O’Neill, the original California surf, snow and lifestyle brand, was founded in 1952 when a young man named Jack O’Neill took his unstoppable passion for surfing and used it to beat Mother Nature at her own game. Pioneering the world’s first neoprene surf wetsuit, Jack had successfully found a way to extend his surf sessions in the bone-chilling breaks of Northern California. He opened up the garage doors to his first surf shop soon after. While many things have changed since those humble beginnings, Jack’s initial vision of producing functional and innovative board riding products continues to inspire people and empower them to do what they love doing most.
The oceans and mountains have always provided riders an infinite field to progress and pursue their passions. Those who live the lifestyle are gifted with welcome release from everyday pressures. Giving back to our most magical playground and creating ways to produce in more sustainable-ways are needed to preserve the environment, the people and the sports we love.
At O’Neill we strive to find ways of reducing our impact on the environment through manufacturing processes and give something back to our culture and global community through social & environmental initiatives. We also provide a safe, healthy and inspiring working environment and we invest in employees and create development possibilities.
Whilst no brand, including ourselves, can claim to have perfect practice from an environmental point of view, we do have a large criteria of standards and regulations in place that help steer us in a more sustainable direction. We are constantly and proactively looking to improve and increase our efforts across all levels of Corporate Responsibility; social, environmental and economic.
Suppliers & Code of Conduct: BSCI
In August 2009 O’Neill Europe B.V. became a member of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). The BSCI is a European initiative of brands and retailers which is a business-driven platform for the improvement of social compliance in the global supply chain (www.bsci-intl.org). The BSCI Code of Conduct is based on the most important international labour standards protecting the workers’ rights such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions and other important Declarations of the United Nations, the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises and the UN Global Compact. Since 2009 O’Neill Europe B.V. has instructed suppliers to join and comply with the BSCI Code of Conduct. The goal is to improve working conditions for all people who work on our products; this is an ongoing process.
We request all our suppliers to submit their factories to the auditing process. This goes beyond the requirements of BSCI, where only our direct suppliers are required to be included in the system. We request that all our suppliers complete a list of their factories, including agents and importers.Orders can only be placed in factories approved for production by O’Neill Europe B.V. We will continue to monitor and strive for improving conditions amongst our suppliers.
Countries where O’Neill Europe B.V. produces their garments are: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam. We have contact with 36 suppliers, which have in total 50 factories.
71% of our production was compliant (53% in 2012)
15% in process (23% in 2012)
14% not yet involved (24% in 2012)
By reducing the number of suppliers, we can become a larger and better partner for those suppliers who understand our sustainability work and who wish to contribute to our sustainability goals. We began in 2012 with 68 factories and we have reduced this to 50 factories by the end of 2013. A reduction of 36%.
Accord on fire & building safety in Bangladesh
In April 2013, an eight story factory building collapsed in Bangladesh and more than 1,100 workers died and many were injured Although O’Neill Europe B.V. had no products manufactured in that specific factory, the accident reminded us of the fact that our work about ensuring safe and reasonable working conditions at the factories can always be improved, and that we must take on an even broader responsibility in this sense.
After this accident O’Neill Europe BV signed the international Accord on Fire & Building Safety, an agreement between international and national unions over 150 brands and retailers to improve fire and building safety in Bangladesh. The goal is to improve the sustainable labour conditions of the employees in the factories in Bangladesh. Please read the content and progress of the accord here!
O’Neill Europe B.V. is aware of the reports about the widespread use of forced child labour in Uzbek cotton production. Despite assurances from the Uzbekistan government that forced child labour was outlawed in 2008, further evidence has been obtained of forced child labour continuing to be used during Uzbekistan’s 2012 cotton harvest. Therefore our suppliers have agreed not to use cotton from Uzbekistan.
No cotton yarn from spinning mills with ‘Sumangali’ are to be used by O’Neill B.V. suppliers. Sumangali is a form of child labour which, although forbidden is practiced in India. In the scheme, a girl is hired on contract for three to five years, during which she earns a wage, and after which she is paid a lump sum to pay for a dowry.
O’Neill Europe B.V. suppliers have also agreed not to use sandblasting. Sandblasting is a technique used to make new jeans look previously worn. It is a highly dangerous procedure for the workers involved as it can cause severe lung problems.
We do not accept that animals under any circumstances are harmed for the producing our products. For that reason we do not use:
Real fur in our products.
Leather that is not a by-product from animals that have been bred for the food industry.
Leather obtained from live-skinning or live-boiling.
Feather or down from birds that have not been bred and raised for the food industry.
Feather or down from greylag geese due to the risk that they have been force-fed for the production of foie gras.
Feather or down from birds that have been live-plucked. Suppliers are expected to declare their suppliers of feather and down.
Angora wool from rabbits that have been live-plucked.
Materials derived from species which are on the CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) list or IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) lists of endangered species.
Additionally, we require that any materials derived from animals used in our products are from animals that are treated humanely and according to animal welfare laws and recommendations.
Jack O’Neill initiated the Sea Odyssey – a non-profit organization in Santa Cruz, California. It provides students from disadvantaged backgrounds with hands-on lessons on marine environment and the relationship between the oceans and environment. The program provides a free education course to fourth-sixth grade students.
O’Neill’s key team rider and brand advocate Jeremy Jones, founded the organization Protect Our Winters. POW’s mission is “to unite and actively engage the global snow sports community to lead the fight against climate change.” O’Neill donates 5% of all sales from its Jeremy Jones range to POW.
O’Neill supports team surfer Jordy Smith’s ambassadorship at Umthombo Street Children in Durban, South Africa.
O’Neill yearly organizes the event “Out of Bounds” to learn blind kids to surf and give them an amazing experience they will never forget.
Currently O’Neill is working on extending its project team on CSR to create collaborations with organizations to grow our sustainable working methods and reduce our footprint. O’Neill will work to further improvement on sustainability, further increase of awareness throughout our supply chain, and extend monitoring on increased objectives. We realize there is still a long way to go and we commit to continuing and expand our CSR activities in the coming years. Transparency and integration are the key to the future.
For any related enquiries please correspond to CSR@oneill.com