Who makes your clothes?

3 December 2002

I asked Patagonia:

Hello Patagonia,

I am curious about where your products are manufactured -- and, more importantly, under what conditions. Can you provide any information about this?

Thank you very much for your time.


Patagonia responded:

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your email. We manufacture goods in China, Malaysia, Turkey, the UK, the USA and other countries. In addition, garments assembled both in and out of the US may contain parts manufactured both in and out of the USA. On our website, www.patagonia.com, we note which products are made in the USA under the "Details" tab on the product page.

As for working conditions, Patagonia is a founding member of the Fair Labor Association (F.L.A.), originally known as the Apparel Industry Partnership. President Clinton convened this group in 1997 to address the issues you raise in your correspondence. Our Code of Conduct, a copy of which is provided here, is that of the F.L.A.

On a more personal note, Patagonia's production team believes Patagonia products belong only in facilities that any Patagonia employee or customer would find acceptable upon a personal visit. The Production staff, in the course of its work, travels to every production location to manage the more traditional agenda of our business: quality, delivery schedules and cost negotiations. Through this process, we have found that only suppliers who treat their employees as valuable assets can consistently achieve the results we demand in these areas. There is a linkage between the two agendas that make it very easy for us to embrace both. In fact, we have come to view them as inseparable.

Patagonia.com Customer Service

They also included the Patagonia Workplace Code of Conduct. Read on...

Patagonia Workplace Code of Conduct

Forced Labor
There shall not be any use of forced labor, whether in the form of prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor or otherwise.

Child Labor
No person shall be employed at an age younger than 15 (or 14 where the law of the country of manufacture allows) or younger than the age for completing compulsory education in the country of manufacture where such age is higher than 15.

Harassment or Abuse
Every employee shall be treated with respect and dignity. No employee shall be subject to any physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse.

No person shall be subject to any discrimination in employment, including hiring, salary, benefits, advancement, discipline, termination or retirement, on the basis of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, or social or ethnic origin.

Health & Safety
Employers shall provide a safe and healthy working environment to prevent accidents and injury arising out of, linked with, or occurring in the course of work as a result of the operation of employer facilities.

Freedom of Association
Employers shall recognize and respect the right of employees to freedom of association and collective bargaining

Wages & Benefits
Employers recognize that wages are essential to meeting employee's basic needs. Employers shall pay employees, as a floor, at least the minimum wage required by local law or the prevailing industry wage, whichever is higher, and shall provide legally mandated benefits.

Hours of Work
Except in extraordinary business circumstances, employees shall (i) not be required to work more than the lesser of (a) 48 hours per week and 12 hours overtime or (b) the limits on regular and overtime hours allowed by the law of the country of manufacture or, where the laws of such country do not limit the hours of work, the regular work week in such country plus 12 hours overtime and (ii) be entitled to at least one day off in every seven day period.

Overtime Compensation
In addition to their compensation for regular hours of work, employees shall be compensated for overtime hours at such premium rate as is legally required in the country of manufacture or, in those countries where such laws do not exist, at a rate at least equal to the their regular hourly compensation rate.

Patagonia employs third party auditors to verify the conformance of sewing contractors to the requirements listed above.

Posted by Greg at 11:06 AM.

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