“What are the wages and working conditions like for the people who make your products?”
We are so glad you asked!
This is a super important question to pose to businesses because industries of mass production are at high risk of issues like worker exploitation, low wages, unpaid overtime, unsafe toxin exposure and even abuse and forced labour, all in the name of higher profits.
The unfortunate fact is, many brands may not be able to answer this question, because they are just as detached from their supply chain as their customers are!
That’s not the case here at Bim Bam Boo — we know that it’s our duty to be closely involved with the manufacturing of our products to ensure that every person in our supply chain is treated fairly.
Here is how we do this:
Our founder Zoe personally visits our workshop regularly to chat with our suppliers and the people who help bring our beloved bamboo products to life!
While we think Zoe is a pretty savvy and intuitive business owner with a knack for sniffing out issues, we also bring along an independent third-party auditor to inspect our products.
We are excited to confirm that we have embarked on the process of becoming BSCI certified! This stands for the Business Social Compliance Initiative, and ensures that fair wages and ethical labor practices are enforced and no prison or slave labor is ever used.
The BSCI audits us across these performance areas:
Similar to our FSC sustainably sourced certification and USDA Biopreferred certification...BSCI is a pretty intense certification process, but we know it will be worth it. Not only will it comfort our conscious customers knowing that our products are produced in an ethical way but we’ll rest easy knowing that we have done everything possible to ensure our goods are responsibly made.
Investing in ethical and accountable processes can be expensive, time-consuming, and pretty darn confusing. For many small businesses trying to find a place in the world (and on the shelves), it might be tempting to take the “I’ll focus on ethics once we get some money rolling in” approach.
But at Bim Bam Boo, we have made a conscious decision NOT to do this. Instead, we have worked hard to develop a fair, safe and ethical company from the get-go!
Our bamboo is sourced from a privately-owned, FSC certified bamboo grove that is managed by our factory. Rather than sourcing from wild bamboo forests, the cellulose we source for paper-making is farmed specifically for paper making and FSC certified sustainably sourced. Getting our bamboo this way assures that we avoid sourcing from, or converting primary forests.
FYI, the United Nation's defines primary forests, as those that contain “naturally regenerated forest of native tree species, where there are no clearly visible indications of human activities and the ecological processes are not significantly disturbed.” In other words, whether we're making our toilet paper, facial tissue or towels — we take our job of keeping wild panda habitats safe very seriously!
We also believe in business transparency, and know that if we want to create a more compassionate and equal world we need to start in our own backyard.
Thank you again to our awesome customer for this question - we love it when y'all hold us accountable!
We encourage you to pose this question to your favorite brands and share their responses. Demanding greater transparency from businesses is a huge step towards protecting workers around the world.
We think this topic would make a pretty cool round table discussion. If any of our fellow business owners feel like chatting about wages, working conditions and social accountability with us, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org!