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.
Following the recent update on its efforts to further worker safety in Bangladesh, V.F. Corp has announced that it will provide $10 million for factory safety improvements in the country. V.F. Corp, and its subsidiaries like The North Face and Jansport have drawn criticism from college students across the nation; students allege that the company hasn’t done enough to ensure better conditions for workers in overseas factories, particularly Bangladesh.
VF Corp. has published its first update on a worker safety program to improve labor conditions in Bangladesh. The company has faced a lot of criticism regarding its labor practices in Bangladesh, largely because it hasn’t signed onto the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a contract created following a tragic fire in Bangladesh factory. Instead, VF responded by founding the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, which isn’t legally binding.