The Age of Responsible Retail | Eliminating Modern Slavery
The Home of Gifts, along with each of our 5 brands, Bambino, Amore, Celebrations, Impressions and Disney, know that people want reassurances before they buy. Just being able to buy a beautiful product isn't enough anymore. We need to know what goes in to making it.
Sustainability has been a hot topic for the last few years. You've seen bamboo travel mugs, cardboard packaging, a move to use more recyclable plastics, sustainable wood and loads of other brilliant initiatives to ensure we minimise the damage we are doing to our planet and its natural ecosystems.
But sustainability doesn't just relate to materials. People all over the world are also exploited and used up, as if they are simply resources.
Modern slavery is rife. It is an uncomfortable fact but current estimates suggest that around 40 million people are living as slaves. To put that number into perspective, it is more than the entire population of Poland.
Sadly, slavery is not as much of a 'thing of the past' as we would like to think.
And what is, perhaps, even more shocking is that 1 in 4 of these people are children and 71% are women or girls.
To compound these sickening statistics is the fact that it is happening all over the world. Not just in far off places, 3rd world countries or developing nations. In 2019 authorities recognised 10,000 people in the UK living under conditions of slavery.
This is not a distant threat. This is not a tale from the past. This is a very real, a very local and a very current threat.
As society becomes more aware of global issues, we want to know that we are doing everything we can to look after others. People want transparency and honesty. And that means knowing where your goods come from.
Most manufacturers are based overseas, many in the far east. Which is a long way away. So how can we expect to know that the people who make our goods are treated well, fairly and with compassion?
This is something which did not sit right with us. We wanted to make sure our supply chain was promoting human rights excellence.
So, we approached Hope For Justice, an international anti-slavery organisation.
“Human trafficking is one of the most serious and barbaric crimes, profiting from human misery. Our response is a strategic one: focus on excellence, professionalism and outcomes to help victims find healing, hope and justice. Now is the time for all of us to act and end suffering.” - Neil Wain, International Programme Director, Hope For Justice.
Their mission statement is simple - to eliminate the threat of modern slavery. But achieving this is not simple. It requires everyone in every industry, in every nation to work together, to act responsibly, to act thoughtfully and to act, not just talk.
They work tirelessly to rescue people from slavery and to build better lives for victims, to "Change Lives and End Slavery". Their work really matters. But they can't do it alone. They need help from businesses to ensure that the demand for cheap labour at the expense of people's humanity is removed.
Together with a collection of like minded businesses (introduced through Hope For Justice) including AVIVA, Electricity North West, AstraZenica and other industry leaders, we became founding member of The Slave Free Alliance .
Our mission statement is: working towards a slave free supply chain.
This involves ethically auditing factories in line with the Hope For Justice's discerning standards to ensure that all employees are treated well. It also involves producing a Modern Slavery Statement which sets out our mission and the steps we take to ensure that our supply chain is free from slavery.
So what does this all mean for you, our lovely customers?
We hope it means that you can trust us. We hope it means you can enjoy giving your gift a little bit more. We hope it makes your whole experience shopping at the Home Of Gifts feel a bit more special.
A gift from us is 100% guilt free.