WORKING TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

Fashion is a force for good – delivering confidence, positive vibes and enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people, but it also has a significant impact on the Planet. Universal Store is committed to responsible practices and we want to take action where we can to accelerate our journey towards a sustainable future.

WORKING TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

Fashion is a force for good – delivering confidence, positive vibes and enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people, but it also has a significant impact on the Planet. Universal Store is committed to responsible practices and we want to take action where we can to accelerate our journey towards a sustainable future.

OUR JOURNEY SO FAR

We are progressing and accelerating our journey to a sustainable future.

Completed store LED lighting upgrade programme

OUR JOURNEY SO FAR

We are progressing and accelerating our journey to a sustainable future.

Completed store LED lighting upgrade programme

OUR TARGETS

Universal Store adopted a set of sustainability targets aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals to provide direction and guidance to our teams and partners.

TREAD LIGHTLY

TRANSPARENCY

CLIMATE ACTION

AMPLIFY OUR
ACTIONS

    ELIMINATE WASTE

  1. Zero waste to landfill from Distribution Centre operations by 2030.
  2. 100% of bags and online mailers are reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
  3. RESPONSIBLE PROCUREMENT

  4. Procure at least 50% of cotton from certified sources by 2025.
  5. Procure at least 50% of polyester from certified recycled sources by 2025.

TREAD LIGHTLY

TRANSPARENCY

CLIMATE ACTION

AMPLIFY OUR
ACTIONS

OUR TARGETS

Universal Store adopted a set of sustainability targets aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals to provide direction and guidance to our teams and partners.

    ELIMINATE WASTE

  1. Zero waste to landfill from Distribution Centre operations by 2030.
  2. 100% of bags and online mailers are reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
  3. RESPONSIBLE PROCUREMENT

  4. Procure at least 50% of cotton from certified sources by 2025.
  5. Procure at least 50% of polyester from certified recycled sources by 2025.

FASHION THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE

We are proud to work with many other mindful brands who share our values and work to deliver better outcomes for people and the environment.
Some examples of how we work with our partner brands' on sustainability initiatives:

FASHION THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE

We are proud to work with many other mindful brands who share our
values and work to deliver better outcomes for people and the environment.
Some examples of how we work with our partner brands' on sustainability initiatives:
Thrills Co x Universal Store
In 2021, Thrills Co. and Universal Store worked together to create an exclusive range of products made from more environmentally friendly hemp and organic cotton. Through this collection, we were able to learn and share the many eco benefits of choosing hemp. We haven’t stopped at just one collection! Both our teams are dedicated to transitioning more products into preferred fibres. We work together on reducing plastic packaging also, with Thrills Co. on board with removing unnecessary packaging on items exclusive to Universal Store.
Thrills Co x Universal Store
In 2021, Thrills Co. and Universal Store worked together to create an exclusive range of products made from more environmentally friendly hemp and organic cotton. Through this collection, we were able to learn and share the many eco benefits of choosing hemp. We haven’t stopped at just one collection! Both our teams are dedicated to transitioning more products into preferred fibres. We work together on reducing plastic packaging also, with Thrills Co. on board with removing unnecessary packaging on items exclusive to Universal Store.

OUR COMMITMENTS

Our sustainability framework is built around four commitments.

TREAD LIGHTLY

Reduce our impact. Preserve our resources. Restore the planet.

TRANSPARENCY

Put an end to poor working conditions and improve lives of workers in our supply chain.

CLIMATE ACTION

Reverse climate change and take action to end the climate crisis.

AMPLIFY OUR ACTIONS

Work together as a team with our community, suppliers, and customers to deliver impact.

OUR COMMITMENTS

Our sustainability framework is built around four commitments.

TREAD LIGHTLY

Reduce our impact. Preserve our resources. Restore the planet.

TRANSPARENCY

Put an end to poor working conditions and improve lives of workers in our supply chain.

CLIMATE ACTION

Reverse climate change and take action to end the climate crisis.

AMPLIFY OUR ACTIONS

Work together as a team with our community, suppliers, and customers to deliver impact.

Tread Lightly

Reduce our impact. Preserve our resources. Restore the planet.

Let’s be honest, fashion has a big impact on the planet. We can change that by choosing fibres that have less impact on the planet, choose natural dyes and design our garments so they can be enjoyed for longer and recycled easier.

