You’ve probably heard of fair trade tea or fair trade coffee, but have you ever heard of fair trade apparel? In a time of a lagging global economy, it’s nice to see a company choose corporate responsibility over profits and this is exactly what the outdoor apparel company Patagonia has done!
According to a new press release from Fair Trade USA,Patagonia has confirmed itscommitment to offering Fair Trade apparel by next fall. The company plans on offering nine styles that meet Fair Trade USA standards in the fall of 2014.
Customers will be insured that the apparel they are purchasing under the Fair Trade USA label are products produced under safe working conditions, by workers with fair wages and by cooperatives that give marginalized workers a voice.
As a part of the initiative, Patagonia will pay a premium into a worker’s fund for every Fair Trade Certified product sold. Then the workers will decide, as a group, what to do with the money. Suggestions on what the workers can do with the funds include disaster relief, educational scholarships, healthcare, or even cash bonuses.
Patagonia is no stranger to corporate and consumer responsibility. Since 1985, Patagonia has proven its commitment to the environment, their customers and their employees.
Patagonia states on its website, “As a company that uses resources and produces waste, we recognize our impact on the environment and feel a responsibility to give back. For us, it’s not charity or traditional philanthropy: it’s part of the cost of doing business.”
This display of corporate responsibility toward the environment shows through in their various grants and initiatives. They support a plethora of grassroots organizations and individuals. They even incorporate this responsibility in their business plans, encouraging customers to act as well. This can be seen in their Common Threads Initiative, which encourages customers to use the Five R’s: Reduce, Repair, Reuse, Recycle, and Reimagine by allowing them return worn-out gear and clothing.
A company that recognizes that their foundation is built by the resources they use and the workers they employee is a feat in itself. Patagonia deserves a big round of applause for their active stance on giving back and support these foundational components.
Image Source: Hajime NAKAN/Flickr