Rip Curl is a surfing company that was founded in 1969 by two surfers, Brian Singer and Doug Warbrick. Almost 50 years on, they remain acting Founder / Directors of the company today and have a strong belief in fair play and consistent business practice.
Along the way, they crystalized how to do things the “Rip Curl Way” and developed a set Company Principles and Values which are now a daily road map for how we act and conduct ourselves as a company and crew. Those Principles and Values are…
2. COMMITTED CREW
3. CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION
4. COMMUNITY & ENVIRONMENT
5. HONESTY & INTEGRITY
But our commitment to these Principles and Values does not end outside the walls of Rip Curl offices and facilities. It extends to the places where our products are made, the factories that make them, and the people inside those factories.
By staying Committed to best and fair practice with our extended supplier Crew, we will deliver the most Creative and Innovative products to our Customers in the safest and best manner. By constantly checking ourselves when selecting and working with our suppliers, and also by maintaining Honesty and Integrity in that process, we will manage to work with good social compliance in the Community and Environment in which those suppliers live.
Being a forward thinking environmentally friendly business is an ongoing concern. Rip Curl understands that the world knows more now about the effects of human actions on our planet, than at any other time in history. Therefore, we believe it is our responsibility to try harder to be better in this area and match our actions with our company Principles and Values.
Applying these Principles and Values holds us accountable, and reminds us how important it is to ensure that the workers who make Rip Curl products are treated fairly, in accordance with local and international laws (and accepted international standards of compliance). At Rip Curl we recognize that our Crew is the backbone of our business, and we expect our business partners to understand that and respect the rights of their Crews equally.
We take the same approach to our Environmental Policy, matching our actions with our company Principles and Values.
With this general intention in mind, Rip Curl also recognizes the breadth of its supplier base – its capacity to influence suppliers, and the level of sophistication of the supply chain. Reaching a satisfactory level of compliance among suppliers – in all areas of production ¬– is an ongoing process that requires time and effort, but this is a process to which Rip Curl is highly committed. Devoting resources is a necessary part of that.
Rip Curl’s intention is to purchase merchandise solely from sources that adhere to and respect the Principles, Values and standards that Rip Curl holds paramount.
All merchandise is to be manufactured in accordance with all applicable laws of the respective country of manufacturer, as well as relevant international standards. It is also a fundamental element of our relationship that all production is undertaken at the agreed factories that have been inspected and approved by Rip Curl. No unauthorized sub-contracting, outsourcing or any other diversion of production from the agreed factories is allowed under any circumstances.
Rip Curl has developed the following fundamental principles, which constitute Rip Curl’s Factory Workplace Code of Conduct, and our Environmental Policy.
Factory Workplace Code of Conduct
Employment Relationship: Employers shall adopt and adhere to rules and conditions of employment that respect workers, and at a minimum, safeguard their rights under national and international labor laws, social security laws and regulations.
Nondiscrimination: No person shall be subject to any discrimination in employment, including hiring, compensation, advancement, discipline, termination or retirement, on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, social group or ethnic origin.
Harassment or Abuse: Every employee shall be treated with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to any physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse.
Forced Labor: There shall be no use of forced labor including slavery and/or human trafficking, prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor or otherwise. All workers shall have the right to enter into and terminate their employment freely.
Child Labor: No person shall be employed under the age of 15, or under the age for completion of compulsory education – whichever is higher.
Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining: Employers shall recognize and respect the right of employees’ freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Health, Safety and Environment: Employers shall provide a safe and healthy workplace setting to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work, or as a result of the operation of employers’ facilities. Employers shall adopt responsible measures to mitigate negative impacts that the workplace has on the environment.
Hours of Work: Employers shall not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country where the workers are employed. The regular workweek shall not exceed 48 hours. Employers shall allow workers at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every seven-day period. All overtime work shall be consensual. Employers shall not request overtime on a regular basis and shall compensate all overtime work at a premium rate. Other than in exceptional circumstances, the sum of regular and overtime hours in a week shall not exceed 60 hours.
Compensation: Every worker has a right to compensation for a regular work week that is sufficient to meet the worker’s basic needs and provide some discretionary income. Employers shall pay at least the minimum wage or the appropriate prevailing wage, whichever is higher, comply with all legal requirements on wages, as well as provide any fringe benefits required by law or contract.
Second Tier Suppliers: The supplier shall only work with and source products from other suppliers of goods or services (eg trims, materials and any other inputs) who comply with the standards included in this code of particular laws regarding slavery and human trafficking.
