alphabroder is dedicated to being a responsible corporate citizen; therefore we hold ourselves to the highest ethical business standards. This includes publishing and enforcing a social accountability statement for not only our internal practices but also all of our customers, vendors and factories. We have also partnered with U.S. Customs & Border Protection in a trade program designed to help secure our borders and ensure the continued free flow of international trade.
The ab | Prime Line "Green Team" is passionate about advancing our commitment to sustainability. Sustainable practices are as important today as product safety, fair labor & supply chain safety were ten years ago. Our industry already invests resources to maintain & verify our safety and social compliance requirements. We recognize the importance of committing resources to sustainability too.
Working together with our facilities and our partners we are forging a new path. Our goal is to create a meaningful and measurable corporate sustainability platform. We're identifying the good things we are already doing and improving those current processes. We are researching ways to improve our impact and our industry with a mindset of continuous improvement.
Education and awareness are key components of our efforts. To help you easily source products that meet your sustainability needs we've created a 3-factor method for identifying styles with accurate & verifiable global sustainability practices and a responsible mindset.
The May 2021 completion of Phase I is highlighted by the launch of our expanded Sustainable Materials Shop.
Styles found in the Sustainable Materials Shop have been vetted with our Supplier Partners. We've updated product fabric and features terminology. Our goal is to provide accurate and consistent information for products with a Sustainable Materials features. Our Sustainable Materials Glossary below contains even more information, tools and research ideas.
Future phases will incorporate Sustainable Manufacturing and Responsible Mindset product features and benefits with enhanced search and filtering tools. We're excited to be on this journey with you.
Sustainable Materials Glossary:
1. Bamboo - is a renewable fast-growing plant that requires little maintenance and has a wide range of applications from textiles to construction materials. It grows without the need for chemicals or fertilizer, and it releases oxygen into the atmosphere. Bamboo is very strong and bamboo fabric is inherently hypoallergenic, anti-static and has antimicrobial properties. There are a range of processes for converting the cellulose plant fiber into fabric, both with chemicals and alternatives.
2. BCI Cotton (Better Cotton Initiative) - Cotton that is both sourced by farmers using sustainable farming methods and manufactured using sustainable practices. BCI promotes and teaches these sustainable practices worldwide. This method was designed to work on a large scale with the intention becoming a worldwide accepted practice. BCI is also a non-profit organization. To learn more visit bettercotton.org
3. Biodegradable - capable of decomposing rapidly typically through specialized facilities which create conditions to rapidly decompose biodegradable materials or components.
4. bluesign ® - This support group monitors the complex journey of materials from factory to final product. The bluesign ® team includes experts in chemistry and textile production, as well as specialists who oversee a robust system of factory auditing and certification. Companies can request an assessment and if they meet the bluesign ® criteria are able to use the bluesign ® label on their material or product. The team "bluesign" comes from the name of a Swiss group called bluesign ® technologies. To learn more visit: www.bluesign.com/en
5. Cork - Renewable material sourced from bark of cork oak trees. After the cork is harvested from the tree bark it regenerates. The tree not only continues to live after the cork is harvested, it can be harvested approx. every 9-12 years, throughout its life which can be anywhere from 150 to 300 years.
6. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - Range of certifications for eco responsible forestry products: from sustainable forest management to chain of custody (sustainability from source through manufacturing). To learn more visit fsc.org/en
7. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) - Takes the best of various international textile and organic standards throughout the organic fiber life cycle (from growth to harvest, manufacturing to store shelves everything from the raw material, to chemicals, to quality of working conditions), combined into one internationally recognized body. Uses third party verification to promote reliability and trust. To learn more visit global-standard.org/
8. Global Recycled Standard (GRS) - Voluntary standards for 3rd party sources to verify recycled claims throughout product or material life cycle. Verifies everything from sourcing, harvesting and production. Focus on 5 key textile materials: Organic Cotton, Recycled Polyester, Biosynthetics, (MMCF) Manmade Cellulose Fibers, Animal Fibers and Materials. To learn more visit textileexchange.org/standards/recycled-claim-standard-global-recycled-standard/
9. Hemp - made from fibers found on exterior of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Hemp requires little cultivation, needs significantly less water than cotton to grow, requires no pesticides and produces more fiber than cotton. Hemp growth is also inherently adaptable to a range of climate conditions. It's ideal in crop rotation for its ease at adapting to land used for other purposes before, and leaves nutrients for ease of growing other things after. The raw material can also be used to make bioplastics. Hemp is often combined with other materials such as cotton for a softer feel or to more easily take dye. Raw hemp fiber is also compostable.
