Compliance information

Biodegradable, Compostable or Recyclable?

Biodegradable plastic has the perceived ability to decompose when it becomes waste, but biodegradable plastic does not fully decompose in a landfill because the necessary oxygen to decompose a product is too low in the landfill. This plastic isn’t recyclable, either and can even degrade the quality of plastic if it’s added to the recycling. To make matters worse, your backyard compost doesn’t get hot enough to decompose this plastic. Unless your council has a composting facility for these plastics, your biodegradable cup isn’t a very sustainable option.

Compostable, on the other hand, means that a product can break down into carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass in small pieces in about 90 days. This rate is similar to items you might see in a backyard compost, such as leaves and paper. Compost has many beneficial uses including fertilizing and improving soil health—plus, it doesn’t leave toxic residue behind because it’s already organic.

Recyclable materials can like textiles, glass, paper, metal, plastic, and electronics can all be recycled. The definition of recycling is to treat or process already existing materials to be reused.

Many of us grew up with the saying: reduce, reuse and recycle. As a refresher, this means that we should reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfill, reuse items more than once and recycle any items that are no longer appropriate to use. Reusing materials such as garments, glass bottles or plastic containers several times also reduces our demand for new products to be made.

A circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. This means that materials constantly flow around a ‘closed loop’ system, rather than being used once and then discarded. As a result, the value of materials, including plastics, is not lost by being thrown away.

Environmental Policy
The main operational activity of Vortex Designs Ltd is the design & manufacture of quality uniform blouses and tops, and the delivery of our products to the U.K. and directly to customers Worldwide.

The Company understands its dependence and impact upon the world, and recognises the importance of sound environmental management.  Our sites comply with and, where practical, exceed all relevant legal and regulatory requirements, and are subject to regular external audits to ensure continued compliance and improvement.

At our factory in Sri Lanka, Vortex Apparels (Pvt) Ltd, we are keen to develop our Environmental Sustainability as one of our key business values. Consideration is always given to the environmental effects of our decisions based around the areas outlined below:-

1.    The Environmental Impact of our Product Specifications.

We seek to minimise the environmental impact of the materials consumed in the making of our products, and, where possible, will give preference to those materials produced from sustainable sources.

2.    The Minimisation of Energy Consumption by our Sites.

Through the efficient use of all forms of energy, we aim to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and other atmospheric pollutants to a minimum.  Our manufacturing site has energy usage reduction plans in place, and we are continuously developing, implementing and improving these plans.  We consolidate our shipments to minimise environmental impact, with all delivery routes, whether global or local, being planned with the minimum possible travelling distance involved.

3.    The Minimisation of Waste from our Sites.

Some wastage of material is unavoidable in our operational processes, but the level of wastage is continually reviewed to achieve the lowest practical amount. 90% of the waste we generate is reused or recycled in some way, and by the end of 2022 we aim to increase this to 100% of our waste.

4.    Packaging.

We focus our packaging efforts in 3 areas: Reducing our use of materials, using more recycled content and ensuring our packaging is reusable and recyclable.

5.    The Minimisation of Product Returns.

Our commitment to continuous quality improvement has had the effect of reducing the quantity of products returned from our Customers, thereby reducing any transport and handling impact.

6.    The Disposal of Products.

Ultimately all our products have a finite lifespan, and the safe and environmentally-friendly disposal of these products is now a major consideration at the design stage. We have a garment replacement initiative, allowing customers to return their old uniform in exchange for new garments at a discounted price. When products are returned to us, these are either reused or recycled within the U.K. reducing the carbon footprint of goods being sent abroad to be recycled.

Reviewed 20th January 2020   


Vortex Designs Ltd is certified to ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard. Copies of our certificates can be supplied upon request.

Modern Day Slavery Policy Statement


Vortex Designs Ltd recognises that slavery and human trafficking remains a hidden blight on our global society. The aim of the Company is to identify our responsibility by alerting staff to the risks, however small, in our business and in the wider supply chain. Staff are expected and encouraged to report concerns to management, where they are expected to act upon them.


The main operational activity of Vortex Designs Ltd is the design and manufacture of quality uniform blouses, knitwear & tops, and the delivery of our products into the UK and directly to customers Worldwide. Likewise, we have a multi-disciplined supply chain to support us through the different aspects and provisions of our business.


We are committed to ensuring that there is no modern-day slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business. Our Anti-slavery Policy Statement reflects our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our supply chains.


