Products & Responsible Sourcing
One of the priorities stated in our ASR strategy is to ensure that the products we offer in our stores are sourced responsibly. This includes the social conditions under which the products are produced, but also their quality and safety. We form partnerships with our suppliers to ensure a collaborative approach to responsible sourcing. We work closely with more than 1,000 suppliers, amongst which are importers, A-brand suppliers and factories, from which we buy directly. Approximately 40% of our products come from suppliers that are based in Europe, with the remaining 60% coming from Asia. As basis for our cooperation with any supplier serves our Ethical Sourcing Policy, which is our roadmap to a sustainable approach with people, environment and communities. With the clear goal of gaining deeper insights into production processes, we are continuously expanding our direct imports, for which in 2014 we partnered with the internationally-renowned sourcing company, Li & Fung.
In 2018, Action has been working on additional policies to complement the Action Ethical Sourcing Policy, and has adjusted and developed procedures and standards for the production and for the import of products. Furthermore, Action has reviewed its import strategy. We have taken a more indepth look at our direct import processes and are building a stronger foundation for increased sustainable growth. Together with strong sourcing partners, we have finetuned and improved our procedures. The number of factories in Asia that produce directly for Action stayed at a comparable level: in 2018 this was a total of 454 factories. All of these factories carry an independent social audit. During the year, 279 audits expired and these factories were re-audited as part of our programme commitment. We also conduct annual due diligence, checking for social compliance and ensuring that 10% of the active factories are subjected to un-announced follow up audits to check on on-going compliance. We are looking to expand this initiative in 2019 and 2020.