10. Lyocell - fiber produced from cellulose from eucalyptus tree pulp. Eucalyptus is fast-growing and requires little to no chemicals or irrigation. It can grow on land no longer capable of growing food. The fabrication process requires no toxic chemicals and other agents used in the process are recyclable and create limited emissions. The textile is breathable, easy to dye, and can be mixed with other fabrics for different hand feels and finishes. Considered a sustainable fiber when sourced from sustainably managed forests and transparent supply chains. The fiber is also both recyclable and degradable in waste treatment plants. Tencel ® is a brand name for Lyocell fibers from Lenzing AG Corporation, well known for its commitment to sustainable practices. www.lenzing.com/products/tenceltm
11. OEKO-TEX ® Made in Green - Tracing the use of harmful substances throughout the lifecycle of textiles and leather goods. This label indicates the product is free from harmful substances, and was produced using sustainable manufacturing practices and socially responsible work conditions. They also provide an online directory to search for OEKO-TEX certified products and manufacturers. To Learn more visit www.oeko-tex.com/en/our-standards/made-in-green-by-oeko-tex
12. Organic Cotton - Cotton produced without the use of genetically modified seeds in planting, grown without chemicals or pesticides (which helps reduce global warming), harvested and processed using fair labor and work conditions (including energy and emissions). In addition, organic cotton is produced using less water than non-organic cotton. There are a range of global standards and we've included any applicable global standard when provided by our Suppliers.
13. Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Non-profit organization focused on helping establish international standards for sustainable forest management. PEFC certified cork campaign in partnership with PEFC Spain helps organizations maintain sustainable cork production and educate the world about cork sustainability. To learn more visit: www.pefc.org
14. Reclaimed - The EPA defines reclaimed materials as "Waste materials and byproducts that have been recovered or diverted from the waste stream for reuse."
15. Recycled - The EPA defines recycling as "the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. Recycling can benefit your community, the economy and the environment."
Products can be made of pre- or post-consumer recycled materials or a combination. Pre-consumer means materials recovered in the manufacturing process and re-used in manufacturing. Post-consumer means recyclables collected from consumers or businesses through a recycling program. Recycled water bottles are an example of a post-consumer recycled product.
16. Renewable - Material or process that replaces or replenishes itself repeatedly throughout its lifetime.
17. rPET - rPET stands for recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate, or recycled PET. PET is a strong, durable and recyclable material that is used for everything from soda bottles to textiles. Repreve ® is a brand name for recycled polyester made by Unifi ®, a leading global textile solutions company.
18. Sustainability - The EPA defines sustainability as "Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment."
19. Textile Exchange Organic Content Standard (OCS) - Organization that vets organic claims as an objective 3rd party and provides tools for the textile industry to use their findings. Also helps provide organic farmers with access to the larger global market. Note this standard is voluntary. To learn more visit textileexchange.org/standards/organic-content-standard/
20. USA Cotton - Cotton produced with full transparency in supply chain. Emphasis on sustainability and Fair Labor. To learn more visit cottonusa.org/
21. Vegan Leather - Durable textile designed to look, feel and wear like leather but made of either petroleum or plant-based materials. Recent trends indicate significant growth in the plant-derived materials.
alphabroder is presently engaged in an aggressive initiative with regards to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR is an ongoing, continuous process that evolves as new laws, guidelines, consumer expectations and industry initiatives come to light. It is not a static process. alphabroder will publish updates on this initiative as part of our process of continued improvement.
Broder Bros., Co., dba alphabroder Prime Line ("ab|Prime") has a tradition of conducting its business in an ethical manner that reflects respect for the public franchise under which we operate. As an International business, ab|Prime is concerned with the worldwide state of human rights and environmental degradation. ab|Prime follows the Fair Labor Association's (FLA) example and partners only with vendors that allow us full knowledge of the facilities used in their production. ab|Prime and FLA utilize accredited third-party audit companies to ensure its business partners are socially compliant with all applicable international and local laws. Any effort to suppress any of these standards will be met with strong objection. ab|Prime will take into account any such actions on the part of vendors and factories when evaluating our business relations as our pledge to uphold these standards. When differences or conflicts in standards arise, the highest standard shall apply.
