IT IS THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE US WHO WE ARE
Thirty years ago, a group of guys in Denmark set out to make their first jeans collection. Now, that group of “guys” is a global team, making and selling JACK & JONES clothes around the world. We call it the brotherhood. What bonds us is a “never give up attitude”, a drive to do things better and, of course, a devotion to denim.
We are a family, and families support and challenge one another to be the best they can be. We know a person’s career is only one piece of life’s pie. So, we have created a philosophy called the “Human Collection” — based on principles from the world of sport — to support our colleagues’ personal growth as well as their professional growth. We are also revisiting how best to bring diversity and inclusivity into everything we do. With a focused team within the BESTSELLER group, we are updating our policies, delivering awareness training and publishing a publically available report by spring 2022.
Your purchases also help us to contribute to the BESTSELLER FOUNDATION, which invests in awesome initiatives around the world, from biofuel projects in Africa to donating to Doctors Without Borders. We are also super excited to be the official clothing partner for Denmark’s Olympic and Paralympic teams, and we have big plans for the Paris 2024 collection to be our most sustainable yet.
That leaves you, our extended family. No matter your gender, age, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, abilities or religious background, you are part of our story.
THE BROTHERHOOD STARTS AT JACK & JONES HQ
The most important collection of the year? The “Human Collection” — our talented colleagues who work behind the scenes here at JACK & JONES. Together, we work with passion and grit, wear head-to-toe denim with pride and obsess about how we can do better. We’re all part of what makes JACK & JONES unique, so we support each other in every way we can. With development programs like our “Human Business Plan”, apprentice program and BESTSELLER’s Academy, we are not only super-charging our careers but take care of our crew’s mental and physical health too. So, while it is true that we make epic jeans and clothes, really, we make epic people.
Our approach to people is inspired by the world of sport. We believe that mindset is everything, and we coach the people on our team to reach their fullest potential — professionally and personally. A person is not just their job description, so why would that be the only measure of growth or success? Here are some of the things we focus on:
● JACK & JONES employees get a “Human Business Plan”,
which works like a regular business plan with goals, KPIs and a plan of action — but is instead applied to each individual’s professional development, state of mind and sense of wellbeing. Think mental health and behavioral strategies, human-based KPIs and more. This tool allows us to check-in with team members to see how they are developing and what we (managers, project leaders, the wider organization) can do to support.
● We believe people learn best by doing so we make sure our training involves watching those who have done it before. That means on-the-job education is woven into our colleagues' day-to-day life. Some programs are very specific and structured, others consist of routine check-ins that happen more informally on a daily or weekly basis. Imagine it like a sports field, with our team cheering and guiding one another during the match!
● Because everybody is at a different stage in work and life, with different strengths and challenges, we tailor our “Human Business Plans” to suit our colleagues’ unique needs. Whether it is support from the sidelines or a full team analysis, we take into account each person’s context and develop a plan that is both personal and effective.
● Each year some of our leaders join in with new initiatives that build their self-leadership as well as team management skills. Colleagues in this program get hands-on experience by working closely with existing leaders in the organization.
● Yearly around 50 apprentices start in JACK&JONES. They are educated in different fields like buying, sales....around 80-85% of the apprentice finishing their education stay working at JACK&JONES. Indeed some of our longest employed colleagues have started as apprentice in JACK&JONES.
● Every summer a new group containing of 2-5 international and national business trainees from all over the world join our family. They start in different specialist fields like buying, design, finance, business development, retail...during the two years program they get to know all of the specialist fields and the full supply chain. Included is travels to relevant markets, customers and supplier countries. Each trainee will stay abroad for around 3 - 6 months and most of them stay in BESTSELLER afterwards.
● Two times a year a group of internationals participate in our Money Maker program. During the 1 year program Money Makers live in Denmark and travel to their respective country. After finishing the program, these guys will join the local offices in our markets to support customers and have a great connection to our headquarter.
Through the BESTSELLER Academy, JACK & JONES colleagues have access to a range of other development opportunities and benefits as well. Like a robust training program with courses on vital job skills like planning, prioritization and communications as well as an internal platform for further resources and peer-to-peer support.
These programs provide opportunity for colleagues at all different levels, not just senior leaders. For those early in their career, BESTSELLER offers a unique apprentice program that includes partnerships with business schools as well as our own teaching facilities at HQ. In fact, more than half of our JACK&JONES colleagues started as apprentices and quite a few have been with us for decades — so we must be doing something right.
Brotherhood is not a ‘thing’, decided by people at the top. It is a bond, an energy, a vibe created and felt by everyone — we would not have it any other way.
TAKING FURTHER STEPS ON OUR DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION JOURNEY
When it comes to diversity and inclusion, we are committed to taking a good hard look at how we operate to make sure that our culture, policies and initiatives reflect our values. We are moving away from professional models to feature real guys doing real-life things. BESTSELLER has a team focused on increasing Diversity & Inclusion D&I across the group. Through the BESTSELLER FOUNDATION we make sure to support projects and organizations around the globe.
