Healthy Work Environment
The physical, emotional and social well-being of our employees is critical to our long-term success. This is why we are committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment where our employees can develop their talents and seek ongoing career fulfillment. We continually review our employee benefits, HR policies, and employee wellness initiatives to ensure we provide an environment where we can all thrive.
Inclusion And Diversity
We are focused on building a company that is inclusive and representative of our diverse society, and we are committed to non-discrimination and gender equity in all our recruiting, compensation and career advancement decisions. We do this because it is the right thing to do, and because our diversity makes SSENSE a more innovative and resilient company.
SSENSE is fully committed to being a positive force in the fashion industry and beyond, and we will continually make efforts to mitigate the negative social, environmental, and economic impacts related to the company’s operations. This triple bottom line thinking is necessary to reduce waste and find sustainable, long-term solutions to challenges across the entire industry.
Leadership In Technology
SSENSE strives to be a leader in technology development and aims to raise the bar for the entire industry. The responsible use of technology in society is a fundamental business imperative and we are committed to our standards of excellence, integrity, and meaningful connection to our customers, as these will drive the highest quality technological achievements.
Advance Fashion And Culture
We believe that culture is advanced by challenging convention in the pursuit of a bold vision. This is why we are committed to raising voices within the creative community who are at the forefront of cultural progress. SSENSE will continue to partner with the greatest creative talent in the world, because the advancement of fashion and culture is deeply rooted in our identity and is important for human progress.
We are committed to engaging with our community on the issues that are important to them in an authentic, transparent, and honest manner. We aim to contribute positively by giving back to our local and global communities, and as we expand our involvement in the years to come, we are committed to being an engaged partner to continually gain feedback on our efforts. Join our community #SSENSE.
“SSENSE employees are encouraged to push boundaries within the industry—by applying their talent, creativity and expertise to find long-term solutions to today’s challenges.”
Our diversity is one of our core strengths, and we know that better decisions are made when there are representative voices at decision-making tables. SSENSE employees have citizenship in more than 35 different countries, and last year we cast models on our e-commerce platform from 17 different countries. SSENSE employees speak over 30 languages, 35% of employees identify as being within an underrepresented, marginalized, or racialized community in Canada, and 1.6% of employees have a non-binary gender identity. We aspire to create a safe environment where all of our employees can live their authentic selves, no matter their ethnicity, age, religion, gender or sexual identity.
SSENSE is committed to advancing gender equity by working together to guarantee a work culture that is free of harassment, intimidation, harmful stereotypes, and unlawful discrimination. Our Human Resources team applies a gender lens in reviews of workforce representation, leadership, career development, salary, bonuses, employee performance ratings, and recruitment. Applying a gender lens means that barriers to inclusion and socially constructed roles and behaviours are considered when analysing, planning and making HR decisions. We do this in recognition that gender inequality and discrimination are systemic issues facing all of society, and have been especially prevalent in the fashion and technology industries.
Low Impact Packaging
SSENSE uses FSC-certified cardboard boxes made of 100% recycled content. This means that no new trees have been cut to make our e-commerce boxes and we are supporting local recycling services. Our low impact packaging is intentionally minimalist and there are no chemical additives, toxins or dyes in our cardboard, including in the adhesive tape used to seal the boxes. Our tissue paper is made of 70% recycled content, and all of the cardboard that we receive from our brand partners at our Distribution Centre is recycled. We have eliminated plastic bubble wrap and we are continually evaluating new solutions to reduce packaging waste in e-commerce and in our café takeaway packaging at SSENSE MONTRÉAL.
With its opening in May 2018, SSENSE MONTRÉAL became the first building in Canada designed by the renowned David Chipperfield Architects. Five floors of flexible merchandising and cultural programming allows us to leverage our infrastructure, digital capabilities and cultural perspectives to transcend the definition of physical retail. The online assortment of 20,000+ items are available for customers who book appointments, all of which is enabled by a technology platform and internal app custom-built by SSENSE. The interior is designed on a sixty centimetre grid which houses a hidden convertible socket system on the floors and ceiling that can transform between mechanical, technical, and functional elements, further adding to the flexibility of the space and installations within.
SSENSE recycles 100% of the cardboard that we receive at the Distribution Center from our brand partners.