Diversity and Inclusion
We believe that business environments must create an atmosphere of equal opportunity promoting a social climate of inclusion. At ab|Prime we base our core operating principles on values. The diverse ideas, perspectives and skills of our employees are our greatest asset and drive our continued evolution. Integrity and respect are the foundation from which we build all relationships with Employees, Customers, vendors, and business partners.
ab|Prime vendors shall adopt and adhere to rules and conditions of employment that respect workers and at a minimum, safeguard their rights under national and international labor and social security laws and regulations.
ab|Prime recognizes, and respects cultural differences found in the worldwide marketplace. No person shall be subject to any discrimination in employment, including hiring, compensation, advancement, discipline, termination or retirement, on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, social group or ethnic origin.
Harassment or Abuse
ab|Prime vendors shall treat every employee with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to any physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse.
Forced or Compulsory Labor
ab|Prime shall partner only with vendors which allow workers to accept their employment voluntarily. There shall be no use of forced labor, including prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor or other forms of forced labor.
Commitment to Responsible Recruitment
ab|Prime is committed to the fair treatment of workers throughout the supply chain. One important part of this ongoing effort is working together with our global supply chain partners to drive positive change and eliminate the potential for forced labor in the countries from which we source products.
We commit to work with our global supply chain partners to create conditions so that:
- No worker pays for their job
- Workers retain control of their travel documents and have full freedom of movement; and
- All workers are informed of the basic terms of their employment before leaving home.
ab|Prime shall partner only with vendors who take a strong stance against the use of child labor. Vendors are expected to comply with local and international laws in defining the term "Child". No person shall be employed under the age of 15 or under the age for completion of compulsory education, whichever is higher.
Human Trafficking and Slavery
ab|Prime will not partner with vendors who engage in or support the use of human trafficking or slavery within their organizations and/or their international supply chain.
Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
ab|Prime adopts an open attitude toward worker's rights and their freedom to associate with others, form, and join (or abstain from joining) organizations of their choice, collective bargaining, without interference, discrimination, retaliation, or harassment. Employers shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Health, Safety and Environment
ab|Prime vendors shall provide a safe and healthy workplace setting to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work or as a result of the operation of employers' facilities. Employers shall adopt responsible measures to mitigate negative impacts that the workplace has on the environment.
Working Hours and Overtime
ab|Prime shall work with vendors who do not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country where the workers are employed. The regular work week shall not exceed 48 hours. Employers shall allow workers at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every seven-day period. All overtime work shall be consensual. Employers shall not request overtime on a regular basis and shall compensate all overtime work at a premium rate. Other than in exceptional circumstances, the sum of the regular and overtime hours in a week shall not exceed 60 hours.
ab|Prime shall partner with vendors who share our commitment to the betterment of wage and benefit levels that address the basic needs of workers and their families. Every worker has a right to compensation for a regular work week that is sufficient to meet the workers' basic needs and provide some discretionary income. Employers shall pay at least the minimum wage or the appropriate prevailing wage, whichever is higher, comply with all legal requirements on wages, and provide any fringe benefits required by law or contract. Where compensation does not meet workers' basic needs and provide some discretionary income, vendor shall take appropriate actions that seek to progressively realize a level of compensation that does.
ab|Prime is committed to aligning themselves with only those vendors dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of our customers. Merchandise manufactured on behalf of alphabroder must meet or exceed all applicable U.S. and Canadian government product safety and quality standards.
Corruption and Bribery
ab|Prime is committed to acting professionally, fairly, and honestly in all our business operations. alphabroder prohibits the offering, giving, solicitation or the acceptance of any bribe or corrupt incentive in any form.
alphabroder is committed to facilitating the accessibility and usability of its website. We have engaged UsableNet Inc., a leading provider of accessibility technology and services to ensure and maintain accessibility of our website.
If you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular page or content on alphabroder.com, please contact us at [email protected]. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the webpage in your email, and we will make all reasonable efforts to provide assistance.
In 2007, alphabroder received the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) certification from the U.S. Customs and Borders Protection (CBP,) a division of the Department of Homeland Security. The C-TPAT program is a joint initiative between the U.S. government and certified businesses to cultivate cooperative relationships based upon the integrity of a company's security practices. These practices are vital in maintaining an overall efficient and compliant supply chain and strengthened border security.
A year later, alphabroder was granted Tier II status by CBP. To receive its current Tier II status, alphabroder's entire supply chain, including factories, brokers and transportation providers had to pass a vigorous inspection by CBP, maintain the "best practices" in the industry and demonstrate that comprehensive programs are in place to secure their facilities and supply chains from terrorists, smuggling and narcotics.
This significant recognition of our security program exemplifies our organization wide commitment to maintaining the highest levels of security standards, procedures, and processes at all of our facilities, and displays our serious concern for the security and well being of the United States (or our homeland).
