The Ethical Fashion Guide scored us an 'A' two years running. Read more here.
Each year, Kathmandu participates in the Ethical Fashion Report produced by Baptist World Aid Australia and Tearfund New Zealand, which work towards ethical fashion in Australia and New Zealand.
The Ethical Fashion Report grades fashion companies on ethical practices in their supply chains, giving consumers the power to shop ethically and use their voice to encourage greater transparency. It's a practical tool that can be used to reduce worker exploitation and alleviate poverty in developing countries where clothes are manufactured.
Companies are assessed at three critical stages of the supply chain:
1. Raw materials
2. Inputs production
3. Final stage production
In 2019, in addition to the four established areas of grading in the report (policies, transparency and traceability, auditing and supplier relationships, and worker employment), Tearfund added a fifth grading criterion: environmental management.
The report scores companies on the levels of visibility and transparency across their supply chain with regards to policies, transparency and traceability, auditing and supplier relationships, worker empowerment and environmental management.
For the second year in a row, Kathmandu scored an 'A' in 2019.
The report noted the improvements we have made in transparency by publishing our complete list of suppliers (below) so our customers know exactly where their products are made.
The Ethical Fashion Guide further highlighted as best practice the steps we have taken to ensure that workers have a greater voice by improving the grievance mechanisms available to those working in our supply chain.
Kathmandu Corporate Social Response-ability Manager, Gary Shaw, says the report helps raise the bar on human rights in the supply chain.
"Companies are competitive by nature. Now, instead of trying to be the best in the world, they're competing to be the best for the world. Like the Modern Slavery Act, the Ethical Fashion Report invites companies to become more aware of their supply chain and the impact they have on the world."
The first brand in the southern hemisphere to be accredited by the Fair Labour Association (FLA). Read more here.
What does this mean for workers? The FLA audits and verifies our social compliance program to ensure that we are promoting and complying with international labor standards and best practices throughout our supply chain.
Our efforts are independently verified and assessed on the basis of fulfilling all of the principles of fair labour and responsible sourcing.
The FLA have completed social compliance initiatives and assessments at several of our factories. Their reports on Kathmandu facilities can be read on the FLA website.
The FLA also offers tools and resources to help companies better protect and empower their workers — including training to factory workers and management. The FLA works with companies to advocates for greater accountability and transparency throughout global supply chains.
Our goal is to set the standard for companies in Australia and New Zealand to champion ethical fashion principles, which are based on workers’ wellbeing, safety, and empowerment.
Bringing others with us: Oboz takes its first steps on corporate social responsibility journey. Read more here.
In 2018, U.S. specialist hiking and outdoor shoe brand, Oboz, joined the Kathmandu family.
Oboz already undertakes considerable efforts towards ethical fashion:
1. Oboz donates unsold but trail-worthy shoes in partnership with Project Sole and non-profits.
2. They also offset their carbon for all shipments, employee travel, and office utilities.
3. 100% of the company headquarters' electricity is wind-generated.
In 2019, Kathmandu Corporate Social Response-ability Manager, Gary Shaw, spent time with the team at Oboz, sharing his own approach to supply management and transparency.
"It was great to have Gary and his knowledge to partner with us on this very important topic," says Oboz CEO Amy Beck. "We are in the process of building our CSR and sustainability road map. By working with the Kathmandu team and their processes, standards, and training, this will be an area of focus and priority for our teams and partners."