Trademark: Fair Wear Foundation
What is Fair Wear Foundation? The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is a non-profit organization working with clothing brands and other partners to improve working conditions for the people who work in garment factories. The label is not given to an individual product or supplier, but to a clothing brand as a whole, looking at all the production facilities in the chain.
The Fair Wear Foundation requires European member clothing brands to take new steps towards better working conditions every year.
The Fair Wear Foundation is not a certification, but a membership that requires brands to comply with an internationally recognised code of conduct. A clothing brand does not have to meet all the conditions at once, because the organization recognizes that this is virtually impossible in the current clothing industry. However, it is a requirement that the clothing brand continues to improve and at least 90% of their suppliers are under FWF control. This is monitored on an annual basis.
When a clothing brand wants to become a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, it is checked whether the brand complies with the code of conduct, which is based on the guidelines of the International Labour Organization (ILO). This code of conduct contains 8 internationally recognised labour standards, which must be implemented in the factories step by step.
The 8 internationally recognized labor standards are:
- There is no forced or prison labor.
- All workers have the right to form unions and bargain collectively.
- No discrimination in the workplace when it comes to hiring, promotions, training, retirement plans, etc.
- No child labor, which means no children under 15 years of age, or younger than the minimum working age if it is higher than 15 years. People under the age o 18 must not do dangerous work and must comply with compulsory education if there is one.
- A living wage must be paid for a standard work week. No money may be withheld from wages as punishment.
- There are "normal" working hours, which means no more than 48 hours of work per week, one day off every seven days, and no more than 12 hours of overtime. Overtime should not be too frequent and workers should be paid a higher wage for it.
- Clean and safe working conditions, which means that corporal punishment, unusual punishment, sexual and other harassment by the employer is prohibited.
- There is a legally binding employment contract.
It is important to note that a clothing brand does not have to comply with all labor standards, but must comply with some of them and always continue to improve. Clothing brands may only use the Fair Wear logo on their website if they have achieved a leader status, which is equivalent to good working conditions.
The Fair Wear Foundation carries out extensive checks each year to ensure that brands carrying their logo are actually meeting the requirements. During the Performance Check, clothing brands must be able to demonstrate that they have made significant steps towards better working conditions in the past year. If there are points for improvement, a plan for improvement is made together with the brand. Fair Wear also carries out extensive checks at the head offices and in the factories themselves.
Fair Wear is very transparent about these checks and the reports of member brands are made public. In these reports all points are listed where the brand scores well or badly, what the reason for the score is, and Fair Wear's advice on how to improve that point. All 129 member brands, including Armedangels, are listed with detailed information on the Fair Wear Foundation website.