Friday 4 April 2008

Ethical Brand Profiles - Beechfield and Quadra

Beechfield are a specialist producer of headwear. A sister brand, Quadra, make all sorts of bag. So this article deals with both of them.

Curious territory this. Whereas most clothing brands are anxious to say something about themselves and the ethics of their sourcing on their websites, there is nothing on the Beechfield or Quadra sites to say anything about themselves or their trading connections. Both sites are just product catalogues, which is fine for most of their customers but makes things really awkward for writing something useful in this post!

Trawling the web I did find commentary that outlined how Beechfield respect and understand local laws on employment, human rights etc.

Beechfield also say that their suppliers undergo strict assessment of ethical policy and that they have a dedicated manufacturing base which indicates some level of permanence in the supply chain, which is good.

However, just to be cynical for a moment (and here I am making a general observation on the issue, not necessarily directed at Beechfield) when it comes to local laws you'd hardly expect anyone to brag about breaking them! But where local laws are not up to say UK standards, then what happens? What happens when local human rights are different to those we enjoy in the UK? It would always be good for companies to go that one step further so as to avoid giving the impression that just perhaps they may be out there choosing to get supplies from countries with the least regulation on working conditions.

I did my usual search on the web for adverse commentary on Beechfield or Quadra supply chains and could find none. Let's hope this is a good pointer. I could however find no comment anywhere on environmental policies. (Bad)

Any enlightenment is welcome - please leave a comment.


  1. Hi Scott,

    Öko-Tex 100 is often misunderstood. It only assures that the textile products do not have any 'harmful susbstance' which are prohibited or regulated by law, chemicals which are known to be harmful to health, and parameters which are included as a precautionary measure to safeguard health in the PRODUCT. BUT it has NO actual relevance to the SUSTAINABILITY aspects (very limited if any), nor does it control the PRODUCTIION process.

    In short, it does NOT reflects ethical responsibility. Unfortunately, most consumers, even suppliers or some retailers are not fully aware of this and thinks 'Öko-tex' automatically covers all 'ecological/ sustainability aspect'.

  2. Hi Stella


    Of course there are brands which I have featured here which are Öko-Tex 100 AND carry certification over production / working conditions and / or are certified organic etc.

    Thanks for the input.