Fair Wear Foundation is an independent, non-profit, multi-stakeholder organisation that works with brands and producers to improve labour conditions in the garment industry worldwide. Fair Wear has over 144 member brands with representation in 11 production countries in Asia, Europe and Africa, and keeps detailed track of progress made by all the partners it works with. Together with Fair Wear, Mountain Equipment is working to achieve fair working conditions worldwide.
Mountain Equipment has been a member of Fair Wear since 2012 and has developed a close partnership with Fair Wear, working together with them continuously over the past 11 years.
As a member of Fair Wear, Mountain Equipment is committed to implementing the strict 8-point Fair Wear Code of Labour Practices, which is based on UN and ILO principles, in all production facilities and so meets the highest standards for socially equitable working conditions. These include, among others, the payment of living wages, reasonable working hours, safe and healthy working conditions, prevention of child labour and many more.
In regularly scheduled audits, Fair Wear monitors working conditions and social standards in individual production facilities and then follows up to see how successful they have been at making changes. The audit teams make their assessment through offsite and onsite interviews with workers, document inspections and health and safety inspections. They then share their findings and recommendations for improvement with the brand and factory management. The brand and factory management create a concrete action plan with a clear timeframe, keeping in mind that it may not be possible to solve every issue at once. It’s then up to the brand and the factory to work together to resolve the issues.
Fair Wear Code of Labour Practices
The Fair Wear Code of Labour Practices contains eight elements, which are based on United Nations and International Labour Organization principles.
Fair Wear regularly verifies the implementation of these labour practices through factory audits and worker interviews both onsite and offsite, and through annual ‘Brand Performance Checks’ which assess how well each member’s management policies support the Code of Labour Practices. The Brand Performance Check is a tool used to figure out how the member brands’ business practices improve labour conditions. Every year, brands’ efforts are reviewed by measuring how well they have assessed, identified, and resolved issues with their suppliers.
Brand Performance Checks are an independent assessment of how each Fair Wear member brand is working to improve labour conditions in their supply chains. Fair Wear members like Mountain Equipment are evaluated against a set of indicators; the benchmarking score is an indication of how brands are doing on these indicators. The monitoring percentage shows how much of a brand’s production volume is covered by their monitoring system. Depending on how long the affiliate has been a member, the combination of benchmarking score and monitoring percentage lead to a category.
Outdoor & Sports Company (OSC) Social Report
Fair Wear members are required to hand in an annual social report. Brands’ social reports are part of Fair Wear’s requirements on brand transparency. Fair Wear collects and publishes the reports but does not verify their content before publishing them. The quality of the social reports is checked and reported on through the annual brand performance checks.
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.