WHERE YOUR DANCEWEAR COMES FROM
So Danca is on a journey to better manage our social and environmental impacts and as part of this, we have been working closely with our 2 factories to showcase the working conditions provided to our workers. It matters to us that our manufacturing source reflects who we are as a brand and that our customers know about us.
Today So Danca is the 2nd largest global dancewear brand and one of a few brands that do not use subcontractors anywhere in the world. Everything is made inhouse in our own purpose-built facilities in Brazil and the Dominican Republic. We regard ourselves as a conscious corporation that is acutely aware of OHSR (Occupational Health & Safety Regulation) and its social responsibilities, providing employment and security for thousands of families in both countries in a safe workplace environment protected by regulations and proper remuneration.
Whilst many apparel businesses still utilise multiple factories that are owned by different companies to manufacture their products based purely on cost, quality or speed of manufacture, So Danca has been a global leader in the dance community defining how we source and manufacture our products.
We understand that the production of materials used to make our products causes environmental impacts, such as water consumption and carbon emissions, and that we have the power to make better decisions to reduce these impacts. We also know these issues can occur at the raw material stage or material processing stage and that we have a responsibility to address at this level.
It is evident that the global apparel industry, including the dance industry is still finding its footing regarding the making of products in terms of working conditions, quality and brand understanding. They are looking for long-term partnerships with dedicated and ethical companies without the ability to maintain rigorous checks and balances.
Many manufactures advertise a supplier code of conduct and/or partnering in a WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production) or being members of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) promoting respect for workers’ rights around the world. Their role among many is to monitor:
- Compliance with laws and workplace relations, hours of work, compensation and benefits
- Freedom of association and collective bargaining
- Prohibition of forced labour and child labour
- Prohibition of harassment, abuse and discrimination
- Health and safety occupational regulation and environment
While the advanced economies of the world have made progress to date, there are still improvements to be made. Some of the commitments we have uncovered:
- Sharing stories of the people who manufacture your clothes
- Continued engagement with supply chain and face-to-face visits to factories
- Rejection of any form of modern slavery
- Provide training on modern slavery risk indicators
- Identifying sustainability practices
- Ethical sourcing
- Institute traceability.
Despite all of these efforts the current percentage of sustainable materials in the apparel industry is still low.
What has become clear to us is the disconnect between the customers who buy our clothes and the people who make them. We know nothing about their lives and how they got to where they are or where they want to go.
Australian modern slavery legislation requires an immediate and rapid response by companies to mitigate supply chain human rights risks. SO DANCA wholeheartedly supports this legislation and the requirement to publish a Modern Slavery Guideline.
Ultimately at So Danca we know and feel secure in the fact that we have open access to both factories where your garments are made, as well as access to the workers making them, as we speak their language (Portuguese and Spanish). We feel secure in that all employees, suppliers and stakeholders actively support the work involved to eradicate modern slavery and forced labour and where relevant ensure reporting requirements.
You can make a difference by voting with your purchases. Please use your power wisely!
All Good Things Come to an end
When product is returned to us damaged or in an unsellable form, we identify new ways to make use of these items, including donating minimally damaged and suitable items to charity.
As part of our commitment to minimise waste going to landfill and use our resources wisely we have joining with Australia Post in a new and more convenient way for our customers to donate pre-loved clothes to charity, helping people in need and keeping clothes and textiles out of landfill at the same time.
We will be bringing more information on this new partnership as it becomes part of our community.
At SO DANCA the majority of our waste impact occurs at our fulfilment centre in Newcastle and involves: paper, cardboard, plastics, stickers, tape and pallets.
We have worked tirelessly on implementing processes to separate all the materials we receive to ensure as much as possible is recycled.
We have in place a waste separation system that enables our Fulfilment Centre team to separate soft plastics from paper and cardboard with minimal contamination so they can be recovered and recycled. We have also implemented a soft plastics recycling service.
Recognising how confusing the world of recycling can be, we have trained our staff to be mindful of our corporate impact and to be responsible waste managers both at home and in the office.