Search Report
2016 Sustainability Report
published 2017/08/01

Fair Working Conditions Worldwide

May 4, 2017 – Our most recent Brand Performance Check from the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) published in March has confirmed that 100 % of VAUDE’s production facilities worldwide have been audited in accordance with the Fair Wear Foundation regulations.

Brand Performance Check 2017

We’ve reached our major goal of sourcing the entire VAUDE product range – about 2.000 different products annually – solely from production facilities that have committed themselves to meeting strict social standards.

Sven König

Sven König, Production Manager and member of the VAUDE CSR-Team:

»We're really pleased that now all 48 production facilities that sew VAUDE products have been audited in accordance with the Fair Wear Foundation regulations. It is an enormous challenge to implement these processes under such a wide range of conditions with so many different partners. We are very proud that we have reached 100%.«

Brand Performance Check Overview

We ensure independent monitoring at all of our production facilities.

As a FWF member, VAUDE first achieved the highest possible status of “Leader” in 2015. Companies achieve this status when at least 90% of their entire product range is manufactured in facilities that have been audited in accordance with the specifications of the FWF. In addition, the standard for points earned in the Brand Performance Check is very high. In the annual Brand Performance Check, the Fair Wear Foundation examines and evaluates where and how well VAUDE has integrated social standards in its internal practices, such as the areas of purchasing practices and production planning.

The Fair Wear Foundation revises and strengthens its requirements for member companies on a regular basis. This ensures that leading member companies also continue to be challenged and improved.

Stefanie Santila Karl

Stefanie Santila Karl, Fair Wear Foundation:

»For the third time in a row, VAUDE has reached the highest category - Leader - in the Brand Performance Check. VAUDE has created structures within the company and established systems that form a basis for implementing social standards in its production facilities. Undergoing a comprehensive audit, VAUDE is now even more aware of working conditions on-site and, in particular, has put the challenge of paying a living wage onto the agenda for 2017.«


2017 Results

At the beginning of the year, a team from the FWF visited VAUDE to conduct the annual Brand Performance Check; the evaluation time period was January - December 2016. The final report highlighted our in-depth knowledge of production conditions at our various manufacturing facilities. We have been very successful in this endeavour because we have employees who regularly visit all production facilities. This makes it possible to monitor adherence to the FWF standards. Together with the producers, the VAUDE CSR Team ensures that action plans are followed and training courses are conducted.

Extract from the 2017 report:

»VAUDE has established strong, integrated systems at the company level. Due to full-time staff in Asia and frequent visits by VAUDE staff to the production sites, VAUDE's CSR team possesses in-depth knowledge about its production sites. The monitoring and remediation of findings at the production sites is a joint effort of all staff members in close contact with the production sites.«

BPC: Scoring Overview

The FWF focuses on the following 8 criteria:

1 Employment is freely chosen

Workers cannot be forced to work, for example by withholding their salaries or by locking them up.

2 No discrimination in employment

Most garment workers are women. They often face discrimination and harassment. FWF works towards better conditions for women and for other vulnerable groups like migrant workers.

3 No exploitation of child labour

Children should be able to go to school. Once they're old enough to work, they should be protected from hazardous work or long hours.

4 Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining

For sustainable change, it's crucial that workers have a voice in the improvement of their working conditions. The right to form unions and bargain with factories is the first step.

5 Payment of a living wage

Working for a living - that's the idea. Wages for a normal working week should be enough to meet basic needs of workers and their families and to provide some discretionary income.

6 Reasonable hours of work

Working six days a week, eight hours a day. That's what the UN says is the max. Any more than that should be voluntary, paid and not more than twelve hours a week.

7 Safe and healthy working conditions

Workers have a right to safe and healthy working conditions. That means accessible fire exits and proper safety gear. And if they need to work with hazardous materials or equipment, they need to know how.

8 A legally binding employment relationship

Workers have legal rights to a contract and certain benefits, like pension payments, social security, insurances and severance pay. Employers need to respect those rights.

About the FWF

Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is an independent, non-profit organization that works to improve labor conditions in the textile and garment industry.

As an FWF affiliate, VAUDE is committed to ensuring that all production facilities comply with the stringent FWF Code of Labor Practices and so fulfil the highest standards for social just working conditions.

Independent audits and evaluations

Fair Wear Foundation regularly carries out audits of individual production facilities. In the annual Brand Performance Check, all measures taken by VAUDE to implement and improve social standards are evaluated on a performance benchmarking system and disclosed.