Mulberry was established in rural Somerset, England in 1971. As Britain's first lifestyle brand it was popular at home and abroad for its quintessentially English style and personality. During the Seventies and Eighties a collection of quilted fishing bags, poacher bags and jackets inspired by the quirky country pursuits of hunting, shooting and fishing put Mulberry on the fashion map: Le Style Anglais was born. After this initial success, Mulberry continued to create season after season of iconic products and the brand grew throughout the UK and expanded internationally. The start of the 21st century saw the birth of one of its biggest icons, the Bayswater, and many years and reincarnations later it is still the best-selling style.
Today, the business has stores and concessions worldwide and yet has retained so much of its individuality and integrity - the close-knit teams, the factory in Somerset, the quality leathers, the English practicality of its products and the enthusiastic theming of seasons, loved by press and buyers the world over. Mulberry's creative family so far includes a list of characters who have helped to shape the brand, including Luella Bartley, Nicholas Knightly, Giles Deacon, Kim Jones, Stuart Vevers and of course our Creative Director, Emma Hill. Under Emma's creative direction Mulberry has been propelled to the league of instantly recognisable brands thanks to her cult creations including tactile hobo styles such as Daria and Effie, the contemporary satchel icon Alexa and new arrival Del Rey. Emma won Best Accessories Designer at 2011's Elle Style Awards Mulberry was named Best Designer Brand at 2010's British Fashion Awards.
Mulberry is committed to stopping the production and sale of counterfeit products, and take the safety and security of those who wish to purchase genuine Mulberry products very seriously. We are aware of the growing problem of counterfeit websites that appear online selling illegally produced Mulberry products, and so are providing some important advice on how to avoid these websites and their poor quality, imitation goods.
We currently have a select number of outlet stores, mainly in the UK, which sell past collection products. The stores work to roughly a year behind the retail full-price stores, so are two seasons behind. We have no outlet stores online, if you see any websites trading under such a name they should be treated as counterfeit and avoided.
The first thing to be aware of is that although Mulberry seriously pursues any counterfeit sites, counterfeit resellers regularly change the name of their website and URL and re-enter the market under a different identity, so please remain aware and vigilant. Below is some information to help you identify and avoid counterfeit sellers.
What are counterfeit goods?
The official definition of a counterfeit product is 'something that has been made in imitation so as to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine'.
Counterfeit goods are sold under false pretences and are poorly produced, of bad quality and often faulty. Producers of counterfeit goods illegally use the Mulberry name, logo, and imagery to deceive consumers into believing they are purchasing genuine Mulberry products.
The production and sale of counterfeit goods is illegal and the purchase of them funds further production and deception.
Why should I care?
Counterfeiters are criminals, and often have links to fraudulent organisations that commit identity theft and other serious crimes. Purchasing these products exposes consumers to identity and credit card theft through unprotected payment transaction methods that leave personal details unsecured.
Counterfeit products are often sold at high prices in order to seem genuine, but in reality are poor quality, imitation products. Frequently, the product may not arrive at all and the consumer finds that there is no mechanism in place to contact the seller or obtain a refund. The images used to represent the products rarely reflect what the products actually look like: what you see is not always what you get.
Producers of counterfeit products do not abide by the law or adhere to ethical and fair practices. As such they may be involved with child labour and sweatshop work environments. Counterfeiters are often also engaged in other forms of criminal activity, and may have links to organised crime networks and in some cases to terrorist groups. Purchasing from their websites funds these illegal activities.
How do I recognise a counterfeit Mulberry product?
The only way to avoid unwittingly purchasing a counterfeit product is to buy from authorised Mulberry stores or recognised stockists. For a list of Mulberry stores please see our Store Locator. Mulberry should only be purchased from the official website or from a reputable wholesale partner site. Auction sites such as Ebay cannot guarantee the authenticity of products bought on their site, and Mulberry also cannot authenticate products bought in this way
Always be vigilant when browsing for Mulberry using internet search engines. Search engine providers do not monitor the sites they display; therefore search listings are not guaranteed to be authentic or safe.
Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Our approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is based on a simple principle: that Mulberry will make a positive difference to its people, the environment and the communities in which it works. We actively encourage our employees to find new ways of meeting our wider responsibilities, and as a company have focused our initiatives in six key areas:
- Climate change
- Reducing waste
- Fair partners
- Animal welfare
- Community involvement
- Health and wellbeing
Our CSR strategy is agreed at the highest level in the company. The CSR team coordinates strategic work streams in collaboration with relevant departments and reports regularly to the Management Board.
