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Victoria’s Secret – research

About

Victoria’s Secret is owned by L Brands, which also owns Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, PINK, La Senza and Henri Bendel. The information provided here is largely about the parent company, L Brands, with specific information about Victoria’s Secret when available.

THE PROS:
According to MAS Holdings website, it supplies to Victoria’s Secret. MAS Holdings is known for their women empowerment efforts in Sri Lanka. We don’t have information on how much of Victoria’s Secret’s products come from MAS Holdings.

L Brands is a member of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group. The brand has a goal of eliminating the discharge of 11 priority chemical categories in conjunction with the manufacturing of apparel products by 2020.

L Brands has a policy against animal testing and supports research into non-animal alternative testing methods conducted by the Institute for In Vitro Sciences.

THE CONS:
In December of 2011, Bloomberg Media reporter Cam Simpson published an investigative piece that accused Victoria’s Secret of using child labor in making its Fairtrade line of undergarments. Fairtrade International refuted the claims and issued a response statement. A few days after the Bloomberg article was published, Fairtrade CEO resigned, but a spokeswoman says his departure is unrelated to the article. Homeland security issued an investigation after Bloomberg provided more evidence to support its claims.

L Brands states it sources goods from countries all over the world with the vast majority being produced in the US, China, Sri Lanka, and India. The brand states these are the countries it sources 5% or more of its global order volume from. We don’t have a full list of countries that the brand sources from.

Rank-a-Brand gave Victoria’s Secret an E, the lowest possible sustainability score. Rank-a-Brand states that Victoria’s Secret earned it by communicating nothing concrete about the policies for environment, carbon emissions or labor conditions in low-wages countries.

Business model

/ L Brands owns Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, PINK, La Senza, and Henri Bendel.

/ Forbes reports that as of May 2015, the brand employed 80,100 people worldwide. It is unclear what part of the brand’s operations this includes.

/ In 2014, L Brands reported $11.454 billion in revenue. This is the latest revenue number available for L Brands.

/ L Brands states that it sources from a few hundred suppliers and factories but we don’t have information on a specific number.

/ We don’t have any information on lead times, the number of garments made annually, how many collections the brand releases annually, and how long its products are designed to last.

Transparency

/ L Brands states it sources goods from countries all over the world with the vast majority being produced in the US, China, Sri Lanka, and India. The brand states these are the countries it sources 5% or more of its global order volume from. We don’t have a full list of countries that the brand sources from.

/ The brand does not publicly disclose its supplier names and addresses.

/ It is unclear if the brand can trace its entire supply chain.

/ The brand has a written Code of Conduct, Compliance Program, Collaborations with NGO’s to improve the social impact of its supply chain.

/ The brand does not report its current social or environmental impact

Working conditions

/ The brand has a publicly available Supplier Code of Conduct.

/ L Brands states that it requires suppliers pay workers the minimum wage prescribed by local law or the prevailing local industry wage, whichever is higher.

/ The brand has a policy that prohibits the use of unauthorized subcontracting in its supply chain.

/ In December of 2011, Bloomberg Media reporter Cam Simpson published an investigative piece that accused Victoria’s Secret of using child labor in making its Fairtrade line of undergarments. Fairtrade International refuted the claims and issued a response statement. A few days after the Bloomberg article was published, Fairtrade CEO resigned, but a spokeswoman says his departure is unrelated to the article. Homeland security issued an investigation after Bloomberg provided more evidence to support its claims.

/ According to MAS Holdings website, it supplies to Victoria’s Secret. MAS Holdings is known for their women empowerment efforts in Sri Lanka. We don’t have information on how much of Victoria’s Secret’s products come from MAS Holdings.

Innovation

/ L Brands has a policy against animal testing and supports research into non-animal alternative testing methods conducted by the Institute for In Vitro Sciences.

/ L Brands is piloting a training project with the Pacific Links Foundation called FACT (Factory Awareness to Counter Trafficking). The project aims to educate factory management and workers in Vietnam on how to prevent human trafficking.

/ L Brands achieved LEED Silver EB certification in the Bath & Body Works home office and distribution center.

/ The brand states that it is committed to the responsible sourcing of man-made cellulosic fibers, including rayon, viscose and modal. L Brands reports that it works with suppliers to not knowingly source fabrics from ancient and endangered forests or fabrics that contribute to deforestation or human rights abuses, and to source cellulosic fibers produced from certified forestry operations.

/ The brand works with suppliers to meet the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards.

/ Since 2007, L Brands has been participating in the Carbon Disclosure Project, submitting the annual corporate climate change questionnaire. Recent questionnaire responses can be accessed here.

/ L Brands is a member of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group and is working to eliminate the emission of hazardous chemicals in its supply chain by 2020.

Environment

/ The brand states that it is committed to the responsible sourcing of man-made cellulosic fibers, including rayon, viscose and modal. L Brands reports that it works with suppliers to not knowingly source fabrics from ancient and endangered forests or fabrics that contribute to deforestation or human rights abuses, and to source cellulosic fibers produced from certified forestry operations.

/ The brand does not use any down, angora, or real fur in its products.

/ L Brands states that it will not knowingly sell products that contain Australian merino wool until the practices of mulesing and live exporting end.

/ L Brands is a member of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group. The brand has a goal of eliminating the discharge of 11 priority chemical categories in conjunction with the manufacturing of apparel products by 2020.

/ L Brands has adopted the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Manufacturing Restricted Substances List and the Oeko-Tex® 100 Standard harmful substances value limits as the brands Restricted Substances List. L Brands states that it audits suppliers to ensure compliance.

Community

/ In 2014, the L Brands Foundation invested nearly $17 million in nonprofit organizations in their home office communities. Since its inception in 1993, the Foundation has contributed more than $160 million to support nonprofit organizations, and supports community programs that focus on the health and empowerment of women, the nurturing and mentoring of children and improving education.

/ In 2014, L Brands sponsored more than 12,000 race participants for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the American Cancer Society — Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. To date, L Brands has donated more than $1.1 million to these organisations.

/ In 2014, L Brands raised more than $8.2 million and had more than 3,600 employees and their guests participate in Pelotonia, an annual bike ride that supports the ongoing cancer research efforts at The James Cancer Center of The Ohio State University.

/ In 2014, L Brands raised more than $8 million for United Way at the brand’s home office locations. Since 1997, L Brands and its employees have contributed more than $110 million to the United Way of Central Ohio.