Before we can create a strong Diversity & Inclusion plan, we need to have a good understanding of
where we stand. BESTSELLER’s D&I team is undertaking a massive, group-wide data collection effort which will help us form our own strategy and roadmap for the years ahead. We are reviewing our current D&I policy and being transparent about our journey. Since Spring 2022, we publish an annual diversity report and we are encouraging our markets and brands to achieve local goals to support initiatives that back up our overarching policies.
But while data is important, we also need to start taking action. The team for Diversity & Inclusion works currently on creating a global D&I Action Plan for BESTSELLER in which we are defining concrete initiatives to grow more awareness for D&I at BESTSELLER in the future. This includes trainings for managers and senior leaders on how to promote cultural understanding.
We are also starting to feature more “real guys” from all types, shapes, ages and ethnicities in our campaigns. Because who needs chiseled abs when you are feeling good and looking great? Take part here.
SUPPORTING IMPACTFUL INITIATIVES ACROSS THE WORLD — AND IN OUR OWN BACKYARD
Beyond our work to drive sustainability across every area of the business, we are simultaneously using our sales to philanthropically support some incredible organizations around the globe. Through the BESTSELLER FOUNDATION, we are able to fund projects like the Waste to Value Accelerator Program in Africa, World Wildlife Fund in India and international organizations like Doctors Without Borders. Through our world environmental day campaigns we support NGOs in our sourcing countries to address certain social and environmental issues. Closer to home, we take huge pride in our annual sponsorship program where we get to support impactful, community-based initiatives in and around our home town of Brande, Denmark.
The BESTSELLER FOUNDATION currently supports 41 organizations, projects and social businesses working toward sustainable growth, the wellbeing of our natural world and better jobs and opportunity for vulnerable communities. In recent years, the foundation has focused its activities
around an important and ambitious mission — accelerating the transition to a circular economy by doubling down on reducing, reusing and recycling waste.
In 2019, the BESTSELLER FOUNDATION launched the Waste to Value Accelerator, which is the first program of its kind in East Africa and has so far provided six start-ups with technical and financial support to combat the growing amount of waste in the region. We are excited by the investment into Rwandan company Umuti, which makes eco-friendly paper bags from the trunks of discarded banana and plantain trees. We can’t wait to see what’s next for Vuma either. They are a Kenyan-based company making biofuel from sugar cane waste to help curb the use of trees for firewood. Also in Kenya, we are piloting a textile recycling service which we believe has the potential to make a pretty big impact on clothing waste. And this is just the start; we are actively on the lookout for more trailblazing entrepreneurs and organizations to support through this program.
Through the BESTSELLER FOUNDATION, we have also launched the Young Environment Ambassador Award, which annually recognizes three exceptional young people for their environmental contributions, and teamed up with Race for Oceans to support their work around ocean waste, enabling them to go global. In India, your purchases have made it possible for us to fund the Centre for Environment Education (CEE), an organization focused on educating the next generation of planet-first ambassadors; Harisu Dala, a social impact group that upskill and empower female waste pickers in Bengaluru; Waste Warriors, a non-profit helping waste pickers in the Himalayas and the World Wildlife Fund, which is campaigning to end ghost fishing gear.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BESTSELLER FOUNDATION also sought opportunities to support organizations on the front lines, particularly in vulnerable communities in Sub-Saharan Africa and India and through donations to Doctors Without Borders (MSF). BESTSELLER also supported the Danish healthcare system by donating test kits and protective equipment.
Even though we are a big company now, we still remember where we came from. So every year, we proudly fund and support community projects around Brande, Denmark, where our HQ is located. In 2022, we sponsored 8 different initiatives in Brande, Ikast and Herning from clubs to sporting tournaments. We sponsored for example the Nordic Scoot Championship, the Ikast Badminton Club and the handball club HC Midtjylland.
And how cool is it that we have been the official clothing partner for the Danish Olympics and Paralympics for the last four Olympic Games, going back to 2008? Better still that we are always ambitious that these outfits are our most sustainable Olympic collection yet — we are looking forward to raising the bar even higher through our continued partnership for the Paris 2024 games. From 2023 on we annually support seven organizations to different World Environmental Day. This is to raise awareness on environmental issues as marine pollution, global warming, climate injustice and animal welfare crime. On one hand we cooperate with an NGO, which works on fighting a certain issue of a World Environmental Day, to support their work or a specific project. On the other hand, we create a product which is with it’s material or way of manufacturing addressing the same topic. One example is the Water Day 2023: We will give a school with 500 students in Bangladesh access to clean water and sanitary facilities through our donation to charity:water. This donation is financed through selling our Summer Shirt which is made of recycled cotton and linen. Recycled cotton does not only reduce waste going to landfills, but also saves water which usually would be used for growing cotton. Linen is a fibre made from flax. The flax plant only requires rainfall for watering and few fertilizers, but no pesticides. This saves water and keeps the soil and fresh water systems clean. We support the following World Days: Forest Day, Water Day, Ocean Day, Earth Day, River Day and Mountain Day.