Ethical apparel brands committed to human rights

This month on social media and the Erb Perspective Blog, the Erb Institute is focusing on human rights and human development. Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, color, religion, language or any other status. Here, we highlight five apparel brands that are investing in and making a difference in human rights in various ways.

Thirty-eight percent of Patagonia’s product line is now Fair Trade Certified™. Patagonia has made a strong commitment to sustainability through its fair trade certified Better Sweater® and Men’s and Women’s Synchilla® Snap-T® styles. Each purchase sends more money back to factory workers that can be allocated as cash, used for a collective social investment or both.Adidas scored in the 50th to 59th percentile on the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, ranking second overall. The company scored particularly high in the categories of grievance channels/mechanisms to receive complaints or concerns from workers, commitment to respect human rights, and transparency. It also earned 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Fifteenth Annual Scorecard on LGBT Workplace Equality in 2017.

In October of this year, Outerknown (along with Adidas and Patagonia) received its accreditation by the Fair Labor Association for its continued work to build and maintain internal structures that support the highest workplace standards. Through a partnership with Fair Trade USA, Outerknown ensures a safe, healthy and prosperous work environment. The company also gives money back to workers through the ethos: no middlemen, no red tape, just cash back for a job well done.Marks and Spencer placed first in the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, ranking in the 60th to 69th percentile. The company scored particularly high in the categories of commitment to respect human rights and human rights due diligence. Marks and Spencer also features an interactive supply chain map on its website, making strides to further transparency.

According to data collected by Project Just, Everlane factories pay between 10 percent and and 93 percent above the minimum wage in each region. On average, this is 49 percent above the regional average. Everlane also champions transparency, specifically in its supply chain, and shares an interactive factory map on its website, showcasing photos and information on its factories worldwide.Interested in continuing the conversation? Tweet us @erbinstitute!