Covid-19 has created unprecedented challenges and changed both our near-term priorities and how we operate. In responding to the crisis we have adopted an interim core purpose: ‘To play our full part in feeding the nation – it’s more than our job’.
With lockdowns in place across the globe, we recognise that the pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the global garment industry, and that this has been an incredibly difficult time for clothing suppliers.
We have therefore been working in close partnership with our suppliers of our Nutmeg clothing range. Where orders had already been finished or partially made, regardless of lockdown in the UK or in any of the countries we source from, we have taken all the stock at the originally agreed price. There was no cut off date for this. We have then either decided to sell this stock or store it for next year. Where fabrics have been ordered we have used the fabric, whether on an original order or amending the product to be more seasonally appropriate, for example making a short sleeve T-shirt into a long sleeve T-shirt.
The only cancellations we have made have been in joint agreement with the factories and only where nothing has been ordered from the factory's side. This has helped the factories manage their production plans to get back on track for future orders, and support us in ensuring that we sell the right product at the right time for our customers. We have also agreed shortened payment terms with suppliers who are most financially vulnerable.
We continue to monitor the situation closely in each country we source from, and to work closely with our suppliers and factories. We have endorsed the Call to Action in the Global Garment Industry, which brings together retailers, trade unions, NGOs and global financial institutions to work together to support garment manufacturers through the pandemic, to protect garment workers’ income, health and employment, and to work on sustainable systems of social protection for a more just and resilient garment industry.