Editorial and Programming
Our Editorial team creates exclusive content daily to meaningfully engage our community on the topics that matter to them. We use our platform to profile musicians, designers, writers, and creators who are advancing culture and society. In 2019, we launched Earth to Fashion, an editorial initiative to highlight new and established brands, designers, and activists working towards a sustainable future in fashion and beyond. Since we opened SSENSE MONTRÉAL, we have collaborated with creatives from a wide range of practices through site-specific brand activations and events supporting arts, music and design, providing another platform to amplify the voices of today’s most relevant talent.
Teaching Kids to Code
SSENSE is proud to support Kids Code Jeunesse in their mission to inspire young minds by teaching kids to code, create, and communicate across Canada. Kids Code Jeunesse is a bilingual English and French, not-for-profit organization determined to give children access to digital skills education. Through our partnership we have sponsored inclusive and accessible coding events and workshops to show kids that code has unlimited creative potential. SSENSE employees volunteered at events organized by Kids Code Jeunesse on topics ranging from basketball to outer space. Kids learned the basics of scratch and micro:bits to send their coding projects into the International Space Station. We are pleased to continue our ongoing collaboration with Kids Code Jeunesse.
Learning and Career Development
SSENSE recognizes the importance of having well-trained, competent and qualified employees to deliver high-quality services of international caliber. This is why we are expanding our presence on university campuses and award scholarships every year to students in technology, computer science, and management. In 2019, we launched a new internship and co-op program to attract and develop talent at the beginning of their careers. SSENSE University is our peer learning program led by employees, with the aim of fostering a culture of continuous learning and sharing. SSENSE has hosted guest speakers, Show and Tell presentations, hackathons and free public workshops. Over 17,000 training hours were given to employees in 2018 and 19% of employees received a promotion.
SSENSE supports healthy and sustainable commuting options for employees because transitioning to cleaner modes of transportation reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and improves urban health and safety. SSENSE subsidizes local transit passes for employees by 20%, and approximately 50% of employees commute by public transit. Over the past two years, SSENSE has partnered with a startup to encourage more employees to cycle to work. Cycling offers significant health benefits, and many people report higher levels of energy, happiness and productivity, and lower levels of stress. The cycling app automatically tracks employees commuting by bike and we give monthly financial rewards to participating employees based on everyone’s total distance.
SSENSE employees cycle over 36,000 km per year commuting to work—the equivalent of 90% of the distance around the world.
SSENSE is expanding its exploration of artificial intelligence by partnering with the scientific community to advance breakthroughs in AI research. SSENSE is a member of the AI-powered Supply Chains Supercluster (SCALE.AI), a business-led consortium building intelligent supply chains through artificial intelligence and robotics sponsored by the Government of Canada. In 2019 SSENSE launched SSENSE-Tech on Medium.com, giving over 150 software, dev-ops & data engineers, data scientists, quality-assurance testers, user-experience & user-interface designers, and product experts at SSENSE a platform to showcase their talent and expertise. We aim to bring value to our readers and contribute meaningfully to important discussions in the tech-industry at large.
SSENSE has installed three beehives on the roof of our Headquarters in Montreal to help pollinate local flowers and gardens while producing local, raw honey. This initiative helps raise awareness about the rapid decline in bee populations, an alarming phenomenon considering one third of what we eat relies on pollination. There is a growing body of evidence linking pesticide use with declining bee populations, and the City of Montreal has strict restrictions on the use of pesticides. This means that bees can thrive in urban areas like Montreal, and we are able to produce some of the highest quality honey. We offer our exclusive SSENSE honey to employees, to customers in our café at SSENSE MONTRÉAL, and for fundraising initiatives towards environmental conservation.
Over the past 2 years, SSENSE worker bees produced 60 kg of raw honey.
In 2019 SSENSE held a warehouse sale with a portion of all proceeds donated to Dress for Success Montreal, a non-profit empowering women to achieve economic independence. Dress for Success provides support, professional attire and development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Throughout the year, SSENSE employees also donate their gently-used clothing to a local non-profit that sells the clothing to fund housing for women living with difficulties in Montreal. During the winter holidays, SSENSE and employees donate food and supplies for homeless youth in Montreal. SSENSE regularly donates products to non-profit organizations in Montreal for charity auctions. Over the past year, 7 cultural and health organizations have received product donations.