stronger2gether, and briefings have taken place for key personnel responsible for Modern Slavery within the business. Within the course of this current year, we will develop training for the whole of the business which will cover modern slavery, ethical trading and anti-bribery and briefings will be rolled out to key suppliers of services and goods not for resale.

This statement was approved by the Board of Directors of Sabre Retail Fashion Limited.

Liz Houghton

Liz Houghton
Chief Executive Officer