In Fall of 2021, we launched a sustainable products sitelet, and are actively using it to highlight products that align with our vision of a thriving planet. In May 2022, we introduced an internal program to train Macy’s product development teams on our sustainable product guidelines and processes. By the end of the year, over 700 of our associates accountable for the buying, developing and sourcing of Macy’s products will be trained.
Products highlighted as sustainable on our sitelet must be authenticated - where appropriate - by at least one, third-party certification classified under one of our Four Pillars: Preferred Materials, Responsibly Produced, Made Safer or Cruelty Free or Designed for Less Waste. Click here to download our full list of certifications.
To help inform and advance our certification guidelines, Macy’s joined the Textile Exchange in August 2022. Textile Exchange is a global non-profit driving positive impact on climate change across the fashion and textile industry. Our membership gives us the tools we need to set preferred fiber goals and holistically reduce our impact, right from the start of our supply chain.
Our ambition for the future is to take our sustainable product offering beyond third-party certifications into circular solutions and services, prioritizing opportunities that extend the life of a product. To further drive our commitment and transition to being a more circular business, we’ve joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation community, which is focused on accelerating and enabling the transition to a global, circular economy. We also partnered with FABSCRAP, a non-profit in New York City that helps ensure that the fabric waste that is an unavoidable part of the design and development process is reused, upcycled, downcycled and recycled responsibly.
In the sustainable products sitelet, we have added care instructions to extend the life of textiles as well as elevated information on existing product care and repair services already available. Additionally, we are exploring further repair, recommerce and recycle opportunities across our full product and brand portfolio.
Macy’s is building robust sustainability programs to support use of more responsible materials in all Macy’s Private Brands. As part of those programs, we ensure that we are securing more sustainably sourced cotton products for our private and market brand partners. Macy’s has been a member of the Cotton LEADS℠ program since 2016. In an effort to reduce the use of virgin petroleum-based fibers, we are moving to recycled polyester where possible.
In 2022, Macy’s became a proud member of Better Cotton. Better Cotton’s mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. Better Cotton trains farmers to use water efficiently, care for soil health and natural habitats, reduce use of the most harmful chemicals and respect workers’ rights and wellbeing. Better Cotton is sourced via a chain of custody model called mass balance. This means that Better Cotton is not physically traceable to end products, however, Better Cotton Farmers benefit from the demand for Better Cotton in equivalent volumes to those we ‘source.’ We are committed to sourcing 100% of our cotton as ‘more sustainable cotton’ by 2030. ‘More sustainable cotton’ includes Better Cotton, Cotton LEADS℠, certified recycled cotton and certified organic cotton.
As a responsible steward of our resources, we are closely monitoring that our merchandise is produced in an ethical and responsible manner. We use our position as a national omnichannel retailer to create shared value for our customers, colleagues, and the communities in which we operate. We have comprehensive programs in place to maximize our partners’ adherence to our standards, conduct third-party audits, identify issues and drive remediations when violations occur.
These programs include a full social compliance auditing program that tracks violations, corrective action plans, remediation and progress throughout our supply chain. We continuously make program enhancements that increase our ability to identify and assess human rights risks and impacts throughout our business relationships.
Macy’s has also introduced a supply chain mapping platform that tracks supplier performance, increases value chain transparency and allows us to track completion of training materials for our suppliers. Training topics currently include Human Trafficking and Slavery, Forced Labor, Responsible Recruitment, Conflict Minerals and Code of Conduct standards.
We have a dedicated team who follows corrective actions and investigates any serious violations against our Code of Conduct and/or local country law. Macy’s believes in the power of partnership with our suppliers to drive continuous improvement. We work with our suppliers to correct issues, and in factories with persistent issues, we conduct audits more frequently, conduct extended focused audits or partner with a consulting firm for an extensive remediation program based on regional and factory risk profiles. If high-risk violations are found, immediate action is taken to investigate and evaluate next steps. In some cases, the supplier and/or factory relationship may be terminated.
Through rigorous screening of new suppliers, ongoing training, regular audits and collaboration for improvement, we ensure that our suppliers operate at high ethical and performance standards.
Macy’s implementation of the BSR HERProject with key Private Brand factories is an example of how the company is prioritizing supplier engagement. Through this partnership, thousands of working women will have access to information and services to improve their health and finances.
In addition, Macy’s revised its policy on homeworkers to include the Nest Ethical Compliance Standards, supporting the artisan and maker economy. Nest works to build a world of greater gender equity and economic inclusion through ethical production and worker well-being in the home-based and small workshop supply chain.
Macy’s ambition is to identify and support positive change within our factories to reduce GHG emissions, water usage and improve wastewater and chemical management. To ensure we are addressing environmental impacts, we ask our Tier 1 suppliers to complete a self-assessment survey using the Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s, Higg FEM module.
Responsible chemical management is integral to our product safety efforts, especially as customers increasingly seek information about product ingredients and purchase products that have been formulated without certain chemicals. Our chemical management oversight extends from product concept through customer use. The Product Integrity and Quality Assurance Group, an internal function, collaborates with product-development teams to provide guidance about potential issues related to materials or manufacturing, interfaces with offices and suppliers as needed and oversees quality and testing programs.
In June 2022, Macy’s announced the implementation of a Private Brand Restricted Substance List (RSL). The development of the RSL supports our chemical management goal to create product that is safe for people and the environment throughout our global value chain. To view the full chemical policy, click here.
Implementation for the RSL begins for Fall 2023 season in apparel, home textiles, and footwear private brand products.
We ensure that our suppliers understand and meet our standards, both when they join our supply chain and on an ongoing basis. Our contract terms and conditions require compliance with Macy’s Vendor & Supplier Code of Conduct (“Supplier Code of Conduct”) across the entire supply chain. The Supplier Code of Conduct requires, among other things, that our suppliers allow auditors and verification organizations necessary access to supplier facilities, commit to responsible recruitment and also monitor their subcontractors’ adherence.
Our Conflict Minerals Policy sets forth our requirements for supplier due diligence, risk assessment and compliance. The Policy applies to private brand products produced by Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bluemercury and their respective subsidiaries.
We require factories supplying our Private Brands to be audited by a third party at least once every 18 months and more frequently if any issues are identified. Audits are conducted using the Supplier Code of Conduct. Suppliers that are “at risk” are given the opportunity to make improvements through a formal corrective action plan process that is prepared by our third-party auditor. If a supplier does not comply, Macy’s holds the right to terminate the relationship. Over the past year, Macy’s has worked closely with our third-party auditor to develop supplier risk segmentation, which provides a basis for prioritizing supplier engagement to achieve improvements in our supply chain. As a result, Macy’s has gained greater transparency to relative risk. Additionally, in 2022, Macy’s began to take steps to include worker well-being culture in social compliance audits of its Strategic Tier 1 Private Brand facilities.
As of August 30, 2022, Macy’s completed 461 audits covering 416 factories. Altogether, this number accounted for 90% of Macy’s total Tier 1 factories. The audit results showed that 94% of the factories were in acceptable compliance. For the remainder, corrective actions have either been made and found acceptable or corrective actions are in process, with re-auditing scheduled to occur shortly. No factories were dropped due to failure to implement corrective actions.
In 2021, Macy’s migrated to a new methodology, with risk segmented into four categories of red, orange, yellow, and green. Yellow and Green are acceptable, while red and orange are not.
For a list of our core and strategic Tier 1 factories as of July 30, 2022, please see below. Note this list is subject to change and not exhaustive of all private brand suppliers.