As part of Madewell’s commitment to sustainable practices across its entire business, the brand is expanding its partnership with Fair Trade USA and tracking toward 90 percent of its denim to be Fair Trade certified by 2025.
The development comes a year after Madewell announced a long-term partnership with Fair Trade USA, starting with the certification of the Vietnam-based factory, Saitex, and the rollout of a line of denim. In the past two months, Madewell added three new Fair Trade Certified factories and has plans to roll out new Fair Trade products across women’s and men’s lines in 2020, starting with nine new denim styles launching this week.
Madewell said its partnership with Fair Trade USA ensures secure working conditions and equal economic opportunities for all people involved in the Madewell supply chain, from factory to store. With a focus on supporting factory workers, Madewell and Fair Trade USA foster an environment where workers are empowered to generate and sustain a lasting impact at work, at home and in their communities, the company said.
Fair Trade USA enables sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, fishermen, consumers, industry and the Earth. It achieves its mission by certifying and promoting fair trade products.
For each Fair Trade Certified product, Madewell pays a premium that goes directly to an internal Community Development Fund. Employees are then empowered to choose where funds should be allocated to best improve their quality of life, such as supporting English classes or building a kindergarten for workers’ children.
In addition to working conditions, the Saitex factory enables Madewell to more sustainably produce its denim. The factory prioritizes renewable energy, washes efficiently, air dries and turns its manufacturing waste into bricks for affordable housing.
Saitex is also a zero-discharge facility and has reduced its energy consumption by 13 million kilowatts of power per year and helps build houses for people in need in the community.
All Fair Trade Certified product is available in the brand’s top-selling styles and can be shopped on the Madewell website.