People & Fair Partners
In 2006 we took on our first apprentices through a new Government approved scheme supported by Skillset UK and Bridgwater College. The year-long training course, comprising a leather skills NVQ and technical certificate, sets young apprentices on the path to becoming accomplished craftsmen and craftswomen. In the nine years since we started, more than 80 apprentices have completed the course. Some of these apprentices have gone on to apply their skills and knowledge to different roles in the company for example product development, planning and market support.
As a result of the success of the programme, we have a waiting list of young people aspiring to join our production line team.
The programme has also received national recognition. In February 2010, we were proud to receive the National Skills Award, given to acknowledge excellence and world class performance in manufacturing. In 2014 we received the Business in the Community Big Tick Award in the Inspiring Young Talent category.
We are proud to produce over 50% of our leather goods in our British factories, The Rookery and The Willows. Mulberry is the largest manufacturer of luxury goods in the UK and employs over 550 people between the two factories.
We also work with a select group of suppliers elsewhere in the UK and overseas. We expect these suppliers to create a suitable environment for their workers, and ask them to adhere to a set of standards called the Mulberry Global Sourcing Principles. We are committed to enforcing these standards though regular inspections of supplier facilities by our own employees and by third-party auditors.
Investing in the latest technologies, along with awareness raising activities among employees, are just two methods we are using to help reduce our energy consumption. Both of our UK factories have rainwater harvesting for grey water use, and we have solar thermal panels to heat the water at our Chilcompton factory. At our Bridgwater factory, the Willows, the installation of 290m² solar panels will generate power for approximately 10% of the site’s energy needs.
Mulberry worked with specialist energy auditors to carry out for site energy audits in 2014/15 across our office, factory, warehouse and retail sites to comply with the government's Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme. The report found that 'a significant amount of work has already been completed to improve efficiency' but that across the estate 'lighting, heating and cooling are significant energy users and should be examined closely for energy saving opportunities.' A number of energy saving measures were identified, with opportunities for Mulberry to save over 10% of our total energy spend.
Animal Welfare & Biodiversity
We are committed to ethical practices in the catching, maintaining, breeding, raising, transportation, handling, and slaughter of animals in our leather, fur and exotic skins supply chains.
We are committed to sustaining well-functioning and bio-diverse ecosystems in the regions where we source. This includes maintaining species populations of wild animals at sustainable levels as well as to only source material of animal origin from legal sources.
We collect traceability information on all our leather articles, so we know if we can trace it to the farm, to the abattoir or to the country of origin. Traceability is the tool by which we can understand the wider environmental and social impacts in our leather supply chain, including animal welfare, land use impacts and how the leather was made.
Since 2014 Mulberry has made annual disclosures to the CDP Forests Program on our forest-risk commodity purchasing practices.
We carry out research on welfare issues on the various materials we source, and the regions where we source from, also collaborating on research with the Sustainable Luxury Working Group, a group of companies that produce luxury goods and that share a commitment to advancing good social, environmental and animal welfare practices in their operations.
We recycle as much material as possible from our UK sites. We have set up a number of partnerships with scrap stores local to our Somerset factories, passing on a significant quantity of our leather off-cuts to community arts and crafts groups. We are actively seeking other upcycling and recycling opportunities for our leather offcuts.
Mulberry actively donates money, product and support to charities in our local community and across the wider industry. In addition each year our employees select 3 charities to offer additional support through matching employee fundraising and raising employee awareness for these charities and their causes. Our 2015/16 charities are:
Teenage Cancer Trust
A national charity which funds teenage cancer units in hospitals, and provides support to young people in the UK who have been diagnosed with cancer.
A South West based charity who provide free of charge home care to children with life-limiting conditions, ensuring they get the best quality of life possible and supporting their families throughout.
A London based charity helping homeless and vulnerable people to find homes, build supportive relationships and lead fulfilling lives.
California Transparency in Supply Chains Act
Under the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010, companies of a certain size doing business in the State of California are obliged to disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their direct product supply chains for the goods that they offer for sale.
All of Mulberry’s supplier relationships are governed by Mulberry’s Global Sourcing Principles which includes the absolute prohibition of forced or bonded labour. In this disclosure we explain in more detail how we apply this policy in practice through good governance practices.