One disturbing trend that I have noticed in researching outdoor companies is that, in general, there is clearly less attention to workplace issues and working conditions amongst many of the Australian based companies compared with their counterparts elsewhere, especially in North America.
With almost all outdoor gear now manufactured off shore (check here for a list of those who still do at least some of their production here in Australia or New Zealand/ Aotearoa), very few companies have been able to provide any information about working conditions in their production facilities when approached for reviews. The assumption that has to be made is that they are using factories that either employ poor or even sweatshop type conditions for their workers. It’s strange that a number of them have been puzzled when a request is even made about working conditions.
In contrast, many USA-based companies are able to provide information on both conditions in the factories they use, and external verification of their claims.
It seems that many Australian based outdoor companies have a long way to go when it comes to the ‘flip side’ of the sustainability coin.
Most companies (Australian and overseas based) which are profiled on this site can be found here.