Explore: Fashion

Ethical Trade Manager

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Julia R

00:00:04 My name’s Julia R. I work at Boden and I’m an ethical trade manager. Ethical trade manager is quite a new role at Boden. We started it in March of last year and we set up the role to develop an ethical trade programme within our business, and we really wanted put more emphasis behind focussing on the ethical trade. It’s really looking at the working conditions, at the factories, the people within our supply chain and trying to make sure that they are being treated as we would want to be treated.

00:00:38 At the moment it’s quite difficult to define an average day because, because I am setting up the role and setting up the department. You know, I could be doing some admin one day, you know, out there at the factories working with auditors the next day. It’s quite varied.

00:00:58 At school, I really liked things like maths, science, which are obviously are quite academic subjects, but I also really enjoyed textiles, which is probably where everything kind of stemmed from. By the time I left school, I realised that, you know, textiles was what I wanted to do. I’d wanted to do something within that sector for a while. Then I moved on to college. I actually chose to do textiles as a full time focus as a national diploma.

00:01:31 Both my parents are quite hands on. They both kind of made homewear etc, so I guess that’s where, you know, my first, you know, taster came from, and also, you know, my grandma knits, does crochet, all those sorts of things, so that’s kind of where I got interested. Out of our immediate family, I was probably the first one to go on to college. Most of the rest of my family went straight from school into jobs, so that, you know, they were pretty encouraging.

00:01:56 I was actually really fortunate because I was taken on by Marks and Spencer’s placement scheme and there was a couple of people at our university that did it. So they actually placed me with two of their factories in the UK. I did six months at each factory, and it was…the experience was invaluable to be honest, and that was one of the things that helped me get my first role, was the fact that I already had a year’s experience in manufacturing, which was really key to the role that I went into.

00:02:27 When I left university, I moved into a technologist’s position at Tesco. The reason I left there was because a lot of the parts of my role that I enjoyed were getting passed back down the supply chain. So essentially I felt as though I was becoming a manager managing other people rather than actually doing the things that I enjoyed doing.

00:02:50 I don’t really get a lot of time in the week to myself so I do try to make the most of the time that I have got. Dancing is just one of those things that I’ve always been interested in from a little girl, but not really had the opportunities when I was younger. There’s been a couple of courses that I’ve looked at, obviously there’s lots of different types of dance, and one kind of came up which I’ve just started now, which is Latin and ballroom, and I enrolled at the end of last year. Fortunately my husband’s decided to join as well so I have got a dancing partner.

00:03:24 If I had to work, you know, clothing and textiles is my ideal industry. If it was something, you know, you won the lottery and you didn’t have to work, then I’d probably choose something that’s almost completely the opposite. You know, I would want somewhere that was a five minute commute from home rather than an hour and a half. I would want somewhere that was possibly, you know, outside in the countryside or in a nice hot country. But as it is, you know, I’m happy, happy doing what I’m doing in the industry that I’m familiar with.

Julia R works at Boden as an ethical trade manager. She makes sure people who supply Boden’s are treating their workforce fairly. “it’s quite difficult to define an average day because I am setting up the department.” She says “textiles was what I wanted to do” so she did a placement at M&S factories at college and then worked in supply at Tesco.

More information about Purchasing managers and directors

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

66%  male 
34%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Purchasing managers and directors (not retail) plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the purchasing functions of industrial, commercial, government organisations and public agencies to ensure cost-effectiveness.
Although not restricted to a particular qualification, entry is most common with A levels/H grades, a BTEC/SQA award, S/NVQs at level 3 or above, or a degree or equivalent qualification. Off- and on-the-job training is provided and professional qualifications are available. Chartered status may also be achieved.
  • Determines what goods, services and equipment need to be sourced;
  • Devises purchasing policies, decides on whether orders should be put out to tender and evaluates suppliers’ bids;
  • Negotiates prices and contracts with suppliers and draws up contract documents;
  • Arranges for quality checks of incoming goods and ensures suppliers deliver on time;
  • Interviews suppliers’ representatives and visits trade fairs;
  • Researches and identifies new products and suppliers;
  • Stays abreast of and ensures adherence to relevant legislation regarding tendering and procurement procedures.
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