Global Sisters exists to make business possible for all women, supporting them to improve their economic security. Marketplace by Global Sisters was established to support women-led micro businesses and social enterprises to sell online.
All businesses can have a negative, neutral or positive impact on people and the planet, and our aim is to support Australian women-led businesses to take the lead in doing “GOODBusiness”.
This seller Code of Conduct is an agreement between the brand selling on Marketplace and Global Sisters, and will be made publicly available to customers and other interested parties.
‘GOOD BUSINESS’ ETHICAL FRAMEWORK
Vision & Mission of the Marketplace by Global Sisters
Global Sisters exists to make business possible for all women. Global Sisters Marketplace gives women an immediate user-friendly, quality digital presence requiring no tech management - all in one place, so you can create a revenue stream from your online presence and gain access to customers.
Ethical Framework. The purpose of our GOODBusiness’ ethical framework is to: Create the foundation and set the expectations we have for the brands selling on the Marketplace. Ensure the goods that are sold on the Marketplace are produced in a socially and environmentally conscious manner. Highlight brands that are not only meeting ethical and sustainability standards but are also creating positive social and environmental impacts.
GOODBusiness Values. Marketplace by Global Sisters is underpinned by four core “GOODBusiness” values:
Environmentally sustainable: utilizes processes or materials with lower environmental impact, and/or ensures its products are free from harmful ingredients. Ethically sourced: ensures the welfare and fair working conditions of those within their supply chain. Kind to animals: uses methods that do not harm or exploit animals in the process and/or use vegan alternatives. Community-minded: engages, supports and benefits the greater community.
Alignment to the SDGs The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) invites action from the business sector to address some of the world’s most pressing development issues. By adhering to our GOODBusiness’ framework we are contributing to the SDGs, particularly SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth, and SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production.
PURPOSE & SCOPE OF THE SELLER CODE OF CONDUCT
Purpose. The seller Code of Conduct (the Code) outlines the minimum level of standards we expect from our sellers on the Global Sisters Marketplace. The Code is a transparent document that shares our commitment to our “GOODBusiness” values. We ask our sellers to not just comply with the Code, but to use reasonable endeavors to exceed it and promote continual improvement throughout their business operations. We expect the highest standards of ethical, environmental, and governance practices to be upheld by the businesses that sell on the Marketplace.
Local law. In the event that different local laws, regulations, rules or contract conditions impose stricter requirements than this Code, sellers (and their supply chain partners) must comply with those requirements.
Transparency & public communication. In the GOODBusiness framework, we aim to define not only our sustainability and ethical standards but also how we measure and transparently communicate adhering to the Code. As we progress, we will be able to share regular GOODBusiness reports, communicating our progress towards supporting ethical and sustainable businesses. To assist us in completing these reports, we may require, at any time, that Marketplace sellers provide us with related information.
Global Sisters Marketplace is committed to implementing our seller Code of Conduct to ensure that the people and environment impacted by the brands selling on the Marketplace are treated with respect. In living our GOODBusiness values, it is our responsibility to do business ethically, which extends to seller brands and the human rights / environmental sustainability in those brands’ supply chains.
Wherever possible, Global Sisters will influence, educate and work with our sellers, to support them to do “GOODBusiness”.
The brands that sell on Marketplace are micro businesses or social enterprises that are owned and run by women, or those who identify as women. Our Marketplace community of sellers are women-led micro-businesses and community-minded entrepreneurs who value environmental sustainability, social responsibility and align with our values and ethical standards.
We expect that, as a seller on the Marketplace, you meet the minimum standards across our four “GOODBusiness” values.
We expect all our sellers to adopt an environmentally sustainable approach to their business and product offering. This could mean, for example, that your brand:
Uses environmentally friendly production processes. Utilizes processes or materials with lower environmental impact i.e. sustainable fibers / timber. Uses materials with high levels of traceability and transparency. Ensures its products are free from harmful ingredients. Uses eco or plastic-free packaging. Partners with environmentally sustainable and socially responsible fulfillment and delivery providers (For example: Carbon-neutral, social enterprise, provides employment and development opportunities to people with a disability).
