We believe that everyone should have a working environment that is inclusive, safe, fair and nondiscriminatory. Our goal is to extend REI's values in the supply chain by supporting the people behind our products and working with suppliers in achieving industry-leading practices.
REI Co-op Brands & Co-op Cycles
Our list of factory partners 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. 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 supplier approval, human rights auditing, and supplier training. REI is selective about our factories, seeking out the most capable and responsible partners. Additionally, each year we audit the majority of the factories in our supply chain using robust social and environmental assessment criteria. Audit data and findings are uploaded to a shared industry database, the Fair Factories Clearinghouse. REI then works with suppliers to identify the root cause of any finding that doesn't align with our standards to inform their development of a corrective action plan. REI maintains regular engagement with our suppliers throughout the corrective action plan implementation process to ensure that commitments made are followed through.
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.
Implementing best practices in a global supply chain cannot be accomplished solely by one brand. Accordingly, REI has developed partnerships with associations such as the Social-Labor Convergence Project, International Labour Organization Better Work Programme, Fair Trade USA and Fair Factories Clearinghouse. As an active member in these organizations, we build trust with suppliers and brands to work together to address systemic causes of fair labor violations.
Our industry is spending vast amounts of resources on social compliance audits, which are often duplicative and not necessarily the best tool for creating improvements. To meaningfully improve labor conditions, we must change the way we work. The Social Labour Convergence Program (SLCP) convenes over 200 signatories representing a diverse group of brands, manufacturers and labor rights groups. As one of the first signatories, REI plays an active role in developing an industry-wide protocol and verification process to objectively collect social and labor data. This data is then used to identify opportunities for improvement and track progress for the people behind our products.
REI continues to expand its use of the SLCP’s Converged Assessment Framework (CAF) in the supply chain for REI Co-op brand and Co-op Cycles. When the COVID-19 pandemic limited face-to-face contact with certain manufacturing partners, the Converged Assessment Framework provided a means to evaluate social compliance performance at factories. The results can be shared by manufacturers with other brand customers, creating a forum to work collaboratively on improvements where needed.
The Better Work Programme is a unique partnership between the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation to improve labor standards and competitiveness in global supply chains. The ILO Better Work staff partner with factories to implement best practices in labor management. Their model ensures an ongoing, coordinated dialogue between factory employees and owners. REI strongly encourages participation for qualifying factories that create the REI Co-op products. We also partner with the ILO team to continuously strengthen the collaborative approach to ensure employee well-being.
With the continued presence of COVID, REI closely engages with in-country ILO Better Work staff and our supply chain partners participating in the program to ensure timely communication and support is provided for the well-being of manufacturing employees. Over the past year, we also supported the testing and integration of the SLCP CAF in the Better Work program as we continue to drive greater alignment within the industry, reduce audit fatigue and bolster greater supplier ownership of compliance and best practices.
A nonprofit known for its work in agriculture, Fair Trade USA expanded those practices into apparel and home goods products. Fair Trade Certified™ products are made according to rigorous social and environmental standards, and the people who produce them earn a Fair Trade premium for certified products. A growing number of REI Co-op brand products are certified to the Fair Trade Factory standard, and we are proud to carry certified products from other leading brand partners.
Through Fair Trade committees, manufacturing employees decide how to best use the Fair Trade Premium contributions from REI Co-op to address their individual and collective needs. At a time when the global pandemic forced lockdowns in some countries, the committees worked closely with Fair Trade USA to enable the early release of the premiums as emergency financial funding to factory employees, helping lessen the financial burdens of the pandemic and government mandated factory closures. In 2021, REI Co-op brand contributed more than $500,000 in manufacturer employee premiums at its five participating manufacturing partners.
This nonprofit was launched in 2004 with support from the U.S. Department of State to create sustainable, cost-effective monitoring systems for workplaces around the world. At the time, there was no comprehensive industry tool for managing or sharing labor audit information. REI uses the Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC) database as our primary system for maintaining reliable information on the REI Co-op brand supply chain, including factory audits, remediation plans and multi-brand collaborations with shared suppliers. We contribute to the technical advisory group to continuously strengthen the FFC platform.