The German brand, Ortovox, places protection at the heart of its values. Not only the protection offered by its products but also the protection of people, the environment and animals.
"There are various opportunities for promoting sustainability in our company, with our suppliers, on our Tasmanian wool farms or on the mountain. We view every one of our initiatives not as a one-off undertaking, but as a lasting endeavor that we pursue with conviction and self-commitment. We have already implemented the following milestones and wish to pursue them on a permanent basis."
Here is an overview of the different implications of the brand on eco-responsibility and sustainability:
EOCA: GLOBAL ACTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Since summer 2016, ORTOVOX has been a member of the EOCA for the European Outdoor Conservation Association which works to protect the environment worldwide. Since its creation in 2006, this group of companies belonging to the European outdoor industry has collected donations to support public utility projects. The projects are not limited by geographic boundaries: from the creation of an environmental trail in Nepal, to waste disposal projects in Kyrgyzstan, through the protection of the brown bear in Spain or the protection peatlands in Ireland, EOCA supports projects worldwide.
ORTOVOX WOOL PROMISE
ORTOVOX protects. As the brand's primary value, protection is at the heart of ORTOVOX's activities. Protection does not only mean products that protect us from dangers or elements in the mountains, but also the protection of man and nature. In 2012, Ortovox discovered Tasmania as a source of supply for our merino wool. The brand works with carefully selected farms that meet its high quality requirements and that meet the strict standards of the ORTOVOX WOOL PROMISE (OWP). With the ORTOVOX WOOL PROMISE (OWP, which stands for Ortovox Wool Promise), ORTOVOX has launched its own standard, which is extremely demanding in terms of animal welfare and sustainable management. For over two years, ORTOVOX has held conversations with Tasmanian merino farms, suppliers and producers to develop its own particularly comprehensive standard for wool. Based on the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), the ORTOVOX WOOL PROMISE takes an even more comprehensive approach.
The OWP focuses on:
Animal welfare, Farm management, Land management, Slaughtering, Transport
Multi-year contracts are concluded with wool producers, the relationship is direct and personal. OWP thus embraces different aspects of sustainability, providing the necessary transparency to customers and to the business itself. Our wool standard guarantees that sheep feel good and that only wool from selected farms is found in ORTOVOX products.
FAIR WEAR FOUNDATION: FOCUS ON WORKING CONDITIONS
Since July 2015, Ortovox has been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF). It is an independent non-profit organization which is jointly managed by professional associations, representatives of the textile industry, professional unions and non-governmental organizations, which seek to improve working conditions in the textile industry around the world.
It has defined the following working guidelines for this, which must be implemented by ORTOVOX on its production sites:
- Free choice to work
- No discrimination in the workplace
- No exploitation of child labor
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
- Paying a living wage
- Reasonable working hours
- Safe and healthy working conditions
- Legal control of working conditions
The Fair Wear Foundation checks the improvements made by its members with:
- Annual performance audit at headquarters (questionnaire plus interviews plus document review)
- Production facility audits
- Possibility to complain for workers in factories.
It is based on a 3-year plan, which defines the following objectives:
- After one year, 40% of production must come from audited sites or from countries known as ‘without risks’
- After two years 60%
- After three years, 90% or 100%
Currently, the production chain consists of 45 companies in 13 countries. 59.55% of all Ortovox textile products come from Europe. When choosing production sites, Ortovox uses the guidelines of the Fair Wear Foundation and decides to work only with companies that share our principles and moral values, and that are committed to respecting working conditions. Continuous improvement of working conditions is a constant and never ending process.