The pledge covers 61 styles for product categories across men’s, women’s and childrenswear

The pledge covers 61 styles for product categories across men’s, women’s and childrenswear

Outdoor apparel brand Patagonia says all of its waterproof shells are now made with recycled materials and sewn in Fair Trade Certified factories.

The move covers 61 styles for product categories across men's, women's and childrenswear.

"Our focus is on the achievement – causing less harm with our environmental footprint and supporting the people who build our product – and on recognising the risks and rewards of going first," the company says, adding: "Using recycled fabrics for all our waterproof shells decreases our dependence on petroleum and diverts used materials from the landfill."

Patagonia says it chooses to pay a premium for all its waterproof shells so they can be Fair Trade Certified sewn. The extra money spent goes directly to the people making the jackets.

"Being first is a risky endeavour, but someone has to do it," Patagonia adds. "That's what drove us to make all of our waterproof jackets with recycled materials and rigorously test them to ensure we weren't compromising our standards for durability or performance.

"And because we've now partnered and launched Fair Trade programmes in all of our shell factories, we're also supporting the people behind the product. The result is the most sustainably, responsibly and obsessively made collection of jackets anywhere."

Patagonia began by making ten Fair Trade clothing styles in a single factory in the autumn of 2014, and has been ramping up the programme ever since. 

The California-based company pays an additional premium for every product made by a Fair Trade Certified factory, which workers can use to elevate their standard of living and bridge the gap between a minimum wage and a living wage.

The money goes into an account the workers control and a worker-elected committee votes on how to spend the money – either as a cash bonus or to pay for social, economic and environmental community projects.