It looks like VF Corporation's actions (or inactions, as its critics are alleging) are causing some trouble for subsidiary The North Face. College students are protesting the outdoor brand while watchdog group Clean Clothes Campaign blasted VF Corporation for "dragging their feet" when it comes to ensuring overseas workers are paid a living wage. Earlier this week, The North Face released a statement defending its ethical standards and its commitment to supplier wages.
Petaluma, Calif. – Camelbak Products has pledged $100,000 to the 21st Century Conservation Corps, which employs young adults and veterans in protecting, restoring and enhancing America's natural and cultural resources.
A year ago, it was revealed that Uzbekistan uses forced labor, including that of children, to harvest its cotton. Since then, about 139 brands have pledged to remove Uzbek cotton from their supply chains. A new report from the Responsible Sourcing Network picked 49 and graded them on their efforts, ranking Adidas at No. 1 for eliminating Uzbek cotton.
Montebello, Calif. – Allied Feather & Down is the first adopter of The North Face's Responsible Down Standard, which creates a way for outdoor industry brands to ensure the ethical treatment of the animals in the down supply chain. Vendors will be able to incorporate the new, certified down in their Fall 2015 product lines. The standard ensures that the down and/or feathers from goslings and geese used in certified garments were not live-plucked, and that the animals weren't force-fed.
Seattle, Wash. – For the annual "Get Outdoors!" contest, Tubbs Snowshoes has chosen the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School and Sacramento Inner City Outings as its winners. For its prize each group receives 30 pairs of Tubbs snowshoes and Winter Fit for Kids, a program that motivates youth to play outside in the winter. The winners were selected by reviewing essays where each entrant explains why it deserves to win. The contest began in 2012.
Sales of Freewaters shoes featuring Therm-a-Rest insoles will support the project, in which volunteers will visit classrooms and teach students how to use a water purifier in emergencies and for disaster relief. The pilot program launches in May.
Laval, Quebec – Pelican International, in association with River Sports Outfitters, announced today support for the Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville, Tenn. The stand-up paddleboard (SUP) maker and the local retailer will raise funds and awareness for the nature center by donating SUPs, kayaks and other plastic boats.
The center features rocks, trees and trails to explore and is populated by owls, salamanders and other wildlife. Guests can come to hike, paddle, strollor learn about the protected area.
Cortez, Colo. – Osprey has donated more than $10,000 to 88bikes, a nonprofit that endows bikes to women around the world, particularly the survivors of human trafficking. The bikes give them independence through a reliable mode of transportation. Osprey has teamed up with the charity since 2010, and has donated proceeds from sales of its cycling-specific hydration pack at Interbike Outdoor Demo. At this year's Interbike, the brand raised $3,000, selling out of the packs on the first day.
Waitsfield, Vt. – Outdoor apparel company Horny Toad made public its new membership in 1% for the Planet, an international network supporting the environment. The company pledges to contribute 1 percent of its annual sales to causes and organizations like Search for Adventure, Leave No Trace, Textile Exchange, Mountainfilm in Telluride, The Conservation Alliance and others.
1% for the Planet – which was envisioned by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and Blue Ribbon Flies owner Craig Mathews – brings together non-profits and businesses from around the world. With more than 1200 companies as members, it has raised more than $100 million since its inception over a decade ago.