Modern slavery policy

This statement relates to the financial year from January 2024 to December 2024.

As a much-loved children’s shoe brand, at Start Rite we run our business responsibly. We are committed to understanding modern slavery risks across the organisation and to ensuring that there is no modern slavery in our business or our supply chain. We work hard to respect the human rights of everyone we work with and to maintain the highest ethical standards.

Founded in 1792 when James Smith opened a shop in Norwich making and selling shoes, our company has a long history. We supply customers all over the UK with the finest quality children’s shoes as well delivering shoes to international markets like Australia and Singapore.

We trade in UK, Australia and South East Asia and our suppliers are based in Europe, India and Cambodia. Start Rite has a responsibility to be alert to and respond to risks associated with modern slavery in these locations.

We take this responsibility seriously, ensuring all factories and suppliers that we work with are audited by an independent third party. The main aims of this process are to promote rights at work, such as remuneration and working hours, enhance social protection and strengthen dialogue on work-related issues, including Modern Slavery. We have adopted the principles laid out in the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ as laid out by the United Nations, and the ILO conventions, particularly the ‘Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and its Follow-up’, These form a key part of our company policy on Corporate Social Responsibility.

All new suppliers are rigorously checked at Start Rite. They are required to produce an independent audit report covering key areas such as Health and Safety, working hours and practices and child labour. Where no report exists, Start Rite will commission an independent third-party audit before commencing work with the supplier. While the travel restrictions brought about by the Covid 19 pandemic have impacted our ability to visit our factories as regularly as normal, our agent based in India has been visiting on our behalf to ensure standards are maintained.

Audit programmes highlight good working practices as well as areas of concern. Start Rite investigates all areas of non-compliance with suppliers, working with them to agree and deliver immediate action to address all issues. We will terminate a supplier agreement where non-compliance is not rectified.

We are committed to maintaining a high level of understanding of and managing the risks of modern slavery in our supply chain and across the wider Start Rite business. This statement has been approved by the Board of Directors at Start Rite.