The Fair Wear Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that collaborates with brands and producers worldwide to enhance labour conditions in the garment industry. It boasts a membership of 127 brands, operating in 11 different production countries across Asia, Europe, and Africa. The foundation meticulously tracks the progress of all its partners. Fair Wear Foundation's primary mission is to guide and evaluate brands, advocating for the adoption of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) guidelines for human rights due diligence throughout the industry. Mountain Equipment actively participates in human rights due diligence and contributes to both prevention and remediation efforts.
Mountain Equipment joined the Fair Wear Foundation in 2012 and has maintained a strong partnership for the past 11 years. As part of the Outdoor & Sports Company (OSC), Mountain Equipment collaborates closely with both Fair Wear and the factories involved in the production process.
As a member of Fair Wear, Mountain Equipment is committed to implementing the 8-point Fair Wear Code of Labour Practices, which are firmly rooted in UN and ILO (International Labour Organization) principles. This commitment extends to all our production facilities, ensuring that we adhere to the highest standards in terms of fair and equitable working conditions. These standards encompass various aspects, such as fair wages, reasonable working hours, safe and healthy work environments, and the elimination of child labour. We also recognize the importance of enabling workers to form or join trade unions and have democratic representation, which is pivotal in our pursuit of improved working conditions.
Fair Wear Code of Labour Practices
To uphold these standards, we conduct regular audits of our production facilities. These audits comprehensively review working conditions and monitor social standards. The audit teams engage in interviews with workers, inspect documents, and assess health and safety conditions. The findings and recommendations for improvement are transparently communicated to both the brand and factory management. Subsequently, both parties collaborate to develop a corrective action plan with clear timelines, working together to address any issues and implement preventive measures.
The Brand Performance Check (BPC) is an annual assessment conducted by a member of the Fair Wear Foundation team to review our activities with our suppliers. This evaluation serves as an independent gauge of how each Fair Wear member brand, including Mountain Equipment within OSC, manages and oversees labour conditions within their supply chains. The BPC evaluates all members based on a specific set of criteria, and the benchmarking score provides insights into their performance against these criteria. These indicators assess the extent to which social compliance is integrated into a brand's core business practices and how well the brand adheres to the Code of Labour Practices. The results of the BPC are assessed and publicly disclosed.
In the 2022 assessment, OSC received a 'Good' rating in its Brand Performance Check. The revised BPC methodology is now more thorough in a preventive approach and included new performance indicators. We are actively addressing all recommendations and requirements from the BPC, emphasising a proactive and risk-based approach rather than a reactive one, which we had previously followed.
Outdoor & Sports Company (OSC) Social Report
Our annual Social report is an opportunity to evaluate our social and ethical work transparently. The social report is discussed and reviewed as part of the brand performance check.
Where craft meets practice
Since Mountain Equipment began in 1961 we have participated in countless ascents of the world’s highest peaks, supported climbers establishing ever more adventurous routes and equipped world record setting trips to the North and South Poles. We have been making gear for the most inhospitable places on the planet for over 60 years. You learn a lot here. And all we have learned, lives in our gear.