Patagonia has scaled up its Fair Trade program, in partnership with Fair Trade USA, from one factory and 11 styles in autumn 2014 to six factories and 218 styles in autumn 2016. By autumn 2017, the California-based outdoor brand expects to boost further production of fair trade garments from 218 to 300 styles across factories in India, Vietnam, Thailand, Mexico, Colombia and Nicaragua.
As a complement to its own factory monitoring program, Patagonia has a partnership with Fair Trade USA, an organization that has developed a program to ensure products are made in factories and farms where workers are treated and paid fairly. For every product made by a Fair Trade Certified factory, companies such as Patagonia pay an additional premium that workers can use to bridge the gap between a minimum wage and a living wage. The money goes into an account that workers control through a worker-elected committee, which votes on how to spend the money - whether as a cash bonus or to pay for social and environmental community projects.
Since 2014, Patagonia has paid $639,000 in premiums that go to the workers making its apparel. The company's global supply chain counts nearly 75 factories and more than 100,000 workers.