Article - Child Labour Free – and on the journey to certification

Child Labour Free – and on the journey to certification

Child labour - work that deprives children of their childhood - isn’t an issue New Zealanders might think about as much as other social problems. But it demands big attention globally – Unicef estimates it affects 150 million kids, with about half of those being in hazardous or harmful circumstances.

We’re proud to be child labour free and are now taking the first steps on the journey to becoming accredited.

At ecostore our supply chain is a really important part of how we do business. We hold several other accreditations that let people know our products are made with care and respect for the environment, and we don’t test on animals or use GE stock.

This new accreditation will add another assurance about the way we manufacture, our CEO Malcolm Rands says.

“We now live in a global marketplace so even though we can give great jobs to all our team here, we also need to work really closely with our suppliers so that their practices align with our values.”

He adds it’s important to play a part in big global issues that affect many industries and need companies like us to take a stand.

“ecostore is excited to be part of this positive movement for change. We want to  show consumers we really care about the wellbeing of the planet and its people – whatever age they are.”

Once we’re certified, we’ll be allowed to use the Child Labor Free mark.


Our commitment is possible as part of a new scheme being launched by New Zealand entrepreneurs Nikki Prendergast and Michelle Pratt.

With decades of experience in the early childhood education sector, they became aware of the scale of the problem in their industry and in other fields during a conference, and they realised that the toys they sourced for their childcare centres could have been made by child workers.

“We needed to be able to stand behind our products and verify our supply chains, but when we went looking for a system to give us that assurance we couldn’t find it,” Nikki says. “So we set about creating the system ourselves which we are making available for any business in New Zealand or globally to provide certainty around their supply chain.”

She says Child Labor Free is delighted to be working with ecostore because of our dedication to making a difference through sustainable business practice. “Going on this journey with a group committed to transparency and innovation in their products further shows how becoming accredited Child Labor Free is not just an ethical choice, but makes great business sense.”

Comments | 2

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    Hi Jo, thanks very much for your message. We'll pass it on to Malcolm for his reply.
    By Melanie Rands on Thu July 09, 2015
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    Dear Malcolm.

    We were pleased to see the recent news about the ecostore's application for Child Free Labour certification. We are the owners of Smateria New Zealand.
    Smateria too is part of the sustainable fashion movement, an important choice for consumers everywhere. Smateria has a unique philosophy, creating bags and accessories using materials that already exist or that have been designed for another purpose. Its brightly hued and durable range is created from netting, fabric and recycled plastic bags. All Smateria products are created in its own workshop in Phnom Penh, Cambodia by its predominantly female workforce, where it supports each employee by upskilling them, teaching them to sew, and to understand all aspects of the production chain. It provides a free pre-school for worker’s children, fair wages, health insurance, good working conditions and supports those who want to work from home.
    We think our brand would fit well with this movement and would be interested in talking to you about how to join the other NZ brands building this type of product lines in NZ. Bindy & Jo
    By Jo Bigham on Mon July 06, 2015

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