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OUR VISION: be the change
We recognise our role and responsibility in running our business in a way that is good for people, the community and the planet, and that is why we place Sustainability at the heart of everything we do. We want to lead change by inspiring people to do the right thing by...
Taking action: OUR 5 ELEMENTS
RESPECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT
Switching to energy efficient LED lighting, our Green Champions community and War on Single Use Plastic are some examples of how we are reducing our environmental footprint.
SAVING ON LIGHTING AND ENERGY
Our Limerick store will undertake an energy efficient lighting (LED) project this year which will achieve 4% carbon reduction by the end of 2018. Having completed our Dublin lighting (LED) project in 2017, we have achieved 14.2% CO2 reduction which is well on target to achieving our 20% by 2020. This project also achieved an SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland) grant.
THE BROWN THOMAS BAG GOES ECO
We are delighted to say our iconic Brown Thomas bags are recyclable* and made from sustainably sourced paper. Our Brown Thomas online delivery boxes are also made from recyclable materials.
*with the exception of the handle and ribbon.
A Green Teams community has been embedded across the business with 27 Green Champions, who have committed to an accredited Green Teams National programme, ensuring continued communication on tackling waste, energy and water issues.
THE WAR ON PLASTICS
What are Brown Thomas doing to tackle plastic pollution?
Our single-use plastics pledge for 2018 is progressing with the removal of plastic straws and plastic bottles in vending machines. We are tackling the disposable cups issue by looking at compostable cups and recently launched branded Keep Cups for all our Head Office team members.
Read more about our Environmental Policy here.
BUYING AND SELLING RESPONSIBLY
We believe that we have a duty of influence to the wider market and aim to show that change is possible, desirable and necessary in the following ways.
Let’s get ethical
We want to have greater visibility over the ethical performance of our supply chain and are working with our suppliers to ensure compliance of our Ethical Trading Requirements (ETRs). These are our core principles that suppliers must comply with and are a compulsory part of trading terms and conditions. Our ETRs were issued to all suppliers in November 2017.
Please read more about our Ethical Trading Requirements policy here.
We are members of Sedex the world’s largest platform for sharing responsible sourcing data on supply chains, specifically around labour rights, health and safety, the environment and business ethics. We engage with our brands to sign up to Sedex to have greater supply chain visibility.
We have created a Buying Better guide and our Buying Teams undergo a sustainability training programme to ensure sustainability is a key focus in all decisions. Our buying teams are working towards engaging and collaborating with our brands on sustainability strategies and policies.
DRIVING POSITIVE CHANGE
HELPING HANDS CHARITY PARTNERS
Our team members chose St Vincent DePaul, Crumlin Childrens Hospital, BUMBLEance, Limerick Suicide Watch, Cancer Care West and Temple Street Childrens Hospital as our 'Helping Hands' charity partners for 2018. This year, the business is matching all funds raised for our charity partners.
SVP Online Give Back Box Customers can also donate clothes or items to raise funds for SVP by returning their unwanted clothes or items via the online delivery box.
SVP Internal Clothing Appeal Our team members donate their unwanted clothing/items to raise funds for SVP.
Every bag or box collected by SVP could be worth up to €25 which can help buy groceries for a person for a week.
HELPING HANDS VOLUNTEERING PROGRAMME
We launched a volunteering programme this year where team members volunteer their time for their store charity partners and other charities close to their heart. We are committed to supporting the community by providing team resources and retail expertise to charities.
Fashion Director, Shelly Corkery says: “We are passionate about promoting Irish design at Brown Thomas and discovering new and innovative designers is so exciting. CREATE is the first to find the most exciting and newest talent and showcase the best emerging designers. Gaining commercial experience is vital and we are proud to support home grown talent with an invaluable retail platform and to help keep the Irish fashion industry moving forward.”
INCREASING SUSTAINABLE AWARENESS
We know that creating sustainable awareness is looking at the products we sell and how they impact the environment. Our teams are on a mission to investigate the life cycle of a product and where possible to look into alternatives that may not impact the environment in the same way.
NO MORE MICROBEADS
What are Microbeads? You may well ask! These are tiny balls of plastic, smaller than 5mm which are commonly used to exfoliate skin and are non-biodegradable. This makes them harmful to all forms of wildlife and eco-systems. Trillions of pieces of plastic are accumulating in the world’s oceans, harming marine life and entering the food chain. For these reasons we do not sell any cosmetic products that contain microbeads and have removed all products that contained them from our shelves.
SUPPORTING OUR SUPPLY CHAIN
OUR SUPPLY CHAIN
High energy and inefficient production processes mean that the energy and waste costs of textiles and clothing are high. We are working with our delivery and distribution partners on taking effective steps to reduce our environmental footprint.
OUR SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS
We extend our sustainable principles to the people, projects, window displays and packaging we produce throughout the seasons. Feast your eyes on some of the hottest projects which lead the way for sustainability...
Each summer our Fashion Director Shelly Corkery nurtures and promotes new and established Irish design talent at CREATE. In this way we promote a sustainable design community. This year, a sustainability element was added to the project where we learn about the designer’s sustainability journeys and how they believe the fashion industry needs to change for the better regarding sustainability.
ART & STYLE
For our Art & Style in spring 2018 we worked with local artists to promote our incredible Irish artistic community making a sustaining network of creatives who elevated our windows and our ways of working.
URBAN HIVE ROOFTOP PROJECT
We are helping Irish Biodiversity in association with the Limerick Urban Beekeeping Society with a rooftop beehive in our Limerick store. It’s all a buzz as it launches this summer and is an initiative created by Brown Thomas team members.
Alannah Talks Sustainablity
Deputy Chairman of Selfridges Group, Alannah Weston has announced a new pledge as part of Selfridges long-term Project Ocean campaign to make a new commitment to reducing single-use plastics every year on World Oceans Day. Tune in here as she talks through seven reasons for our businesses to take sustainability seriously.
BRANDS LEADING THE WAY
DID YOU KNOW?
We as a business are placing a major focus on our commitment to be a responsible retailer. We know that many of our brands are making big steps forward on sustainability – here are some of the ways our brands are taking action...
Nudie only use 100% certified organic cotton to make their jeans?
Tommy Hilfiger only use down that is 100% certified by the Responsible Down Standard?
Stella McCartney only uses viscose which comes from sustainably managed and certified forests in Sweden?
Eileen Fisher has committed to source 100% organic cotton and linen by 2020?
Teapigs are 100% plastic free and they only source paper and cardboard from sustainably managed and certified forests.