Under Armour has published a factory list representing about 90% of its production volume

Under Armour has published a factory list representing about 90% of its production volume

The Fair Labor Association (FLA) has accredited US sportswear brand Under Armour's social compliance programme in a move that confirms the company has strong policies and practices in place to set goals, monitor, and remediate problems to improve conditions for the workers within its global supply chain.

The Fair Labor Association works to promote and protect workers' rights and improve workplace conditions, and its accreditation process is a multi-year examination of a company's labour compliance programme. 

"We are proud to have been recognised by the FLA for this significant sustainability milestone," said Patrik Frisk, Under Armour president and COO. "The FLA's multi-stakeholder composition – which includes civil society, university and business members that hold brands and suppliers accountable for their labor compliance performance – is a holistic approach that empowers our goal of becoming a more operationally excellent company." 

The FLA is the only organisation of its kind to which brands and suppliers commit to meeting the standards of transparency, regular review and assessment of corporate systems that support workers' rights. For more than 20 years, the FLA has worked to establish its accreditation process as the gold standard for a systems-level approach to human rights compliance and social responsibility.

Participating companies must regularly assess supply chain production facilities for adherence to international labor standards and pursue continuous improvement efforts to address conditions for workers in order to achieve accreditation.

In support of this effort, Under Armour has previously published a factory list representing about 90% of its production volume, including licensee factories that produce collegiate products.

The Supply Chain List details the names and address of Under Armour's Tier 1 (assembly locations) suppliers in a 13-page document – including licensee factories that produce collegiate products. The list also provides the number of workers at each site and what type of product the site produces.

Sharon Waxman, FLA president and CEO applauded Under Armour's commitment to embedding international labour standards and best practices into its global sourcing operations.

She added: "The people who make the products that bear Under Armour's name deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness. The FLA's rigorous accreditation programme is based on human rights principles, and achieving accreditation is an important and meaningful milestone in Under Armour's long-term effort to improve conditions for workers in its supply chain."

The FLA accreditation report noted particular strengths of Under Armour's programme, among which was a board and executive level commitment to improving conditions and protecting workers, including the creation of Under Armour's Sustainability Leadership Council, which includes senior managers from key departments.

Other highlights are regular training on workplace standards, transparency, root cause analysis, and health and safety for strategic suppliers; the creation of procedures to ensure workers have access to and are aware of the multiple grievance channels they can access, including directly to UA via confidential reporting; and a comprehensive monitoring programme that includes pre-assessment meetings with unions, worker representative structures, and civil society organisations.

Under Armour was also praised for its demonstrated engagement with civil society and union representatives in key sourcing regions, especially East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Central America.

"We believe that our FLA Affiliation will continue to make the conditions for workers in the global supply chain, and Under Armour, better," notes Michael Levine, Under Armour vice president of sustainability. "We see accreditation by the FLA as a way to demonstrate our commitment and impact to key stakeholders, including the people who make and buy our products."