PRODUCT INTEGRITY / QUALITY ASSURANCE
Aéropostale is committed to delivering quality merchandise to our customers. We have developed an extensive quality testing program based on the mandate that all merchandise produced for and by Aéropostale must be thoroughly tested to meet our product specifications, and to comply with applicable laws and regulatory requirements.
We work in partnership with our vendors and suppliers to ensure all that products meet our expectations for quality, design, construction, fit and performance as outlined in the Aéropostale Quality Assurance Manual. The Quality Assurance Manual outlines our testing protocols and standards for every product category that we offer, including compliance with our Restricted Substance List. Moreover, all products must meet or exceed the applicable requirements set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), as well as all other applicable federal, state and local regulatory mandates.
We have partnered with two accredited independent laboratories to conduct product evaluation and testing on behalf of Aéropostale. This testing is conducted in accordance with our Quality Assurance Manual and applicable laws. Every Aéropostale branded product is submitted to a nominated third party testing laboratory and must be certified for compliance by our vendors prior to shipment.
Code of Conduct
The Aéropostale Manufacturing Policies and Procedures (the “Policies and Procedures”) apply to all vendors and factories that manufacture products (each a “Manufacturer”) for Aéropostale, including its affiliates and subsidiaries. Aéropostale recognizes that the Policies and Procedures are not all inclusive, but Aéropostale will only do business with vendors and manufacturers that certify to us that their business practices are lawful, ethical and in compliance with the principles set forth in theis Policies and Procedures. Furthermore, Aéropostale will only do business with vendors and manufactures that obey the laws of the country in which they operate and the principles expressed in theis Policies and Procedures. Moreover, these Policies and Procedures, as set forth below, will serve as the basis of Aéropostale’s inspection and evaluation of vendors and manufacturers.
1. Manufacturer’s Code of Conduct.
(a) Manufacturer will not use forced labor, prison labor, indentured labor or exploited bonded labor, or permit their suppliers to do so.
(b) Manufacturer will not use child labor in the manufacturing of any products, including their components. Child labor means any person younger than 15 years of age or younger than the age of completing compulsory education in the country of manufacture where such age is higher than 15.
(c) Manufacturer will treat its employees with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to physical, sexual or psychological harassment or abuse.
(d) Manufacturer will not discriminate against any person in employment, including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination or retirement, on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, or social or ethnic origin.
(e) Manufacturer will provide a safe and healthy working environment for its employees to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work or as a result of the operation of employer facilities. Manufacturer will fully comply with all applicable workplace conditions, safety and environmental laws.
(f) Manufacturer will recognize and respect the right of employees to freely associate in accordance with the laws of the countries in which they are employed.
(g) Manufacturer will pay its employees at least the minimum wage required by local law regardless of whether they pay by the piece or by the hour and shall provide legally mandated benefits.
(h) Manufacturer will not require their employees to work more than the limits on regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country of manufacture. Employees shall be entitled to one day off in every seven day period. Manufacturer will inform their employees at the time of their hiring if mandatory overtime is a condition of their employment. Manufacturer will not compel their workers to work excessive overtime hours.
(i) Manufacturer will compensate its employees for overtime hours at such premium rate as is legally required in the country of manufacture or, in countries where such laws do not exist, at a rate at least equal to their regular hourly compensation rate.
(j) Manufacturer will not use workers obligated under contracts which exploit them, which deny them the basic legal rights available to people and to workers within the countries in which they work or which are inconsistent with the principles set forth in these Policies and Procedures.
Aéropostale sources products in approximately 20 different countries and is in over 375 manufacturing facilities around the world. To assure that Aéropostale only works with manufacturers and suppliers that share our commitment to fair and safe labor and manufacturing practices and our core values, we established the Aéropostale Social Compliance Program. The Social Compliance Program is a comprehensive program that includes a Code of Conduct, factory registration and an audit component.
The Code of Conduct is the cornerstone of Aéropostale’s Social Compliance Program. It defines our minimum expectations and requirements which are placed upon all vendors, suppliers and manufacturers that provide merchandise to Aéropostale and its subsidiaries. At a minimum, we expect our vendors, suppliers and manufacturers to ensure that no illegal, unethical, abusive or exploitative conditions or practices, nor any unsafe working conditions, exist in any of the facilities where Aéropostale merchandise is produced.
All manufacturing facilities must be registered and approved by us prior to any Aéropostale production being placed in the facility. In addition, a summary copy of the Code of Conduct in English and in the native language of the facility is given to each facility, and the facility is required to prominently display these documents so they are visible to the entire facility work force.
Social Compliance Audit
Each registered facility is required to submit to annual Social Compliance audits conducted by an independent third party auditor to demonstrate compliance with local laws in which the facility operates, as well as, the Aéropostale’s Code of Conduct requirements. The Social Compliance Audit consists of checking for conditions including, but not limited to:
- Child labor
- Excessive working hours/Forced Labor
- Health and Safety conditions of the Facility
- Fire Safety
- Salary/Overtime Pay Standards
To ensure compliance with the Code of Conduct, any issue identified during the audit must be addressed and corrected by the facility in a timely manner.