As a company with a strong focus on sustainable design, we strive to be open about what we do and how we do it. You should be able to know how all of our products are manufactured and the best way for us to ensure this is by being fully transparent. Our long-term work to ensure good working conditions at our suppliers is based on the UN's guiding principles for business and human rights, which are integrated into our processes to identify and minimize risks, evaluate suppliers and check compliance with the requirements we set. To read more about our commitments to the employees who work in our supply chains and how we work with Human Rights Due Diligence, please indulge in our annual sustainability report.
We are committed to implement practices that aim to secure all of our products are made under fair working conditions and in a safe environment at all levels. To ensure this, Sandqvist is a member of the Fair Wear Foundation and we’re committed to implementing the Fair Wear Foundation Code of Labour Practices at all of our supplier locations.
Our staff regularly visit all our suppliers to ensure that working conditions comply with the code of labour practices. In addition to this, external audits are commissioned at all suppliers to find out what can be improved upon. Together with our suppliers, we set up corrective action plans to achieve the continuous improvement of working conditions. In order to support our suppliers with this, Sandqvist supports trainings for factory employees on their rights and internal complaints handling.
These efforts to secure good working conditions at all factories manufacturing our products is verified annually by Fair Wear Foundation and publicly reported on their and our homepage. Fair Wear Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation that is jointly governed by representatives of business, labour and non-profit sectors. The multi-stakeholder structure of Fair Wear Foundation guarantees independent monitoring and transparency regarding the manufacturing of our products.
We are proud of the suppliers that manufacture our products, and are happy to share where our goods are produced. Here you will find an overview of the factories that we work with, what they do, and how we are working on improving the workplace together.
In 2020 we started working with Pungkook Saigon II (called PK), a factory located in Saigon Vietnam. This factory produces all of our recycled polyester bags and hence the overall majority of our products are made in PK. PK is a large factory with around 4500 workers and we have an agent in Vietnam that visits the factory regularly and is very involved in the social sustainability within the factory.
PK works with several other FW member brands, and so are very familiar with the FW code of labour practices, the FW auditing process and the FW and complaints system. The factory had a FW audit in 2020, and we have since then been working on some corrective actions. The factory was visited by Sandqvist during 2022.
PK is also part of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Better Works program in Vietnam. This program works to secure decent working conditions in a number of Vietnamese factories, by assessments, training and capacity building.
In 2022, we started working with another factory owned by Pungkook Saigon, namely Pungkook Saigon Long An (called PKLA). This facility is also based in Ho Chi Minh City but is a much smaller factory than PK II, employing 385 workers, meaning that Sandqvist's leverage at this factory is greater. This factory was reopened after the Covid 19 pandemic and in 2022 has not yet reached its full production capacity. Sandqvist is proud to be part of their journey and sees it as an opportunity to set high standards for working conditions and human rights from the start.
Before establishing our production at this facility, visits were conducted by our Vietnamese agent, to ensure awareness of our Code of conduct and good conditions for compliance with our requirements in terms of audit processes and complaint systems.
During the end of 2022, an external audit was carried out within the framework of the ILO's Better Work programme, which resulted in an improvement plan that we continuously follow to ensure correct and prompt action. The result of the audit showed no zero-tolerance (critical) deficiencies. During 2023, Sandqvist will also offer training, through the Fair wear foundation, at the factory to further strengthen the workers' knowledge of their labor rights. During 2022, the factory was also visited by Sandqvist's own staff.
Butler Leather is located in Chennai, India, and specializes in high-end leathers. This is where we produce most of our leather bags and small leather goods. We have been working with Butler Leather since 2009.
The factory is a family-owned business, run by Anjum, her husband Noor and Noor's brother Zafar. Butler Leather was opened with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and much of their equipment comes from a defunct sewing factory in Sweden. They employ about 130 people and the majority of their production output is for Sandqvist.
Fair Wear Foundation has audited the working conditions in the factory, in 2016, 2019 and 2020. In 2017, Fair Wear Foundation visited to train the workers to strengthen employees’ rights in the workplace.