PREFERRED FIBRES

CERTIFICATION & PRODUCT CLAIMS

SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING

Fibres we prefer

Organic Cotton

Organic fibres such as cotton grow with less water and less harmful chemicals which contributes to soil health and conserve biodiversity.

Recycled Cotton or Polyester

Choosing recycled fibres avoids growing and manufacturing virgin fibres which reduces water use, energy use and emissions but also diverts waste from landfill.

Linen

Linen comes from the fast-growing flax plant that requires minimal use of fertilisers and pesticides. The flax plant also improves soil health due to its high rate of carbon absorption.

Hemp

Hemp is considered a sustainable fibre due to the plants fast growing ability and limited use of pesticides and fertilisers. Hemp also improves soil health by restoring pH levels and preventing erosion.

Better Viscose

Did you know viscose is derived from wood or plant pulp? Viscose is a manmade cellulosic fibre. Viscose production relies on forestry products but also heavy chemical processing. We seek alternative viscose made from FSC or PEFC certified materials that are sourced from sustainably managed forests. We also like Lyocell, TENCEL™ Lyocell or Modal as alternative choices to traditional viscose. Lyocell uses a closed-loop process that recycles the chemicals in production

Animal Friendly

Universal Store firmly believes animals must not suffer for fashion. We are committed to investigate the raw materials used in products we stock and take steps to procure responsibly harvested and certified animal products. Animal products are rarely used in our range, when we do we will only stock products that meet the principles of our animal welfare policy.

Our Animal Welfare policy is based on international standards and the widely accepted Five Freedoms for animal welfare. The policy also states our expectations and bans the use of certain materials that are often produced in questionable conditions.

Certified Responsible Down

The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) aims to ensure that down and feathers come from animals that have not been subjected to any unnecessary harm..

Certified Responsible Wool

The Responsible Wool Standard is a voluntary standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and the land they graze on.

Vegan

Free from animal-derived materials or by-products including but not limited to - fur, angora and other rabbit hair, cashmere, mohair, wool, leather, feathers and down.

Transparency

Improve working conditions and the lives of workers in our supply chain.

We seek to build long-lasting relationships with our global suppliers and brands - based on trust, collaboration and transparency. Together we work to align on ethical and social standards to provide workers in supply chain with a safer and more supportive working environment.

SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT

SOCIAL AUDITS

SEDEX MEMBERSHIP

COVID-19 IMPACTS

SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT

Universal Store is committed to responsible practices including the identification and management of social, environmental, and ethical risks and impacts in its supply chain. We expect our suppliers to share this commitment and to assist Universal Store in addressing known issues through a practical and collaborative approach.

Our code sets Universal Store’s minimum expectations regarding human rights, working conditions, business integrity, bribery and corruption, transparency, compliance, environmental protection, and animal welfare. We expect all suppliers to develop oversight of their supply chain demonstrated by auditing and certification systems. Our Supplier Code of Conduct is translated in the local language of the supplier country of operation.

Read our Supplier Code of Conduct principles
The 13 minimum requirements to be observed by suppliers:
  • No Child Labour
  • No forced Labour
  • Legal Migrant Labour
  • Respecting Human Rights in all operations
  • Working conditions are safe and healthy
  • Fair wages paid
  • Fair work hours
  • No bribery or corruption and act with integrity
  • Factory transparency
  • Valid business license
  • Environmental Protection
  • No use of banned raw materials or banned practices
  • Protect Animal Welfare

Climate Action

Reverse climate change and take action to end the climate crisis.

The challenge of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees and achieving net zero by 2050 is massive. The production of raw materials and yarn, the manufacturing of fabrics and transportation of garments have significant climate impacts. Even after clothes have left our stores, clothes washing and disposal has negative climate impacts

Key things we can do - work with suppliers to reduce emissions in production activities – that may involve making sure the factories have access to renewable energy. We also need to use less energy in our stores and switch to renewable energy for our offices and warehouse operations.

OUR PLAN

OUR OPERATIONS

OUR PLAN

We are excited to share our plan to measure our emissions and respond to the climate crisis, which will form a first step towards climate action:

Step 1:

Develop an inventory of our emissions by sources across our supply chain, our own operations, and use and disposal of our products by customers.

