Athleta Introduces First Fair Trade Certified Styles
More than 40 styles now provide a premium to predominantly female factory workforce
SAN FRANCISCO – January 31, 2017 – Athleta is introducing an assortment of styles created in a factory certified by Fair Trade USA, an organization dedicated to creating social and economic opportunities for factory workers around the world.
Athleta’s spring collection features more than 40 Fair Trade CertifiedTM styles and more styles will be added throughout the year. The offering is expected to approach 100 items by the end of 2017. The Fair Trade CertifiedTM pieces include the latest designs in some of Athleta’s most popular product lines such as the Sculptek Stealth collection and High Neck Chi tank as well as a range of additional tops and bottoms. The pieces are available in Athleta stores, through the Athleta catalog and online at Athleta.com.
Working with Fair Trade USA enables Athleta to enhance its commitment to empowering women by supporting the female-dominated workforce in the manufacturing facilities with which it sources. For every Fair Trade Certified™ product sold, factory workers directly earn an additional financial premium, which they collectively invest in the needs of their community. Previous investments, which are voted on and executed by the workers themselves, have included childcare, transportation, women’s health programs, and education – directly enhancing the lives of workers and their families. The debut styles are produced by a newly certified facility in Sri Lanka, supporting more than 2,100 workers of whom more than 80 percent are women.
“Supporting women in their ability to come together to reach their full potential is core to our brand,” said Nancy Green, president, Athleta. “Partnering with Fair Trade USA is an important and natural step in directly enabling the women who create Athleta clothes to positively affect their communities and families.”
For a product to earn Fair Trade certification, it must originate from a facility that operates according to the rigorous social, environmental and economic standards set in place by Fair Trade USA. The Fair Trade certification complements Gap Inc.’s Vendor Conduct standards. As part of the Gap Inc. portfolio of brands, Athleta products are manufactured by approved factories that are required to comply with the Gap Inc. Code of Vendor Conduct, which sets forth rigorous requirements for compliance with applicable laws, environmental standards, labor practices and working conditions to help ensure that factory workers are treated with dignity and respect.
“Fair Trade allows each of us to live our values through our everyday choices--through a simple purchase,” said Paul Rice, President & CEO of Fair Trade USA. “When you choose a Fair Trade Certified™ item from Athleta, you’re not just getting an amazing product; you’re also helping empower and improve the lives of the women who made it.”
ABOUT FAIR TRADE USA
Fair Trade USA is a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable livelihoods for farmers and workers; protects fragile ecosystems; and builds strong, transparent supply chains through independent, third-party certification. Its trusted Fair Trade Certified™ label signifies that rigorous standards have been met in the production, trade and promotion of Fair Trade products from over 80 countries across the globe. Recognized as a leading social venture by the Clinton Global Initiative, the Skoll Foundation and Ashoka, Fair Trade USA also provides critical capacity-building programs at origin, and educates consumers about the power of their purchase. www.FairTradeUSA.org.
Athleta creates versatile premium performance apparel designed by women athletes to inspire a community of active, confident women and girls to reach their limitless potential. Founded in 1998, Athleta integrates performance and technical features across its collection to carry a woman through her life in motion – from yoga and training to about-town and travel. In 2016 the company launched Athleta Girl mirroring its signature performance in styles for the next generation. Based in Petaluma, CA and a Gap Inc. brand (NYSE:GPS), Athleta apparel is available at its 125+ retail stores across the country, through its catalog, and at www.athleta.com.