In 2018 we started working with Rajda in Calcutta, India. The factory is run by Gautam and his wife Kanchan. At this factory, we make both full leather bags as well as canvas bags with leather details. The factory is a family-run business that employs around 200 workers. To ensure good working conditions, Rajda is certified according to the independent standard SA8000. The factory also had a FW audit in 2021.
The same agent that we have stationed in Vietnam and that works with PK, also works with our caps factory. This is also a large factory, with around 1800 workers and we have relied on our agent’s visit reports and Unipax’s second party audits from other customers when assessing the working conditions in the factory.
In 2021, we started working with a weaver and scarf factory in Italy with around 45 workers. The factory is situated in Como, and weaves silk scarves. The factory has a BSCI social audit from 2021, and as they also use subcontracting we have assessed their subcontracting partners based on a risk assessment for suppliers in Italy. The risk assessment was informed by FW country studies.
In China, we work with one factory that produces yoga mats. They employ around 30 people and before commencing work with them in 2019 we commissioned a SMETA social audit for the factory.
In 2021, we started producing socks in a family owned factory in Sweden. The factory consists of a married couple working in a small town in the middle of Sweden and they produce very high quality socks. This factory together with our other Swedish factory below, are the only factories that have not signed our CoC and posted our FW Code of Labour Practices on their factory walls.
In 2022, we started another local production, whereby we started to produce knitted hats in Sweden. This factory is a family business that has been knitting since 1947. They value sustainable production and high quality products. This factory together with our other Swedish factory above, are the only factories that have not signed our CoC and posted our FW Code of Labour Practices on their factory walls.
In 2022, we started to work in partnership with a famous Swedish weaving producer, Klippan. Klippan has been producing wool, cotton and linen products since 1879 and they have production in both their fully owned Swedish and Latvian factories. All of their home textiles such as blankets, which is what Sandqvist produces with them, are made in their Latvian factory. This factory has around 160 workers.
As part of our commitment to full transparency, Sandqvist has listed the manufacturers of all materials used in our products, including fabrics and leather. Trims such as rivets and padding will be included in future transparency reports.
Synthetic materials including the Cordura and recycled nylon used by Sandqvist are manufactured by Leejotex. Leejotex is a Korean company producing high-quality materials, including Cordura, bluesign approved fabrics and Oeko-tex certified materials.
Dibella sources cotton straight from Adilabad in Telangana, India, where the industry runs mostly on a small scale by self-sufficient farmers. By working with Dibella, Sandqvist can buy directly from independent cultivators and importantly, we can offer the farmers better pay and good working conditions.
Dibella India takes care of production of Sandqvist’s cotton lining, the 18 oz cotton canvas, the 12 oz polycotton and our cotton dust bags.
Zippers are manufactured by YKK (various locations) and OOK (China). Other metal trims are made by ESSN (China) and plastic trims by Woojin (China). Webbings (straps) are made by Elastic India (India) and Yuongdong (China). Paiho (China) manufactures our strings, ropes and pullers. Nilörn makes our labels and hangtags in China.
The cow hides used for Sandqvist’s full leather bags come from Scandinavian cattle. The hides are tanned at Scan-Hide in Denmark, a tannery gold-rated for their environmental work by the Leather Working Group (LWG) (see Sustainable products section for details). The wet blue hides are then shipped to S&H Leather (India), another gold rated tannery, for re-tanning.
In addition to this, Sandqvist uses two other tanneries for our leather details, silver rated by LWG, Progressive Leather Industries (India) and Shui Hua Leather (Taiwan).
The majority of our production takes place in Asia and our products are sold globally. Inevitably, transport is a big part of our environmental impact. To find out more about the carbon footprint of our transports, see our sustainability report.
Sandqvist only works with freight forwarders that are able to disclose the carbon footprint of our freights and are actively working on reducing the environmental impact of transport.
Sandqvist currently works with Reachlog for the transport of our products from our suppliers, and with DHL, UPS, Postnord and Budbee for the remaining transports.