As part of our partnership with CBP, alphabroder will continue to comply with procedures defined by the CBP to ensure safety along the entire portion of the supply chain that we control -- from point of origin to final destination. C-TPAT membership will require alphabroder to maintain written processes that are in place with all business partners within our network of service providers as well as all corporate facilities. These security procedures must be verifiable, and alphabroder will be required to demonstrate that our transportation partners are in compliance with CBP standards.
Some of the major benefits of receiving C-TPAT certification include:
- Fewer cargo border inspections of goods, leading to reduced lead times
- The assignment of an account representative from U.S. Customs and Border Protection to address questions
- Access to U.S. government anti-terrorism seminars, and the sharing of industry best practices
Additional information about the C-TPAT Program is available at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Website.
Product safety is a hot topic right now in the consumer products industry and we would like to make you aware of recently enacted legislation that applies to the products alphabroder sells to our customers.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) became law on August 14, 2008 and is applicable to consumer products (including textile wearables and non-wearables) manufactured on and after November 12, 2008.
The CPSIA requires all importers and domestic manufacturers of apparel and other applicable non-wearable consumer products to issue Certificate of Conformity for every lot manufactured on or after November 12, 2008. It is important to note that both imported and domestically made products will require COC's.
In order to better track and service the increasing requests that we are receiving with regards to Product Safety, alphabroder has set up a separate email address: [email protected]. The Merchandising team will respond to these emails accordingly.
alphabroder has a tradition of conducting its business in an ethical and socially responsible manner that reflects respect for the environment, culture and social impact of communities. As an international business, alphabroder is committed to providing quality, safe products that meet or exceed our customers' expectations.
The Safe Drinking Water & Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, also known as, Proposition 65 (Prop 65) is a California law that has been in effect since 1986 to promote clean drinking water and keep toxic substances that cause cancer and birth defects out of consumer products. Proposition 65 requires the State of California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. This list, consisting of a wide range of naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm is updated at least once a year and has grown to include more than 900 chemicals since it was first published in 1987.
Prop 65 law requires that anyone at reasonable risk of exposure to be informed when substances classified as toxins are present. Proposition 65 enables Californians to make informed decisions about protecting themselves from exposure to these chemicals. It also prohibits California businesses from knowingly discharging significant amounts of listed chemicals into sources of drinking water.
Since 1999, FLA has helped improve the lives of millions of workers around the world. As a collaborative effort of socially responsible companies, colleges and universities, and civil society organizations, FLA creates lasting solutions for labor practices by offering tools and resources to companies, delivering training to factory workers and management, conducting due diligence through independent assessments, and advocating for greater accountability and transparency from companies, manufacturers, factories and others involved in global supply chains.
FLA is a multi-stakeholder initiative that invites participation from all organizations committed to promoting fair labor standards around the world - companies and brands, civil society organizations, colleges and universities, suppliers and manufacturers, conscientious retailers, and others. Currently, nearly 200 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada work with FLA to monitor social compliance and ensure the ethical production of items bearing their marks or logo. FLA provides college and university affiliates with the tools they need to be confident that their products are manufactured by companies that are committed to upholding workers' rights in their production facilities. Source
alphabroder is a Category B affiliate of FLA and all Private Brand suppliers are subject to be randomly selected for audit by an FLA nominated third party auditing company at any time.
alphabroder is a founding member of the Quality Certification Alliance
Quality Assurance | Supply Chain Security | Environmental Stewardship | Product Safety | Social Compliance
alphabroder is proud to be one of the only wholesale companies accredited by the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). QCA is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit accrediting organization for industry suppliers. The industry needs one unified leadership body to develop and uphold merchandise quality and safety standards - QCA exists to be this governing organization. QCA provides guidelines and a mechanism to test, assess, and verify compliance around complex safety, quality, environmental, and social issues.
What does QCA mean for wholesale apparel purchasers?
QCA certification helps protect your brand and reputation by offering compliance with the highest product standards in the market.
QCA's mission is to provide the supplier base for the Promotional Products Industry with a common set of third-party standards in an effort to consistently provide safe, high-quality, socially compliant, and environmentally conscious merchandise, while remaining transparent to its distributors, its clients and ultimately the end user.
QCA was established to uphold the integrity of the member organization's quality standards through a comprehensive, systematic, third-party assessment and accreditation process of members' compliance efforts and achievements.
QCA is committed to ensuring that merchandise manufactured, imprinted and imported, by member companies conforms to the highest degree of established domestic and international product laws regulations and standards for that product.