Apparel workers are among the lowest paid people in the world. Patagonia doesn’t own any factories that make our products, so we have limited control over how much workers receive. But through Fair Trade, we can provide workers with tangible benefits that improve their lives.
We care for workers
Through our partnership with Fair Trade USA, Patagonia has been making Fair Trade clothing since 2014. Today, we are proud to offer more Fair Trade Certified sewn styles than any other apparel brand. To date, Patagonia’s Fair Trade program has impacted more than 64,000 workers in 10 countries around the globe.
We pay a premium for every Patagonia item that carries the Fair Trade Certified™ sewn label. That extra money goes directly to the workers at the factory, and they decide how to spend it. This is not a top-down program. In each factory, a democratically elected committee of Fair Trade workers decides how the funds will be used. Workers have chosen to use the premiums to fund community projects, like health-care programs or a child-care center, to purchase products they could not otherwise afford, like a laptop computer or a stove; or to take a cash bonus. But that’s not all. The program also promotes worker health and safety as well as social and environmental compliance, and encourages dialogue between workers and management.
We continue to work to find a permanent solution to ensure all workers who make our clothing earn a living wage.
Even though 75 percent of millennials want Fair Trade products, only a handful of outdoor companies are committed to Fair Trade. In partnership with Fair Trade USA and our suppliers, there are now more than 20 Fair Trade Certified™ factories that specialize in outdoor clothing. We encourage other brands that do business in those factories to join us in the Fair Trade movement.