Put simply, Patagonia believe that Fair Trade is the first step to wage equity in the supply chain. It works like this: Patagonia pay a premium for every waterproof shell, and that extra money goes directly to the factory workers who made it. But Fair Trade is about more than that. The program also promotes health and safety for workers and social and environmental compliance. As of July 2017, more than 15,700 people working in factories that make Patagonia clothing have benefited from the program, with Patagonia having been the first apparel company to bring Fair Trade to Mexico and the US.
Patagonia explain that to be Fair Trade certified, a factory has to meet the following criteria:
- Rigorous standards for health and safety
- Respect for the environment
- No child or forced labor
- Maternity and paid leave
- Community empowerment
- Additional money back to workers