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Better conditions - on the factory floor and beyond

Two men in a factory producing IKEA furniture.

More than 500,000 people work for companies that are direct suppliers to IKEA around the world. We want to make sure that we have a positive impact both on our suppliers, and the societies in which they operate. That’s why our efforts don’t stop at our supplier code of conduct, but go beyond the factory floor.

A woman sitting on a worktable with a paintbrush in her hand.

We actively support our suppliers in improving their employees’ working conditions and everyday lives, for example by ensuring that working hours are not too long and that workers can maintain their family life. Sometimes, a change on the factory floor, such as modernizing equipment, can impact entire industries and societies.


Our supplier code of conduct (iway)

Mutual understanding and sharing fundamental values is the basis for all good relationships. This goes for our supplier relationships as well. Our supplier code of conduct specifies our minimum requirements relating to the environment, social impact and working conditions. Each year, auditors make around 2000 checks at suppliers and sub-suppliers, to make sure our code of conduct is followed.

A woman in a blue shirt, lifting folded cardboard boxes.
JOINT EFFORTS TO ENSURE:
No child labour
No forced or bonded labour
No discrimination
Freedom of association
Minimum wages and overtime compensation
Health, safety & environment
 

Two men wearing yellow t-shirts, headphones and blue dungarees, standing in a factory producing IKEA furniture.

Building a better business

 
We want to make sure that everyone involved in making our products enjoys going to work, and we believe that satisfied co-workers are good for business. Through our long-term partnerships, we have taken many important steps towards supporting better working conditions in our supply chain.
 
 
Reuniting migrant workers with their families. The MYS Dongguan factory have found a way to reunite their migrant workers with their children. After all, their co-workers are their most valuable asset. IKEA supports this important mission and encourages all our Chinese suppliers to follow. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s better for business.
Two men in blue shirts, inspecting high piles of cardboard boxes.

A pioneer for decent working hours. One of the big issues we have faced is making sure that people at our suppliers are not working too many hours a week. In China, where long hours are common in some industries, we have worked hard together with our suppliers to reduce the working hours. In 2015, we reached working hour limits of 40 hours per week and 36 overtime hours per month, while maintaining wage levels. 


Enabling social change

We want to play our part in creating a better life for the people and communities touched by our business. By partnering with social entrepreneurs and other progressive partners, we can help create life-changing opportunities for reducing poverty, for social development and for female empowerment.

#SHEMADEIT. Get to know Saroj, Craft Manager, at the social enterprise Rangsutra in India, and learn more about how working and earning her own income has improved her life.

Learn more about IKEA partnerships with social entrepreneurs

Weaving a better future. Hand-made rugs are very popular for their unique craftsmanship and rich history, with each rug carrying signs of the weavers’ skills. 
 

Indian woman holding a hand-made rug.


 

Unfortunately, carpet weaving is hard work and the industry is associated with poor conditions, low wages and exploitation by middlemen. Being in the business of making things better, we decided to change the industry. Together with our suppliers in India and Bangladesh, IKEA established regulated weaving centers where we can secure decent working conditions, a regular income and fair pay. 

We went even further and modernized one of the looms used in the production of handmade rugs in India, the punja loom, making it more ergonomic and 40 percent more efficient. The new punja looms have made it possible for more women to work at the weaving mills. We decided not to patent protect the loom to give the entire industry the possibility to improve working conditions.

Redefining craftsmanship. Our NORDRANA series has benefited local women in the Vietnamese countryside. At local handicraft centres, many women now enjoy a formal job for the first time, earning a salary outside of the home.

Empowering people and communities. SOARÉ placemat is popular with our customers and loved by the people who make it too, because of the impact it has on their lives. It’s woven from water hyacinth that grows in the Mekong River in Vietnam. The process of harvesting, drying and weaving the plant is important to the people living along the river banks. It keeps the waterway passable, it preserves handicraft tradition and it earns the weavers extra money that can pay for new opportunities, like schooling.