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Patagonia weaves Fair Trade practices into supply chain

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Fair Trade and organic cotton clothing from Patagonia is coming soon to a retail store near you.

 When you think about fair trade, coffee and chocolate probably come to mind. One day, many consumers will add apparel to that list.

The welfare of garment workers has garnered well-deserved attention after a series of horrific catastrophes, including the Rana Plaza factory collapse in April that killed more than 1,100 people in Bangladesh. Since then, more than 70 global retailers have signed the legally binding Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord. 

Patagonia is attacking the issue of worker welfare differently. The Ventura, California-based clothing company with a track record in supporting environmental causes just announced plans to start selling nine styles of Fair Trade Certified apparel during the 2014 fall season, with more to follow in the spring of 2015.
These products will be made by Pratibha, a vertical operation in India, using organic cotton farms, fabric mills and a sewing factory, according to Cara Chacon, Patagonia's director of social and environmental responsibility. For every Fair Trade Certified product sold, Patagonia will pay a premium - somewhere between one per cent and 10 per cent of the item's factory price - into a special bank account controlled by Pratibha workers who decide democratically how to use the funds.
"They could distribute it as a bonus to everyone," Chacon says. "And by the way, everyone in the factory gets to get the distribution from the premium, not just the Patagonia sewers. So say we're only taking up two or three sewing lines out of 20, everyone gets it, not just our sewing lines."..Read more on businessgreen

Last modified on Friday, 01 November 2013 15:35

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