What is environmental and social responsibility at Oraymee?
At Oraymee, we like to think of sustainability as a word of action, something we do rather than something we simply say. It is an ongoing process and has a clear aim to be continuously improved. We see sustainability as a journey that requires determination, passion and teamwork.
Our vision is that all of our operations should be run in a way that is financially, socially and environmentally sustainable. Turning this vision into reality helps us conduct our business using fewer resources. It also allows us contribute to improving the lives of people and communities around the world. Today we are involved in various projects and initiatives related to these issues.
Is it possible to buy products produced with a limited environmental impact at a reasonable price?
Oraymee’s business concept is to offer products and quality at the best price. We achieve this by buying directly from the manufacturers, utilizing efficient logistics and operating our own stores and factories – not by compromising on our sustainability requirements. We are also cost-conscious at every stage of the production process, and the fact is that a cheaper mode of transport – for example, by ship – creates lower carbon dioxide emissions than more expensive means of transport, such as aircraft.
We make efforts to support our suppliers so that production takes into consideration the health of customers and workers and the environment. Waste water quality in our supply chain must meet quality levels defined by the Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) Water Group or relevant local laws, whichever are stricter. These requirements form part of our supplier audit program.
Furthermore, we restrict the use of hazardous chemicals via our restrictions list, compliance with which all suppliers are contractually bound. We have also introduced our first “positive lists” to help our suppliers choose chemical products that comply with our restrictions.
So, in Oraymee’s opinion, there is no conflict of interest between reasonable prices and a low impact on the environment.
How do you ensure that child labour does not occur during production?
Oraymee’s auditors carry out regular checks to ensure that there are no underage workers in the factories. The occurrence of child labour at Orayme’s suppliers or their subcontractors is very rare. Should it occur, Oraymee requires that the supplier take immediate action and, together with Oraymee and the family, find a solution that is in the best interests of the child. An investigation is then carried out to determine how to best resolve the situation based on the child’s interests.
On many occasions, the solution involves the supplier making financial contributions so that the child can receive an education while compensating the family for the loss of income. If Oraymee discovers that a supplier – or one of its subcontractors – repeatedly breaches Oraymee’s ban on child labour, Oraymee terminates the partnership.
How can Oraymee ensure that Oraymee products are free from harmful chemicals?
The health and safety of our customers are naturally of highest priority. We work actively to restrict the use of chemicals. Our restrictions are some of the most stringent in the industry and often go well beyond legislative demands. All suppliers making products for Oraymee are contractually bound to comply with our restrictions list.
We apply the precautionary principle. This means that we are proactive in restricting chemicals, even if there is still scientific uncertainty about whether or not they are harmful. We regularly conduct tests – both our own and via third parties – on our products to ensure that they do not contain harmful chemicals.
Why are the wages of factory workers so low?
We agree that the wages in some production countries are low. And it has always been our vision that all jewelry workers should be able to live on their wage.
Our vision is for a fair living wage covering workers’ basic needs be paid by all our commercial goods suppliers. We also believe our workforce should be skilled, and the wages should be negotiated and annually reviewed with the involvement of democratically elected trade unions or worker representatives. We are of the opinion that workers should be given the freedom needed to negotiate their own wages, and we support this process.
It is important to remember that Oraymee neither owns nor operates the factories that make its products. Oraymee does not set or pay the factory employees’ wages. Nonetheless, we still have a considerable responsibility to remain engaged in every possible way and to promote higher wages in production countries. Through our holistic wage strategy, we aim to contribute to positive long-term development and higher wages for the factory workers.
How does Oraymee check that suppliers abide by the Code of Conduct?
We employ full-time auditors whose job it is to check compliance with our Code of Conduct. During audits they go through a list containing numerous points relating to working conditions, the working environment, etc. After each audit we collate the results in a report that specifies the areas in which improvements are needed and a deadline is set for the supplier to submit an action plan. The auditors then visit the factories to follow up whether these actions have been taken. Oraymee also supports suppliers’ improvement work through training and projects of various kinds.
Why does Oraymee have its own auditors?
By conducting audits ourselves, we immediately get a comprehensive picture of how well our suppliers comply with our social and environmental requirements, and integrating sustainability work into our day-to-day operations is a key priority at Oraymee. When choosing suppliers, our auditors conduct an in-depth audit. They have the mandate to make the final decision about whether a supplier or individual factory fulfills Oraymee’s minimum requirements.
Only after being approved by our auditors may orders be placed with a factory. We continuously monitor the progress made by each factory and work to remediate any non-compliance that might arise. In the event of non-compliance, the supplier is required to draft a remediation plan that we then monitor closely. Wherever needed, we provide or facilitate additional support in implementing this plan.