In light of the fact that many manufacturers use Chinese slave labour to manufacture their products, what steps are being taken by REI to ensure that products you sell are not being made by slave labour.?
What steps are being taken to ensure that the membership is made fully aware of REIs efforts?
@WildalaskaKen thanks for the question and for giving us the opportunity to provide transparency with our product sourcing. We look around the world for the best factories to make REI's brand gear and apparel and our sourcing decisions are based on factories' technical expertise and ability to deliver the highest quality products at competitive prices and in alignment with our values.
We believe everyone should have access to working conditions that are safe, fair and nondiscriminatory. Our goal is to extend REI's values in the supply chain by supporting people behind our products and working with suppliers in achieving industry-leading practices.
Our Factory Partner List is publicly accessible and identifies the locations around the world where we source gear and apparel. Depending on the country, relying solely on local laws and enforcement may not be sufficient for meeting our expectations. For that reason, REI introduced its Factory Code of Conduct in 1993, and the current code establishes standards of workplace conduct for the factories that manufacture products we sell.
To advance the principles outlined in the code, our sustainability and production teams collaborate on process alignment, supplier approval and audit remediation. REI is selective about our factories. We only work with capable, responsible partners. Additionally, each year we audit the majority of the factories in our supply chain, after which we upload the audit data and findings to the shared industry database, the Fair Factories Clearinghouse. REI then works with suppliers to identify the root cause of each finding that doesn't align with our standards and we develop a corrective action plan and commit to specific completion dates. REI regularly consults with our suppliers throughout the process.
For information about our work to prevent human trafficking and forced labor in supply chains, we encourage you to review REI's disclosures for the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010.
The breadth of fair labor compliance cannot be accomplished solely by one brand. Accordingly, REI has developed partnerships with associations such as the Outdoor Industry Association, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and the Fair Factories Clearinghouse. As an active member of these organizations, we enhance, leverage and build trust with suppliers and brands and work together to address systemic causes of fair labor violations. Finally, we also support innovative programs designed to empower workers, including Fair Trade USA and the International Labour Organization Better Work Programme.
We hope you find this information helpful.