Step 2:

Identify the areas of opportunity for Universal Store to reduce emissions in our operations and in our supply chain.

Step 3:

Develop a climate action plan to outline the initiatives that will most contribute to reduce our emissions by 2030, and review our targets to ensure we remain aligned with international commitments and industry ambitions.

Amplify Our Actions

Work together as a team with our community, suppliers, and customers to deliver impact.

There’s no doubt that if we want a more welcoming, just and sustainable community we need to work together and with others, to deliver meaningful impact and create a better future for all.

PARTNERING

PRODUCT CARE

At Universal Store we are passionate about improving our own practices but also helping others see how we can create even bigger impact by working together. We see each interaction with our partners and our customers as an opportunity to raise awareness on things that are important to us such as mental health, diversity and inclusivity, climate action or waste reduction.

We have some exciting plans in this space so stay tuned.

HOW WE ARE TRACKING SO FAR

We partner with Upparel to avoid textile waste going to landfill. Up to June 22, we have diverted 4.8 tonnes of clothing materials from landfill.

TREAD LIGHTLY

Reduce our impact. Preserve our resources. Restore the planet.

PREFERRED FIBRES

Fibres we prefer

Organic Cotton

Organic fibres such as cotton grow with less water and less harmful chemicals which contributes to soil health and conserve biodiversity.

Recycled Cotton or Polyester

Choosing recycled fibres avoids growing and manufacturing virgin fibres which reduces water use, energy use and emissions but also diverts waste from landfill.

Linen

Linen comes from the fast-growing flax plant that requires minimal use of fertilisers and pesticides. The flax plant also improves soil health due to its high rate of carbon absorption.

Hemp

Hemp is considered a sustainable fibre due to the plants fast growing ability and limited use of pesticides and fertilisers. Hemp also improves soil health by restoring pH levels and preventing erosion.

Better Viscose

Did you know viscose is derived from wood or plant pulp? Viscose is a manmade cellulosic fibre. Viscose production relies on forestry products but also heavy chemical processing. We seek alternative viscose made from FSC or PEFC certified materials that are sourced from sustainably managed forests. We also like Lyocell, TENCEL™ Lyocell or Modal as alternative choices to traditional viscose. Lyocell uses a closed-loop process that recycles the chemicals in production

Animal Friendly

Universal Store firmly believes animals must not suffer for fashion. We are committed to investigate the raw materials used in products we stock and take steps to procure responsibly harvested and certified animal products. Animal products are rarely used in our range, when we do we will only stock products that meet the principles of our animal welfare policy.

Our Animal Welfare policy is based on international standards and the widely accepted Five Freedoms for animal welfare. The policy also states our expectations and bans the use of certain materials that are often produced in questionable conditions.

Certified Responsible Down

The Responsible Down Standard (RDS) aims to ensure that down and feathers come from animals that have not been subjected to any unnecessary harm.

Certified Responsible Wool

The Responsible Wool Standard is a voluntary standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and the land they graze on.

Vegan

Free from animal-derived materials or by-products including but not limited to - fur, angora and other rabbit hair, cashmere, mohair, wool, leather, feathers and down.

TRANSPARENCY

Improve working conditions and the lives of workers in our supply chain.

We seek to build long-lasting relationships with our global suppliers and brands - based on trust, collaboration and transparency. Together we work to align on ethical and social standards to provide workers in supply chain with a safer and more supportive working environment.

SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT

SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT

Universal Store is committed to responsible practices including the identification and management of social, environmental, and ethical risks and impacts in its supply chain. We expect our suppliers to share this commitment and to assist Universal Store in addressing known issues through a practical and collaborative approach.

Our code sets Universal Store’s minimum expectations regarding human rights, working conditions, business integrity, bribery and corruption, transparency, compliance, environmental protection, and animal welfare. We expect all suppliers to develop oversight of their supply chain demonstrated by auditing and certification systems. Our Supplier Code of Conduct is translated in the local language of the supplier country of operation.

Read our Supplier Code of Conduct principles
The 13 minimum requirements to be observed by suppliers:
  • No Child Labour
  • No forced Labour
  • Legal Migrant Labour
  • Respecting Human Rights in all operations
  • Working conditions are safe and healthy
  • Fair wages paid
  • Fair work hours
  • No bribery or corruption and act with integrity
  • Factory transparency
  • Valid business license
  • Environmental Protection
  • No use of banned raw materials or banned practices
  • Protect Animal Welfare

CLIMATE ACTION

Reverse climate change and take action to end the climate crisis.

