With a goal of having 80 percent of its products certified by Fair Trade USA by 2025, Arc’teryx has announced plans to convert three production facilities in Vietnam to Fair Trade CertifiedTM in the coming year. The move comes as part of the company’s response to the global garment workers’ crisis accelerated continuously by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a call to action to fellow brands, Jon Hoerauf, president of Arc’teryx, said that the global apparel industry must do better by its workers, whom he regards as highly valued and skilled craftspeople. He also pointed out that 75 percent of garment workers worldwide are women whose families depend on this industry. Given the rapid and significant impacts being felt in supply chains around the world, Arc’teryx has also pledged to join the broader industry conversation to address the lack of social protections that exist in many countries where the apparel industry operates.
The rollout of products to be Fair Trade certified will begin in 2021 with nearly 60 models manufactured in three factories in Vietnam, representing nearly 20 percent of the brand’s total products. For each Arc’teryx Fair Trade product ordered, premiums are paid directly to garment workers to improve their livelihoods, for example for childcare, gas stoves, health insurance or clean water.
“Transitioning our products to be Fair Trade Certified is a small step towards addressing these inequities,” says Hoerauf. “Additionally through our parent company, Amer Sports, we have signed the International Labour Organization (ILO) Call to Action.” He said that Arc’teryx has also contributed $50,000 to directly support garment workers’ short-term needs in Bangladesh via the AWAJ Foundation, a foundation established in 2003 to protect workers’ rights in the ready-made garment sector of Bangladesh.