“These outstanding audit results are a clear confirmation that we are expending a great deal of energy and human resources for good working conditions in our supply chain. We are truly pleased that we have been able to make a positive contribution and bring about change; our results provide motivation for continuing to pursue our pioneering role and stand up for our values," says Antje von Dewitz, VAUDE Managing Director.
Brand Performance Check at VAUDE
In mid-March, a team from the FWF visited VAUDE to carry out the annual Brand Performance Check. During the audit, the FWF examined how VAUDE’s management practices positively or negatively influence working conditions in the supply chain. The period from January to December 2017 was evaluated. In its final report, the FWF found it noteworthy that VAUDE had made major advances in the following areas: Monitoring of action plans to improve social standards, professional handling of workers’ complaints, training measures in the production plants to increase management awareness and competence in these areas.
In addition, VAUDE was again able to prove that 100 % of its producers in high risk countries have been audited. But that alone wasn’t enough: VAUDE is working together with its production plants toward continuous improvement.
Leader status confirmed
VAUDE has been a leader in the FWF since 2015 and has continued to secure this highest possible category thanks to the excellent results of the BPC. As a "Leader", VAUDE is allowed to communicate its FWF membership directly on its products. "This enables us to draw consumers' attention both to the issue in general and to our commitment when making purchasing decisions," says Antje von Dewitz.
VAUDE a member of the Fair Wear Foundation since 2010
Since 2010, VAUDE has been a member of FWF, a non-profit, multi-stakeholder organization working with brand companies, retailers and producers to improve working conditions in the apparel industry worldwide. As a member of the FWF, VAUDE undertakes to implement the FWF’s strict Code of Labour Practices at all production sites, meeting the highest standards for socially just working conditions. These include the payment of a living wage, appropriate working hours, work safety, the prevention of child labor and much more.
Regularly scheduled audits and shared responsibility
The FWF audits the working conditions and social standards in its individual production plants at regular intervals. As part of the audit, employees are questioned and informed about their rights both outside the production site and at the workplace — without the presence of management. At the same time, FWF checks employment contracts, personnel documents, occupational safety standards, etc. The results are summarized in a "Corrective Action Plan", which specifies precisely which improvement measures the textile brand needs to implement together with the production companies, and the time frame for doing so. In addition, the FWF provides a neutral complaint hotline through which workers can submit anonymous complaints to the FWF.
The aim of the FWF is that brands work together with its production companies and the experts of the FWF to improve working conditions. Using an integrated management system, brand manufacturers are required to successively optimize work processes, time lines and responsibilities in such a way that each production facility can plan for the long term. This enables the brand manufacturer, for example, to set the course right at the beginning of planning for a collection so that it can avoid overtime in production due to orders placed at short notice.
The VAUDE Philosophy: Long-term and direct collaborations
VAUDE has always attached great importance to long-term and partner-based collaboration with external production companies. A 10-person team of our own employees in Asia plays an important role — they maintain direct contact on site, visit the production plants at regular intervals and check the qualitative as well as the social and ecological standards at the facilities. This allows VAUDE to create a basis for constructive collaboration and a common understanding of social and qualitative standards.
More about the topic in the VAUDE CSR Report: http://csr-report.vaude.com/gri-en/social/our-responsibility.php?_ga=2.158284798.517648990.1525692166-254352090.1490348187
More about the Fair Wear Foundation: https://www.fairwear.org/
VAUDE Brand Performance Check: https://www.fairwear.org/resource/vaude-performance-check-2018/