The challenge of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees and achieving net zero by 2050 is massive. The production of raw materials and yarn, the manufacturing of fabrics and transportation of garments have significant climate impacts. Even after clothes have left our stores, clothes washing and disposal has negative climate impacts.

OUR PLAN

OUR PLAN

We are excited to share our plan to measure our emissions and respond to the climate crisis, which will form a first step towards climate action:

Step 1:

Develop an inventory of our emissions by sources across our supply chain, our own operations, and use and disposal of our products by customers.

Step 2:

Identify the areas of opportunity for Universal Store to reduce emissions in our operations and in our supply chain.

Step 3:

Develop a climate action plan to outline the initiatives that will most contribute to reduce our emissions by 2030, and review our targets to ensure we remain aligned with international commitments and industry ambitions.

AMPLIFY OUR ACTIONS

Work together as a team with our community, suppliers, and customers to deliver impact.

There’s no doubt that if we want a more welcoming, just and sustainable community we need to work together and with others, to deliver meaningful impact and create a better future for all.

PARTNERING

At Universal Store we are passionate about improving our own practices but also helping others see how we can create even bigger impact by working together. We see each interaction with our partners and our customers as an opportunity to raise awareness on things that are important to us such as mental health, diversity and inclusivity, climate action or waste reduction.

We have some exciting plans in this space so stay tuned.

HOW WE ARE TRACKING SO FAR

We partner with Upparel to avoid textile waste going to landfill. Up to June 22, we have diverted 4.8 tonnes of clothing materials from landfill.

PRODUCT CARE

We can all make a difference just by caring for our clothes better. Here are our top tips to love your wardrobe for longer, save money and make better choices for the planet.

WEAR FOR LONGER

Using your clothes until they are completely worn out is the best environmental statement you can make. We recommend our basics range to mix and match and get the most use out of your wardrobe.

WASH LESS

Try not to wash your clothes after one wear; spot cleaning can work a treat for small spills and stains. Less washing saves energy which means reduced electricity bills and more time to enjoy the things you love.

WASH COLD

Washing clothes with cooler temperatures is gentler on your clothes and is more energy efficient. We recommend 30 degrees but always follow the instructions on the care label to extend the life of your clothes.

LINE DRY

Hang drying is energy free, preserves the shape of your clothes and extends their life. Studies show that tumble-drying can damage your garments by causing shrinkage and uses five times more energy than washing.

MEND & REPAIR

Extend the life of your clothes by altering, mending or re-styling. Whether you’ve changed size or just want to add some personal flair, always consider altering your garments before finding them a new home.

DONATE OR RECYCLE

If you no longer want to wear your clothes, please don’t throw them away. Here are some ideas on how to give your clothes a new life:

  • Give to family or friends
  • Donate to charity
  • Sell on secondhand marketplace

No longer in wearable condition? Recycle with us! We have partnered with Upparel to ensure your clothes become something new*. (*VIC participating stores only)

There’s no doubt that if we want a more welcoming, just and sustainable community we need to work together and with others, to deliver meaningful impact and create a better future for all.

PARTNERING

At Universal Store we are passionate about improving our own practices but also helping others see how we can create even bigger impact by working together. We see each interaction with our partners and our customers as an opportunity to raise awareness on things that are important to us such as mental health, diversity and inclusivity, climate action or waste reduction.

We have some exciting plans in this space so stay tuned.

HOW WE ARE TRACKING SO FAR

We partner with Upparel to avoid textile waste going to landfill. Up to June 22, we have diverted 4.8 tonnes of clothing materials from landfill.

POLICIES & REPORTS

For more information on our sustainability efforts please download our Sustainability Reports:
If you have any questions or comments about our sustainability practices please email sustainability@universalstore.com.au
SUSTAINABILITY APPROACH
FY22 ANNUAL REPORT
FACTORY LIST
SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT
ANIMAL WELFARE POLICY
FY21 MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT
FY20 MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT

POLICIES & REPORTS

For more information on our sustainability efforts please download our Sustainability Reports:
If you have any questions or comments about our sustainability practices please email sustainability@universalstore.com.au