All’s fair in love and war – but is all fair in the global labour market? Most of us know the answer to this question these days, but for the uninitiated among us, the clothes you wear are handled and sewn and folded and packed by very real people, in very real factories that exist in faraway locations - out of sight and out of mind for most.
Thankfully, companies such as Patagonia are stepping up to offer us as consumers a way to make a positive difference to the lives of the people behind our favourite gear. There’s no better feeling than pulling on a fresh Tee or a pair of Boardies, knowing that your purchase helped to fund a free childcare centre, household essentials, or cash payments to give some very deserving humans a step up towards a better life. And this is exactly what happens when you choose Fair Trade CertifiedTM!
Fair Trade CertifiedTM gives the power back to the people on the ground. Patagonia pays a premium for every Fair Trade CertifiedTM sewn item and this extra money is then paid directly to the workers at the factory, who form democratic committees to decide how best to spend the payment. This opens up career and education prospects for the workers and offers them tangible paths towards a better future.
It’s no surprise that Patagonia continue to lead the charge with Fair Trade CertifiedTM and sustainability initiatives – it’s what they’ve been doing since day dot, and things are only gaining momentum. In just four years, more than 26,000 workers have benefitted from Patagonia’s participation in the Fair Trade CertifiedTM program. That number continues to grow as surfers, snowboarders, climbers and fly-fishers discover they don’t have to compromise quality or product longevity to support the environments they choose to play in.
Fair Trade CertifiedTM initiatives aren’t the only thing Patagonia excel at – they also work towards organic and recycled materials, transparency in supply chains and natural alternatives to neoprene wetsuits. Keep an eye out for the Planet Positive sash on products sitewide that you can purchase to support these awesome projects.
Patagonia’s focus on fair labour and environmental sustainability is fitting for a company whose success is built on exploring and enjoying the wild and untamed places that surround us. In fact, Patagonia’s mission is to build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm and to use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. It’s pretty clear they’re not only on the right track, they’re trailblazing a new way of doing business - and we’re backing it!