Rip Curl Owned Factory
Since 1989, Rip Curl owns and operates a large state-of-the-art wetsuit manufacturing facility “Onsmooth Thai Co., Ltd” located at 143 Moo 7 Thawangtarn, Saraphee, Chaingmai, Thailand. The factory employs around 650 workers and is one of the largest employers in the region. Operating this facility allows us to control the environmental impact of this production, as well as pricing, lead times and entitlements for our workers, all while allowing us to develop the ultimate surfing wetsuits.
Rip Curl is committed to ensuring all factory workers are being paid a living wage. While we are currently paying significantly above statutory minimum requirements now, our target is to meet the Asian Floor Wage Methodology by 2021.
On Smooth factory floor.
Rip Curl wetsuits being created.
Screen printing of Rip Curl logos onto wetsuits.
Wetsuits in production - On Smooth Factory.
Cutting patterns for wetsuits.
State-of-the-art Rip Curl owned On Smooth Factory, Thailand.
Countries of Production
Due to the technical range of products Rip Curl offers, our supply chain is diverse and widely spread, with regional offices controlling local suppliers, while the Torquay Head Office manages global supplier relationships.
Regular factory visits and product development trips are a major part of ensuring our supply chain is transparent. Click here to view our factory list.
Sourcing Countries: China, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, USA, Cambodia, Italy, France, Morocco, South Korea, Australia, Brazil, Japan,
Audits of our Suppliers
Rip Curl works with Intertek, a leading global quality standards auditor, to perform audits on our behalf. Using the WCA (Workplace Conditions Assessment) format, Rip Curl ensures our factories are upholding our Workplace Code of Conduct and adhering to local laws protecting factory workers and the environment.
Since the beginning Rip Curl has actively contributed to its local communities, through employment opportunities made available and through supporting relevant community groups and issues, particularly maintenance of the coastal environments. We also have a strong determination to be environmentally responsible, and we encourage our crew to participate in achieving this. The below points guide the crew in achieving our Value of “Community and the Environment”, that constitutes our Environmental Policy;
- Design and develop innovative products that are durable and long-lasting, extending product life and reducing overall consumption, giving consideration to the impact of each stage of the production cycle on the environment
- Bring added value to product design and manufacturing, such as eco-friendly and recycled materials
- Endeavour to continue to understand all aspects of the production process, from raw materials to the final stage of production, in an effort to minimize the impact of each stage on the environment
- Continue to search for new production processes and available products that impact less on our environment, whether it be carbon reduction and/or waste reduction
- Reduce our use of plastics throughout the production and delivery process of our products
- Strive to use less and waste less in all areas of operations
- Respect the people and the land in which our products are produced
- Give back to the local community and environment in which our offices and suppliers are located
- Demonstrate honest and ethical behavior in all that we do
We see our pathway to sustainability as a journey where our customers, crew and shareholders are constantly raising their expectation level. It is this level of expectation we seek to meet and exceed.
In practical terms, our commitment to improving the environmental sustainability of our operations extends to:
- All of our warehouse and office crew spend a day a year (Rip Curl Planet Day) working to rehabilitate the natural environment in their local areas (tree planting at Bells Beach, cleaning up the beach at Trestles, tending to the sand dunes in Hossegor).
- We support like-minded environmental organisations at a local level, in line with our Principles and Values, and we see that by giving control of this to our local regions, we can make a daily difference with the many small organisations that work hard in this space. (For example - Uluwatu Clean Up )
- The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is the longest running professional surfing contest in history. It is also a “Waste Wise” accredited event, with on average 80% of all rubbish generated during the event window sifted into recycling piles and delivered to appropriate waste facilities.
- We have developed a 100% recycled line of mountainwear – the “Rip Curl Search Series” – to deliver a sustainable and durable alternative for customers who want this type of product.
- We are working with scientists in varied organisations on a more environmentally sustainable way of manufacturing wetsuits, continuing our 49 years of leadership in wetsuit technology. This is particularly important as we seek to improve our own factory – an area that we control on a daily basis.
- We are reducing the individual packaging requirements surrounding our products, which has vastly reduced the waste on hand each week in our warehouses. We are moving wherever possible to recycled/recyclable packaging with our audited suppliers.
- We are a signatory of the Australian Packaging Covenant, continuing to collaborate with other industries on sustainable packaging solutions.
- We are eradicating the use of plastic bags in our retail network and intend to be 100% plastic free by June 30, 2018.
- We are installing solar panels at our Torquay Head Office and warehouse, in an effort to reduce our consumption of power and electricity.
- We are changing to low halogen lightbulbs to increase energy efficiency in-office across the RCG.
Our ongoing plan is to improve in the areas already in action, before turning to new initiatives. That way we will know we are having a focused impact, rather than working in an ad-hoc fashion. However, if we see a logical improvement which can be made in a new area of environmental protection – and we can bring it to bear in our business immediately – we will seek to make that happen.