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History

 

In 1975 our founders Cees van Bladel and Meria Sars decided to combine their love for each other and beautiful fabrics. This resulted in a marriage in a green velvet suit for Cees and mint silk gown for Meria on the one hand,  and a wholesale and chain of shops in the Netherlands, first under the name Meria Stoffen (not so very original, do ask them the story about this name when you run into them!) and later called Silk Route on the other hand.

 

 Together they travelled the world sourcing and designing the most rich and high quality fabrics. Strong relationships with suppliers where made, which exist even till date. Meanwhile they also managed to raise a small family of their own: in 1983 daughter Crisje was born, in 1984 daughter Sharon followed. Both daughters travelled from a young age with their parents to all parts of the world. The wholesale and shops thrived, also thanks to a fine team of very motivated and creative employees.

 

The fascination with fabrics, designing and travelling was definitely inherited by both daughters, but initially not the love of entrepreneurship. Crisje studied Psychology whereas Sharon’s first interest was focussed on a government function. But blood is thicker than water, and first Sharon joined her parents at Silk Route and a couple of years later Crisje decided to join as well. Both girls have different qualities, and oddly complement each other. Together with their parents they form a solide team combining two generations. They decided to close the shops, and put all their effort on wholesale only.

 

The main focus shifted to creating scarves and jewellery and, as a tribute to the achievements of Cees and Meria, the name Silk Route was kept and made into the brand Silk Route.

 

The family is very concerned in the full process of creating, producing and presenting of the Silk Route collections, and highly value the relationships with Silk Route resellers. You can be sure to run into one of us at our showrooms or exhibition stands.

 

Nowadays Silk Route is one of the leading brands in scarves and jewellery in Europe and beyond, and is sold in mid-high segment boutiques and chains of stores all over the world

 

Beliefs

At Silk Route we aim for sustainability, and do not  believe in fast fashion: we choose for good quality and  create designs not only suitable to combine with this seasons fashion but for many seasons to come. Even though we constantly develop new designs, you will see some styles returning each season.

Other than that, we  focus on putting a minimum of impact on the environment. We develop only 2 collections each year. Our collections are consolidated and send from the far east in one lot by sea only to use as little as possible transport. This sounds simple, but it does take a lot of planning and constant communication with our factories in the far east from our side.

 

Our choice for excellent quality is entangled with a innate sentiment of justice: we believe in the total chain of creating and producing our accessories all parties should benefit. For us this is common sense, Silk Route is therefore not affiliated with any environment or fair trade organization. 

 

We travel to the factories we work with ourselves regularly. We want to meet the persons with which we are doing business, and see how their factories are set up, and how they treat their staff. Besides our demand do meet certain standards and certifications, the ‘feel’ we have with people and a place is also considered very important for us.

 

We only work with suppliers who adhere to our Supplier Code of Conduct, which is as follows:

 

This Supplier Code of Conduct sets forth the commitment of Silk Route vof to do business only with those suppliers and factories that share Silk Route vof’s commitment to fair and safe labour, health & environmental practices.

The core of this Code is made up from labour standards derived from ILO Conventions and the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights.

The Supplier Code of Conduct defines our minimum expectations.  Since no Code can be all-inclusive, we expect our suppliers to ensure that no abusive or exploitative conditions and practices or unsafe working conditions exist at the facilities where our products are manufactured. Silk Route vof will not tolerate any supplier that directly or indirectly violates the laws of the country where the products are manufactured.

A copy of this Supplier Code of Conduct, translated into the native languages of the workforce, should be prominently displayed within each facility where Silk Route vof products are manufactured.

 

THE STANDARDS

Child labor

No workers under 15 years of age shall be employed, or younger than the age for completing compulsory education if the age in the country of manufacture is greater than 15;

Forced labor

There shall not be any use of forced labor, whether in the form of prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor or otherwise.

Health and Safety

A secure and healthy workplace environment should be provided by supplier, following ILO conventions.

Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining

All workers will have the right to form and join trade unions, and/or bargain collectively.

Discrimination

There shall be no discrimination in employment. There will be equal opportunities, with no regard of race, sex, colour, religion, sexual orientation, union membership, political party or belief, nationality, social origin, disability or age.

Harassment or Abuse:

Workers shall be treated with respect and dignity.  Workers shall not be subject to any physical, verbal, sexual or psychological harassment or abuse in connection with their employment.

Discipline

There shall be no corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion or verbal abuse.

Working hours

The working hours shall be in accordance with the applicable law, but in any case not more than 48 hours per week, with a maximum of 12 hours overtime and with at least one day off per seven-day period;

Compensation

Wages paid for a standard working week must meet the legal and industry standards and must be adequate to fulfill the basic needs of workers and their family.