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About Matalan and its Commitment to Opposing Modern Slavery

Matalan is a leading out of town fashion and homewares retailer operating online and through 232 stores across the UK and through 35 overseas franchise stores. We employ over 15,000 people in the UK in our stores, head office and two distribution centres.

The majority of the product we sell both online and in store are our own brand. They include men’s, ladies’ and children’s clothing; foot wear and accessories and a wide range of homeware which we source directly from the manufacturers. These products are supplied to us from over 700 factories in 26 countries worldwide.

We behave in a responsible and ethical way and take the issue of modern day slavery and human trafficking extremely seriously. We are fully committed to taking action to combat modern day slavery and human trafficking and to uphold human rights across all of our business and our supply chain.

We fully support the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

We are a member of SEDEX and a Brand Signatory to the Bangladesh Accord

Knowing where our products are manufactured is fundamental to our business to ensure that we approach the issue of dealing with modern day slavery and human trafficking, in our supply chain.

Our Policies

We require all of our Suppliers, and factories involved in the manufacture of goods to be sold in our stores to comply with our Ethical Trading Policy. Our Ethical Trading Policy is based on the provisions set out in the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code which, amongst other requirements, includes an obligation that all employment is chosen freely.

Our Suppliers of goods, their factories and any associated 3rd party partners within our Supply Chain are also required to comply with our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy for Suppliers which demonstrates our zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery.

We also ensure that all new contracts with franchise partners and key Suppliers of services include contractual obligations to comply with our Anti Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy for Suppliers.

Our Anti Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy for Suppliers can be found on the Matalan Web Site and our Supplier B2B web site.

We have a policy for our employees regarding the prevention, detection and reporting of modern slavery in any part of our business or supply chain. Our employees are encouraged to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of modern slavery in any parts of our business or supply chains of any Supplier at the earliest possible stage. We are committed to providing training for our employees on the policy.

Due Diligence

We have an audit process in place which ensures that, as a minimum, Suppliers’ factories meet the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code and therefore our Ethical Trading Policy. All of our Suppliers’ factories are audited annually.

The audit process supports and facilitates our continual improvement programme through which we work with our Suppliers and their factories to deal with any issues found on audits and to continually raise the level of workers’ conditions.

In circumstances where we identify particular areas of higher risk in our supply chain we undertake further due diligence outside of our normal audit process. This has included unannounced inspections of Supplier’s factories and premises to ensure compliance with our Ethical Trading Policy and our Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Policy for Suppliers.

Before we work with a new Supplier of fashion or homeware goods we undertake a risk assessment which includes requirements for the Supplier to identify all of the factories they are proposing to use for Matalan production and provide a third party ethical audit report in relation to each of those factories. Such third party ethical audit reports must be under 12 months old. If we approve the Supplier, then that Supplier’s factories will then fall under our own audit process and continual improvement programme outlined above.

Future Commitment

Modern slavery is an ongoing risk. As such we are committed to continuously review and improve the effectiveness of the steps we take to prevent modern slavery in our business or in our supply chain.

This statement has been approved by the Board of Matalan Retail Limited and constitutes our slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ended 29 February 2020.

Progress Across Our Business

In 2017 we published our first Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement outlining the steps we are taking to reduce the risks associated with modern day slavery in our supply chain.

Since then we have further increased our efforts and have made the following progress to enhance our approach to tackle modern day slavery and human trafficking.

Matalan has a varied supply chain sourcing fashion clothing, footwear and homeware from 26 countries worldwide which includes China, Bangladesh, India, Cambodia and Turkey.

In 2017/18 the Matalan Ethical Team conducted unannounced audits in all of our Turkey Suppliers and their factories to ensure there were no illegal or underage workers being employed.

The visits provided insights to the problems of Syrian workers being employed illegally in Turkey. At the time of the visits it was established that no Syrian workers were employed by any of our Suppliers illegally.

However we did find historical evidence that 2 factories had originally employed illegal Syrian workers but had subsequently paid all the monies owed to those workers. This evidence was verified by conducting worker interviews and through 3rd party independent verification audits.

The Matalan Ethical Team unannounced audit program has been expanded in 2020 to cover all UK Suppliers and their factories in order to clearly demonstrate Matalan’s intention to tackle modern day slavery and human trafficking & ensure no illegal or underage workers being employed.

Matalan has conducted Modern Day Slavery Training for our head office employees including our sourcing and buying teams. The training gives colleagues insights into what is modern day slavery, who may be affected, how to spot the signs and how to report suspicions when visiting suppliers and their factories both nationally and internationally.

Matalan will further enhance the training programme and deliver this to its supply chain throughout 2020 and 2021.

As part of a continued improvement process Matalan has also increased the size of its Ethical Compliance Team

Our Commitment – How we will build on what we are doing

Matalan is committed to continuously review and improve the effectiveness of the steps we take in preventing modern day slavery and human trafficking.

We will continue to work in a collaborative way with other retailers, NGO’s and other membership organisations to tackle all issues around modern day slavery and human trafficking.


Signed by Stephen Johnson
Matalan Retail Limited

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