How can you be a fitness and well-being brand when you are not promoting a healthy lifestyle and sustainable production? At Sundried, we do it differently.
What makes an ethical company?
A truly ethical company should be one that does not produce harmful products, exploit its workforce by paying low wages in poor conditions, use child labour or cause damage to the environment.
Positive and negative criteria have been developed to establish whether a company or investment fits within these guidelines.
There are two types of positive approach.The first is known as 'best of class'.
Take oil companies, for example. Very few oil companies could be included in an ethical fund if they were required to have a 100% clean sheet. A best-in-class approach applies social, environmental and ethical guidelines to give a preferred selection when all other factors are equal. For example, an ethical fund might have criteria which enable it to invest in the oil and gas sector, but only in those oil companies which are ‘best in their class’ as they have a better record on the environment and human rights than others in their sector.
The second positive method is thematic investment. This focuses on companies that are believed to be improving the world. They will be industries of the future with growth potential and may be involved in activities such as reusable energy, education, health care, telecommunications, or public transport.
The Ethical Investment Research Service (EIRS) has also produced a set of negative criteria.
The EIRS is a charity that screens companies on behalf of other charities and fund managers. Ethical fund managers will select from the various positive and negative criteria in deciding what to include and exclude from their portfolio. Some funds are more ethical than others.
Negative criteria might cover arms and armaments, companies which produce tobacco or alcohol and companies which have a poor record on pollution control. Different fund management use this information to draw up their own portfolios.
Does being an ethical company make a difference?
The most influential part of modern life, whether we like it or not, is the money system and until this changes, animals, humans and the environment will continue to be abused in the name of profit. Socially responsible companies aim to maximise long-term profits, whilst balancing a respect for wider social issues.
It’s easy to think that just one person won’t make a difference, but Sundried believe we can.
The more quickly ethically responsible companies grow, the more pressure we will place on larger companies, investors and banks to move away from unethical practices. As irresponsible practices are being forced under the spotlight, public concern is growing over the treatment of animals, people and the environment, making companies involved in these areas less viable in the long term as we become more educated as to how our products are made.
Socially responsible investments are now more widely recognised as safe long-term investment strategies. The combination of consumer, investment and business pressure can bring about lasting change - change which will benefit people, animals and the environment.
The Ethical Consumer 2015 report found we’re starting to support ethical products: the value of the ethical market has grown from £35 billion to £38 billion.
Sundried believe that our ethics are what makes us different.
The fashion industry isn’t all doom and gloom, ethical fashion is no longer just a niche sector, it’s becoming part of the mainstream fashion industry, and therefore activewear. 48% of US “millennials” choose brands that actively support social causes (BCG, 2014) with 50% of US adults identifying as ‘green consumers’, (and 13% as ‘super green’) meaning they purchase organic and sustainable products, are informed about the products they buy and expect retailers to keep environmental damage to a minimum (Forrester, 2013).
Sundried Staff Well-being
Sundried respects its staff from the supply chain to the office. Typically, more waking hours are spent at work than home, so Sundried created the concept of Every Hour On the Hour (EHOH). An initiative where we spend 10 minutes of each hour exercising throughout the working day, exchanging a sedentary lunch break for 60 minutes of activity away from the computer screen. Read more about our ethical work practices here.
Wash cool, sun dry
Up to 80% of the impact of a t-shirt occurs after purchase. The water, chemical toxicity, energy use and emissions from washing and drying your clothing all contribute to your eco-footprint. Throughout Sundried’s marketing, our products, wash care labels and our site, we encourage and remind you to 'Wash Cool, Sun Dry' to mitigate these harmful factors.