The Swiss sportswear brand Kjus has been awarded 'Leader' status for the third time in a row in recognition of its efforts to establish fair working conditions in its supply chain.

Among its initiatives, the company is praised for ensuring that workers at a supplier in Vietnam receive not just the minimum wage, but also an appropriate living wage. It also spells out its complex production processes, enabling suppliers to plan ahead and avoid overtime. Kjus is also acutely aware that the price paid has a direct impact on working conditions.

The accolade comes from independent non-profit organisation Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), whose annual Brand Performance Check notes: "Kjus demonstrates pioneering results and has made outstanding progress."

The Leader category distinguishes members of the FWF who operate at an exemplary and advanced level, and includes companies that demonstrate best practices in complex areas such as safeguarding the minimum wage, complaints management or freedom of association.

"Our employees are the most important factor in our success," says Nico Serena, CEO of Kjus, adding: "For us, this guiding principle goes way beyond our own company and headquarters. This is why we fight for fair working conditions among our suppliers and actively help to establish them."

Kjus is a premium brand that specialises in ski, golf and lifestyle collections that are developed, manufactured, distributed and marketed in more than 30 countries.

More than 90 companies and 120 brands are members of the FWF, which is committed to improving working conditions in the clothing industry by implementing a series of practical steps. Its members must sign up to the 8-point FWF Code of Labor Practices, which is based on UN and ILO principles.

Each year, the FWF publishes the efforts and progress made by its members to apply the code in their supply chains.