Kathmandu has become the first Australasian company to receive the Fair Labour Association accreditation. The travel and adventure brand joins the likes of Nike, Patagonia and Hugo Boss in their commitment to enhancing freedom and human rights in their clothing manufacturing process.
Kathmandu proves to be ethical and sustainable
The Fair Labour Association (FLA) ensures consumers that their garments are made under decent and humane working conditions. The association have altered their targets to become stricter due to recent events (Rana Plaza collapse) and modern transparency in order to recognise the most socially responsible companies in the world.
To achieve their accreditation achievement, Kathmandu had to meet the rigorous verifications. These include transparent workplace standards, business and supplier training, grievance and remediation protocol, monitoring practices, responsible purchasing, consultation with civil society institutions and a range of verification and program requirements that companies must follow.
The achievement comes after years of improvement in the brands manufacturing and labour practices. Recently, the brand was awarded an ‘A’ grade in the 2018 Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion Report.
“Kathmandu has long been promoting and complying with international labour standards throughout our supply chain, working toward the full FLA accreditation of our social compliance program,” Kathmandu’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Gary Shaw, said. “This FLA achievement ensures our efforts are independently verified and assessed on the basis of fulfilling all of the principles of fair labour and responsible sourcing.”
The brand not only focuses on ethical practices but is also making a big effort in its sustainable fashion. The company has recycled 3.9 million plastic bottles to create their gear, 74% of their cotton is sustainable and the company have donated 899 kgs of clothing to Red Cross charity shops to eliminate wastage from overproduction.
Xavier Simonet, CEO of Kathmandu, describes their accreditation to be a reflection on the brand values: “Importantly we are continuing to focus on sharing our vision and values with our production partners and helping them with training and toolkits to ensure that they set a high standard for workers’ rights, safety and empowerment.”
The FLA recognises companies headquartered in only 19 countries, yet their factories and farms cover 84 countries globally and 4.6 million workers. Organisations like this give companies something to strive towards in order to make their practices more ethical and help eliminate worker exploitation.
The Christchurch-founded brand has not only succeeded their fellow kiwis but also their Aussie counterparts as they are recognised globally for their efforts.