We believe in minimizing waste, particularly plastic waste, wherever possible. It is expected of our sellers that they place an emphasis on recycled, recyclable and reusable packaging, virgin cardboard with FSC certifications, and compostable poly-bags.
Material choices in production are critical to environmental sustainability, given the toxicity of most material production and the water and chemical inputs needed. Reducing water usage and wastewater output and the overall reduction of elimination of toxic chemicals are vital considerations.
Upcycled and recycled materials are our preference as they reduce or eliminate entirely a generation of raw materials and prevent previously existing material from entering a landfill. There are then the raw materials produced with a higher set of sustainability standards to minimize the environmental impact but also increase the overall quality of a finished product, thereby prolonging the use of a product. Lastly, there are some materials that we prohibit.
We expect all our Marketplace sellers to adopt an ethical sourcing approach. This could mean, for example, that your brand:
Has a traceable and transparent supply chain. Ensures a living wage, and decent working conditions of all labor, in your supply chain.
The Marketplace by Global Sisters expects our sellers to be able to define at the very minimum their final stage of production, including country, factory/workshop location and name, employees. Progress towards the ability to achieve full traceability within all the stages of production in your supply chain is encouraged.
If you manufacture your goods offshore, a valid* audit must be presented to Global Sisters prior to uploading those products for sale on the Marketplace.
*A valid audit must be a social or ethical audit from the past 12 months, completed by an accredited third party auditing firm. Our preference is a SMETA 2 or 4 pillar audit. (https://www.sedex.com/our-services/smeta-audit/) Global Sisters will review this audit and ensure it meets our ethical standards.
Supply chain transparency & living wage
Knowing your brands’ supply chain is a cornerstone of sustainable business practices. This means understanding where products are made and by whom allows our sellers to be able to adequately monitor the working conditions of their employees and to be able to meet their needs for safe conditions and a living wage.
We define living wage in line with the Global Living Wage Coalition as:
“The remuneration received for a standard workweek by a worker in a particular place sufficient to afford a decent standard of living for the worker and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transportation, clothing, and other essential needs including provision for unexpected events.”
This is not the same as ‘minimum’ or a ‘fair’ wage, both terms which are often used interchangeably when describing the payment of workers in an ethical way. We understand ensuring the payment of a living wage is a complex and challenging aspect of production within global supply chains, but we encourage our sellers to meet that threshold.
Marketplace sellers are expected to comply with local and national laws related to animal welfare. Sellers must employ all reasonable efforts to ensure that animals under their care (or the care of their supply chain partners) are treated in a humane manner. This could mean for example, that your brand:
Does not harm or exploit animals. Does not test on animals. Uses vegan or cruelty-free alternatives.
Marketplacer sellers are expected to be community-minded. This could mean that your brand:
Engages with the community in which you operate to meet their needs and expectations. Creates value for your customers and the community in which you operate. Gives back to the community. Is a First Nations owned business, social enterprise or arts collective. Operates as a not for profit, a social enterprise, a for-purpose company or is a certified B Corp.
It can also define how you do your business, including:
Having community development initiatives in production. Manufacture using traditional artisan techniques. Manufacture in Australia. Donate a % of profits to charity. Give back by coaching, collaborating and supporting other Sisters in the Global Sisters community.
To ensure our sellers are complying with these minimum standards we:
Conduct due diligence during the on-boarding process, including providing sellers with a questionnaire to identify ethical framework attributes, and where necessary, engage with them directly to fully understand their operations. Collect data on verification of compliance standards. Conduct regular audits
In addition, we may request compliance verification documentation / evidence. This must be provided within 48 hours of requesting it. Failure to provide this will result in your shop being removed from the Marketplace.