Greensboro, N.C. — Since launching its new chemical management tool earlier this year, VF Corporation has removed more than 100 tonnes of potentially hazardous chemicals from its supply chain. Removing these chemicals is supposed to reduce the risk of product failures, wastewater pollution, and improve worker safety.
The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a watchdog group that VF Corp helped found, has shut down or partially closed 19 factories in the country due to safety concerns. The alliance will be compensating the 2,500 garment workers in those factories while repairs take place, and also loaning money to factory owners to help fund repairs. Owners who don’t upgrade their factories, including fixing major structural integrity problems, installing fire sprinklers and doors, and fixing faulty wiring, will lose the business of alliance members.
Seattle, Wash. — Eddie Bauer will be accepting coat donations in all of its retail and outlet stores, as part of a partnership with One Warm Coat, a national nonprofit agency that provides free coats to people in need. The drive will run from now until Nov. 2, and the brand will be accepting new and gently used coats in all 330 of its locations. People can also make a $5 donation to One Warm Coat by texting COLD to 80100. The charity was founded in 1992 and since then has distributed more than four million coats.
O’Donnell, Texas — A bevy of big names have announced their willingness to comply with the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), a new certification that aims to reduce mistreatment of ducks and geese that provide down for apparel and bedding. Products featuring RDS-certified down will be on shelves starting Fall 2015, while one of the RDS developers, The North Face, will transition to only using RDS down by 2017.
A new book from journalist and mountaineer James Edward Mills examines the historic and continued low rates of African-American and Hispanic participation in outdoor recreation. Titled The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors, it also highlights what Mills calls the “forgotten history” of minority participation and considers options to increase current interest.
Abingdon, Va. — The Access Fund, working with the Carolina Climbers Coalition (CCC), have succeeded in opening a large portion of the Hidden Valley climbing area (also known as Abingdon) in southwest Virginia. The spot, which features hundreds of single-pitch sport, mixed and traditional climbs, was closed in 2004 due to vandalism, leading to management concerns for the private owners.
American University has suspended its agreement with VF Corp.’s Jansport over its labor practices in Bangladesh. The university’s administration changed its policies in April 2014 when President Neil Kerwin issued a memo stating that within a month the school would end its partnerships with companies that did not sign the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.
On Sept. 22 Strava and GU Energy Labs announced a partnership to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). Under the partnership the two companies will attempt to raise at least $50,000 for CAF, which will help equip physically disabled athletes with adaptive sports equipment. The sports equipment will include running prosthetics and hand cycles, allowing them to take up or resume an active lifestyle.