Our relations with our suppliers are key to making the collections developed by our designers. To encourage our suppliers to improve, it is important to build a long-term relationship and foster partnerships that combine sustainability and creativity.
Our purchasing policy and our relations are therefore guided by the following principles:
- A concrete and effective commitment to make changes on the ground, in a sustainable manner;
- Awareness of the complexity of our supply chain, in view of the number of suppliers, their location and the different levels of maturity on CSR issues.
Our approach relates as much to our suppliers’ work context as to their social rights and the environmental risks associated with practices in plants. This gives us a clearer view of the practices being used in our supply chain so we can make changes as needed.
Our vision: work with our suppliers to promote progress and progressively deploy our roadmap, to improve the social and environmental conditions at our suppliers’ facilities.
Our code of conduct (in French) clearly states our requirements and our values.
It is sent to the suppliers targeted by the buyers, or simply attached to the General Purchasing Terms for furniture .
The improvement process is carried out in several stages:
- First consultants specialised in social standards of the countries where we work carry out an assessment that is shared with the plant management and our purchasing department.
- Then an action plan is developed to enable the plant to improve, supervised by our internal experts and regularly monitored with the supplier.
- Finally verifications are carried out by independent organisations that we commission. They draw up a report on the work practices at our suppliers, using international standards. This helps us evaluate the suppliers’ progress and update the action plans accordingly.
To ensure that our buyers understand the issues, they receive CSR training and have been participating in the social audits since 2015.
Maisons du Monde has been a member of the United Nations Global Compact, since 2011, and has supported the NGO Human Resources Without Borders since 2015. In 2017, we also joined the Social Clause Initiative (ICS) which brings together retail companies in a pragmatic and gradual approach to encourage their suppliers to comply with the universal principles of human rights and the local labour laws at their production units.
- 100% of our suppliers have signed the Code of Conduct
- 100% of our strategic suppliers are audited based on social criteria every two years
- 100% of product managers receive training on responsible purchasing
For several years we have been developing a more responsible product offering, starting with our wood sources.
Our wood purchasing policy requires that suppliers comply fully with regulations and offer sustainable wood to ensure that the wood in our products is legal and does not promote deforestation:
- Certified wood: more and more items in our catalogue are composed of FSC or PEFC certified wood. These certifications ensure sustainable resource management: forest certification, traceability at all stages of the manufacturing of wood-based products.
- Reclaimed wood: we include reclaimed wood in our products, avoiding further drain on the resource. We work with our suppliers to design products using wood reclaimed from old parquet floors, roofs or even boats.
- Traced wood: because we cannot always source certified wood, we have put in place a traceability system, in partnership with TFT. The suppliers involved in the program are given guidance and training by TFT in order to track the different stages of the supply chain up to when the timber is cut. This program ensures that the wood used does not come from illegal logging, and it also gives our suppliers the opportunity to simplify their supply chains and to decrease the number of middlemen. These products have a QR code so the customers can see the history of the wood, all the way back to its forest of origin.
Deforestation is one of the main causes of biodiversity decline and global warming, and Maisons du Monde is the only French company to offer its customers products with total traceability, from the forest to the point of sale.
How does it work?
It all starts when the tree reaches maturity or gets too old to produce fruit (mango trees). When the timber is harvested, it is recorded for traceability purposes in a registry that contains the name of the farmer, the village, the volume of wood harvested, etc. The wood is then purchased directly by the sawmill, which reduces the number of middlemen and simplifies the supply chain.
At the sawmill, the logs are marked in such a way that, from the tree to the finished product, we can trace the wood all the way back to the farmer’s land. They are then cut into boards and marked with a colour code so they don’t get mixed up with non-traced wood. This is when TFT carries out its first audit and checks the documents proving the origin of the wood and that it was logged legally.
When the boards arrive at the supplier’s plant, they are still marked in such a way that the provenance of the sawmill can be identified. This is when the second in-process audit is carried out to ensure that the supplier keeps the items physically separate and keeps proper records throughout the production chain.
Each time a Maisons du Monde order is ready to be shipped, TFT performs the final audit to verify full traceability of wood. Only when the origin of the wood is proven can the product bear a QR code that tells its history.
But above all, it is important to train and educate our suppliers about environmental issues so they can change their practices and get their own suppliers involved.
- Inde - Testimony n°1 - Plantation : Krishan Rao (in French)
- Inde - Testimony n°2 - Scierie : San Jay Nagpal (in French)
- Inde - Testimony n°3 - Audit : Abhilasha Guleria (in French)
- Inde - Testimony n°4 - Fabrication : Rajni & Vinod Bothra (in French)
- 100% of our strategic suppliers of Indian furniture are involved in our traceability program with TFT
- Always seek to use wood from sustainably managed forests
Our partnership with our suppliers would not be complete without being able to guarantee that our products are perfectly healthy and safe for our customers.
We are therefore particularly vigilant about the substances present in our products. All our suppliers agree to comply with our specifications, which are more strict than the REACH regulations in force and that are expanded each year with new criteria by our specialised staff.
In addition, tests are performed on a regular basis on the new collections. Each time a new catalogue comes out, our staff reviews the collection and defines a program of tests which are then carried out directly at our suppliers. The products are tested at the time of manufacture by independent laboratories that we commission and alternatives are found when needed.
- Find alternatives to non-regulated problematic substances