Social Responsibility

How are we working with local and international suppliers to promote responsible sourcing?

Polo explores the endless possibilities of materials, styles and cuts to create products that are unique, but identifiable for our consistent Polo handwriting. As Polo does not own or operate any factories, we work together with skilled suppliers that share our passion to make good, quality products.

Our philosophy and priority is to build trustworthy and long-term relationships with these suppliers, in order to ensure continuity of the quality, look and delivery of our collections.

Having started with a shirt factory of our own in 1976, we are committed to supporting our local suppliers. Many of these suppliers re-employed staff from the original Polo Lansdowne factory, and we continue to work with them today. Given the importance of the business relationship with our suppliers, we visit these factories and those abroad, seasonally.

We procure our product according to international standards and practices, ensuring the best factories both locally and globally.

Social Responsibility

Gordon Joffe & Mr. Arnold in the Lansdowne factory.
A specialist knitwear supplier in Mauritius in 2014.

What are we doing to support our communities?

Polo introduced a “Limited Edition” project of exclusively developed product for our Polo stores. Each season we collaborate with up & coming designers, artisans & community projects in support of design & development in South Africa. 

In Autumn/Winter 2015, we collaborated with Groundcover, a handcrafted leather boot manufacturer based in the Midlands. We designed ‘The Land boot’, the perfect outdoor kids non-slip leather winter boot.

Groundcover is an example of a small manufacturer that supports their local community.Most of the workers at Groundcover are recruited locally and they subsidise the cost of school fees, books and extramural activities for their children.

Polo will continue to support this community through collaborative product development.

Our Polo suits are manufactured in Cape Town in a specialist suiting factory, founded in 1909. Our fabrics are imported from the best Italian mills, and each season an expert team of tailors skilfully crafts the best fits and tailoring.

This local factory currently employs over 800 staff across the divisions of manufacturing, sales, merchandising and retail.

They are committed to the newest technologies by investing in new machinery and through staff training at their in-house training school and tertiary institutions.

We are proud to partner with this leading suiting manufacturer that plays an integral part of the garment and textile industry in South Africa.

When a former Polo employee, Eddie Vosloo decided to start his own shirting factory, Gordon Joffe helped support his start-up.

Eventually when the Polo Lansdowne factory closed, Eddie then re-employed some of the original staff who had started as early as 1976.

Today Polo still produces  limited runs of exclusive shirting through this specialist factory. One such project is our all time favorite Polo shirt, the collection of Liberty florals.  

We started our Pink Pony campaign to raise money for breast cancer awareness and the CANSA association. Each year we create a capsule collection of Pink Pony product where 15% of proceeds goes to CANSA.

Every year, we host an annual event promoting breast cancer awareness to help our fundraising efforts.

Amongst these events were the Val De Vie Pink Pony event, held in 2013, and most recently the Polo International Horse Trials.

At these events we sell Pink Pony products in our pop-up shop, as well as through selected retail partners and our Polo stores in the month of October.

What steps are we taking to improve our impact on the environment?

We are committed to reducing our energy, paper and waste use. To make progress we’ve sourced local suppliers with the same goal in mind.

Our packaging and carrier bag supplier is based in South Africa and is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. They promote and purchase our paper from a sustainable and well managed forest, in compliance with FSC laws and principals.They only use recycled raw materials and all waste from the factory is also recyclable.