This Policy takes into account, and supports, the policies, procedures and requirements documented in our Integrated Management System, compliant with the requirements of ISO 14001:2015, OHSAS 18001:2007 & ISO 9001:2015. The implementation and operation of this management system underlines our commitment to this policy statement. Formal procedures concerning slavery and human trafficking have been established, including disciplinary procedures where they are breached. Additional procedures ensure that this policy is understood and communicated to all levels of the company, and that it is regularly reviewed by the Directors to ensure its continuing suitability and relevance to the company activities.


The Company will achieve these aims by our initiative to identify and mitigate risk in the following ways (but not limited to):-


·                     More stringent vetting and investigation of our supply chain (contractors, sub-contractors, policies, contracts etc.)

·                     Continually audit & review our practices for checking all employees are paid at least the minimum wage and have the right to work.

·                     We encourage the reporting of concerns and the protection of whistle blowers.

·                     The company will not knowingly support or deal with any business involved in slavery or human trafficking.

·                     We have zero tolerance to slavery and human trafficking. We expect all those in our supply chain and contractors comply with our values.


To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chains and our business, we provide training to relevant members of staff. Directors have been briefed on the subject. We use the following key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure how effective we have been to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any part of our business or supply chains:


Completion of Audits by Directors, Managers, Safety Managers and Safety Advisors;

Use of labour monitoring and payroll systems; and

Level of communication and personal contact with next link in the supply chain and their understanding of, and compliance with, our expectations.


This policy is in accordance with Section 54(l) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our group's slavery and human trafficking statement.


Reviewed 20th January 2020      

Quality Policy     


The aim of the Vortex Designs Group is to ensure that the needs of our customers are clearly understood and met through close liaison at all stages of our work.


Ultimate responsibility within the company rests with the Board of Directors; who are responsible for all matters pertaining to the Quality System.


The Company’s Quality Policy calls for continual improvement in its quality management activities, and to provide this level of quality we employ a 4-part strategy :-


1.           A Quality-focused Culture. From our front-line associates to the management team, top rate quality and customer satisfaction are critical parts of the culture at the Vortex Designs Group.

2.           A Stable and Experienced Workforce. Our workforce features very low turnover and we are proactive in ensuring this remains so. We support continuous training and make skills upgrading a critical job requirement for each of our people. Cross-training to meet the exciting variety of products that we develop also fosters a satisfied workforce with interesting work.

3.           ISO 9001:2015 The Vortex Designs Group and its manufacturing facility, Vortex Apparels (Pvt) Ltd have attained ISO 9001:2015 standard. Key elements of our business system include rigorous processes for understanding customer needs, careful control of materials, and diligently managed inspection processes.

4.           A Focus on Measurement and Continuous Improvement. A comprehensive system for measuring our performance and proactively taking steps to drive continuous improvement rounds out our strategy for quality. 

We shall:- 


·                     Comply with all applicable statutory laws and regulations.

·                     Follow a concept of continuously improving the effectiveness of this quality management system and make best use of our management resources in all Quality matters.

·                     Communicate our Quality objectives and our performance against these objectives throughout the company and to interested parties. 

·                     Take due care to ensure that activities are safe for employees, associates and any subcontractors and others who come into contact with our work.

·                     Work closely with our customers and suppliers to establish the highest Quality standards.

·                     Adopt a forward-looking view on future business decisions, which may have Quality impacts. 

·                     Train our staff in the needs and responsibilities of Quality Management and provide the personnel and resources to ensure that the importance of meeting and exceeding customer requirements is communicated and understood throughout our organisation. 


Conduct all work to a high professional standard with technical and commercial integrity.


Reviewed 20th January 2020  


Vortex Designs Ltd is certified to ISO 9001 Quality Management Standard. Copies of our certificates can be supplied upon request.

Social & Ethical Policy Statement


The main operational activity of Vortex Designs Ltd is the design and manufacture of quality uniform blouses and tops, and the delivery of our products to the U.K. and directly to customers Worldwide.


The responsibilities of the business now extend far beyond the traditional boundaries, and Vortex Designs Ltd recognises the corporate responsibilities that our customers, staff and other stakeholders rightly expect us to adopt with regard to social and ethical issues. This means ensuring that our factories, and those of our immediate suppliers, operate to the highest standards, and that we use our influence to ensure that our supply chain meets our strict criteria.


Specifically, this means that customers can purchase our products safe in the knowledge that they have been produced by businesses that meet the following code of practice: -


Health & Safety - All of our facilities will promote a safe and healthy working environment. We will regularly train our employees, and we will provide all the necessary Personal Protective Equipment. We will promote a culture of safety awareness and, in the event of accidents; we will investigate all instances accurately and thoroughly. Our objective will continue to be the elimination of accidents.


