Patagonia Converts to Fair Trade

Patagonia Converts to Fair Trade

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In partnership with Fair Trade certifiers in the United States, Patagonia has begun to convert its entire collection – starting with 10 pieces of women’s athletic and fall apparel. By fall of next year it will include 165 styles.

Patagonia’s pursuit of Fair Trade is part of a larger strategy in addressing fair wages in their supply chain.

“For two years we’ve been talking with Fair Trade USA about the conversion. There’s been so much support and enthusiasm internally,” said Thuy Nguyen, Patagonia’s Social and Environmental Responsibility Manage. “We want to improve the living wage of workers in the apparel industry. We all know it’s the right thing to do and by next fall, we will have six additional, Fair Trade certified factories around the globe. And this includes the first, Fair Trade certified factory in the United States.”

Currently, Patagonia has certified Pratibha, an Indian-based factory, a factory they’ve had a relationship with for a long time. Nguyen visited Pratibha in May and saw the workers empowered

As part of a longer-term strategy, Patagonia plans to pursue Fair Trade certification at both the factory and farm level.

Patagonia is not currently passing any of the costs of Fair Trade to the customer. And they don’t exactly know how the conversion will impact ROI or their bottom line. But Fair Trade reflects their mission, their values and who they are and to them—that’s all that matters.

(READ more from Just Means)