Canada-based Arc’teryx Equipment, a design company specialising in technical high-performance outerwear and equipment, will begin its Fair Trade journey by converting three manufacturing facilities in Vietnam into Fair Trade Certified ones in 2021. As part of its response to the pandemic-induced global garment workers’ crisis, the company aims at certifying 80 per cent of its products as Fair Trade by 2025.

In 2021, close to 60 models crafted in three facilities in Vietnam, accounting for nearly 20 per cent of the brand’s total products, will be certified Fair Trade.

The move comes as part of the company’s response to the global garment workers’ crisis that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to accelerate, it said in a press release.

In a call to action to fellow brands, Arc’teryx President, Jon Hoerauf said that the global apparel industry must do better by its workers. “The people who make our products are integral to our brand, and I believe their right to health, security and fair wages is universal. This pandemic has revealed massive global imbalances and reiterated how few social protections exist for garment makers worldwide, 75 per cent of whom are women whose families depend on this industry,” he said.

Following the rapid and significant impacts felt in supply chains globally, Arc’teryx is committed to joining the broader industry conversation to address the lack of social protections that persist in many countries where the garment industry operates.

“Additionally through our parent company, Amer Sports, we have signed the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Call to Action, and we have contributed $50,000 to directly support garment workers’ short-term needs in Bangladesh via the AWAJ Foundation,” said Hoerauf.

“The meticulous designs of Arc’teryx products require us to develop values-aligned, multi-year relationships with our manufacturing partners. Now, thanks to our partnership with Fair Trade USA® we have an even greater opportunity to protect the welfare of the garment workers associated with our partners,” he added.

For each Arc’teryx fair trade product ordered, premiums are paid directly to garment workers to improve their livelihoods, for example for childcare, gas stoves, health insurance, or clean water.

Fair Trade USA is a non-profit organisation and the leading certifier of fair trade products in North America. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified seal on a product signifies that it was made according to rigorous fair trade standards that promote sustainable livelihoods and safe working conditions, protection of the environment, and strong, transparent supply chains.