Working Hours - Employee working hours will comply with the prevailing legislation. Overtime, when available, will be allocated on an equitable basis and will be managed to ensure that the demands on the individual are reasonable, and we will always provide adequate breaks.


Wages and Salaries - Will be paid at market rates, and in accordance with prevailing legislation.


Equality - The Group operates to an Equality Policy which will not tolerate discrimination, and our thorough Grievance Procedure supports this stance.


Disciplinary Procedure – Vortex Designs Ltd has a Disciplinary Procedure which applies to all employees. This ensures that individuals have the opportunity to be represented at formal investigations, and in the event that they disagree with the findings, they have the automatic right of appeal to a more senior management forum.


Working Conditions - No employees will be allowed to work in hazardous areas without suitable training. No-one under the age of 16, or in a forced labour situation, will be involved in our business, and no-one under 18 will be required to work on a night shift.


Vortex Designs Ltd is situated in Harpenden, Hertfordshire and is also a major employer in the Panadura, Sri Lanka area, and is an integral part of this community. The Company is, therefore, committed to working with the local community, and will, where possible, support projects which are consistent with its Brand and Corporate values. 


Reviewed 20th January 2020




Vortex Designs Ltd is certified to OHSAS 18001 Health & Safety Management Standard. Copies of our certificates can be supplied upon request.


Supplier Ethical Sourcing & Labour Policy

Vortex Designs Ltd is committed to provide our customers with the highest quality products and we believe, the best method of meeting this commitment is to build a strong relationship with likeminded suppliers who share Vortex Designs values, ethical standards and agree to our standards of business conduct. Our relationships with our suppliers are based on the principle of trust and candid dealings and therefore the principle must be extended to everyone along the supply chain, including employees and sub-contractors.

We recognise that within some countries there are legal and cultural differences from our own but all factories must meet the following International Labour Organisation (ILO), United Nations’ (UN) and LSAS standards: 

·                    The use of child labour is not acceptable. Employees, within the factories, must meet the minimum legal working age and must not be less than 15 years of age, whichever is the greater.

·                     Discrimination against an individual or a group as a result of colour, race, religion, gender, nationality, age, maternity or marital status is not acceptable.

·                     The use of any form of physical abuse to intimidate or discipline workers is not acceptable. Additionally, the use of non-physical abuse, for example, threat of violence, sexual harassment or verbal abuse is also not acceptable.

·                     The use of forced labour or involuntary labour of any kind is not acceptable.

·                     Workers must be allowed to lawfully join or organise associations (providing organisations are legal in their own country) and employers must not penalise or interfere with the workers lawful efforts to do so.

·                     Working hours/days, wages, overtime pay and holiday pay must be in compliance with all local laws and must meet the legal minimum wage or a wage that meets local industry standards, whichever is greater.

·                     Suppliers must ensure that all working premises comply with all applicable laws regarding working conditions, worker health & safety, fire safety and sanitation.

·                     Suppliers disciplinary procedures must be fair towards the employee and records kept for at least one year.

·                     Suppliers are encouraged to promote employee training and education to ensure and promote a greater understanding of their jobs and safety within their working environment.


As a condition of business with Vortex Designs, our suppliers must comply with all the above statements – a contractual requirement for all supply partners. Vortex Designs will continue to develop the supplier assessment procedures and site visits to monitor supplier compliance. If Vortex Designs establishes that any supplier has violated the policy, Vortex Designs may require the supplier to implement corrective action or may terminate the business relationship. If the supplier does not conform to the suggested corrective action Vortex Designs will suspend current business or terminate the relationship and will delist the supplier from the Vortex Designs approved supplier list.

Reviewed 20th January 2020  

What is sustainable fashion?

Many people confuse 'sustainable fashion' with 'ethical fashion', and whilst the two are unquestionably linked, the concept of sustainability in our industry refers to the effects of the production of clothing on the environment.

Ethical fashion concerns the way clothing is made - encompassing everything from how the cotton was grown to whether and how animals are used, and how the garment workers are treated.

Our aim at Vortex Designs is to make sustainable & ethical clothing, so we ensure that our garments are manufactured in such a way that the product's life cycle minimises any undesirable environmental effect, and all garment workers are treated with the utmost respect and well-being.

We also have a garment replacement initiative, allowing our customers to return their old uniform in exchange for new garments at a discounted price. We shall then arrange for these garments to be recycled within the UK - thereby reducing the carbon footprint of goods being sent abroad to be recycled.

We are certified to the following Standards and copies of our certificates can be supplied upon request.

ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management
BS OHSAS 18001: 2007 Health & Safety Management
ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management