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AIS Modern Slavery Statement

Modern Slavery Statement Associated Independent Stores (AIS) buying group is the UK and Ireland’s leading fashion, home, and leisure buying group for independent retail. The purpose of this policy is to specify the details of how AIS approaches and supports the elimination of modern slavery and meets its obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA). Furthermore, this policy outlines our journey and commitment to ensuring that all current and future suppliers meet their obligations under the requirements of the MSA, as well as ensuring AIS, as an organisation, operates with full awareness of the Modern Slavery Act. This policy and activity will be reviewed annually and any updated versions created will be published.

What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms, such as: slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person’s liberty by another to exploit them for personal or commercial gain.

The AIS Framework

AIS will create a framework to demonstrate AIS has a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and is committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all its business dealings and relationships. This will work across all aspects of the business: AIS own-label products, our role as a buying group with our ‘third party’ supplier partners, our logistics and operations activities, Cranmore Park and INDX, as well as the management and recruitment of our employees. Alongside this, AIS will implement governance and checks, as well as training for our employees to be able to recognise, identify and prevent modern slavery.

We know that modern slavery is a growing global issue and understand we have a responsibility to play our part. These are our principles:

  • It is our priority to ensure we work with suppliers that source responsibly.

  • We know that this is a work in progress, and we will continue to implement and develop procedures and policies that ensure that everyone we work with acts ethically and with honesty.

  • We have taken steps to have visibility to ensure modern slavery is not present in our business supply chains.

We do this by:

  • Finding effective methods to work to eliminate slavery and human trafficking practices within our suppliers. We are working towards full transparency.

  • Ensuring our policies and procedures are reviewed regularly and we have training processes in place for our internal teams to have appropriate awareness and understanding.

  • Ensure new suppliers understand our requirements, before working with us.

  • Performing regular audits to obtain clarification and confirm adherence from our existing supplier base.

  • We continually strive to improve our communication with suppliers, so they are clear on all our expectations.

2023/2024 Commitments

Identify Modern Slavery Risks

Product Directors to lead Audit and Risk Assessments across the AIS business

Employee Awareness and Training

Begin to train the organisation in AIS’s corporate responsibility and for key teams to have the basic knowledge in being able to detect and mitigate modern slavery risks.

Supplier Re-Engagement and Monitoring

Contact all our suppliers across all our categories and ensure they adhere to the modern slavery guidelines.

Publish findings to members via our Members Hub.

Review and update new supplier self-assessment forms.

Member Awareness

Publish findings to members via our Members Hub.


Our approach to modern slavery covers all colleagues, including those engaged in duties for the organisation under a letter of authority, secondment contract or work experience/internship, volunteers and any other third parties, such as contractors who have authority to perform work for, or procure goods and services, on behalf of AIS.

Reporting and Communication

AIS is committed to ensuring no one suffers any detrimental treatment because of reporting their suspicion that modern slavery is, or may be, taking place in any part of the business or its supply chain.

AIS may terminate its relationship with individuals, suppliers, and organisations if they are deemed to have breached this policy.

Modern slavery can be reported as a member of the general public. The modern slavery helpline is 0800 0121 700 or it can be reported online.

AIS’s zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery will be adequately communicated to all agents, contractors, suppliers, consultants, third-party representatives, and other business partners and reinforced as appropriate thereafter.