Most of our collections are manufactured in Asia, where the bulk of global textile production is located. Widely dispersed supply structures in the textile industry require a high level of commitment in order to ensure decent, safe and fair working conditions in companies. Accordingly, we have established a systematic model to minimize risks in our supply chain. This concept is based on supplier certifications, specifications of standards and the control and support of our local partners.
Through the TOM TAILOR Sourcing Ltd. joint venture, we have been in direct contact with our suppliers in the most important procurement markets in Asia and Turkey since 2011. As part of this cooperation, new suppliers will also be closely inspected with the help of auditors. If the audit result is successful, a contract is concluded in which the purchasing guidelines of the TOM TAILOR Group are set out. These include restrictions or a complete ban on the use of animal hair, certain types of down and feathers, genuine fur, leather and hides, mussels, silk from India, cotton from Uzbekistan, mulesing for sheep as well as the use of sandblasting in the production process and much more.
In the course of cooperation and on the basis of the amfori BSCI audit result, regular inspections of suppliers, scheduled and unscheduled, will be carried out by employees of our TOM TAILOR purchasing offices and by agencies accredited by amfori BSCI. In the event of non-compliance with specified standards, the supplier is sanctioned, or the employees of the TOM TAILOR purchasing company work together with the suppliers to develop suitable measures and implement plans in order to continuously improve standards and ensure renewed compliance. In 2018 we were able to improve the audit results of 24 percent of our suppliers and further improvements are to follow in 2019.
In addition, high external and internal supply chain standards ensure that local risks are minimized. We also voluntarily adhere to the principles of amfori BSCI in the production process, which encompasses all essential labour standards for the protection of employee rights set out by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the UN Global Compact and the UN Declaration of Human Rights. We are also committed to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and other internationally recognized agreements. These include a ban on child labour, safe and humane working conditions, fair wages, regulated working hours, compliance with local laws, no discrimination, and freedom of association under labour law so that employees can freely organize and negotiate collective bargaining agreements .