Travel and adventure brand Kathmandu has revealed how it is using WeChat to improve the lives of workers.
As first reported in Ragtrader magazine'ssustainability report earlier this year, the retailer has been using the social media channel to give workers a voice.
Now Kathmandu has released its findings in its seventh annual Sustainability Report,
Kathmandu revealed workers can access the company via a WeChat social media address.
Workers can access it by scanning a QR code found on Chinese versions of the company’s code of conduct posted in factories.
Kathmandu corportate responsibility manager Gary Shaw said it has revolutionised accountability.
"We care about the welfare of every worker in our supply chain, but enabling people to raise issues about workplace practices and conditions was previously extremely difficult.
"In some cultures it can be challenging to make a complaint, but the QR code has proved to be empowering.
"We can now receive messages directly from the workers making our products. We also have a corporate social responsibility specialist on the ground in China and when any issues arise, we work in partnership with our ethical sourcing partner, ELEVATE Limited, to implement a corrective action and improvement plan.”
Kathmandu’s CSR specialist provides additional training to help the factory build better internal grievance mechanisms.
During the year Kathmandu achieved a number of sustainability milestones including being ranked #2 in the world amongst global outdoor brands for its use of sustainable materials for the second year in a row.
The ranking came from the Textile Exchange Preferred Fibre and Material market report which tracks the progress of the textile industry in accelerating sustainable practices.
In the outdoor and sports category Kathmandu maintained its overall position as number 2 in 2018.
Its total score improved primarily because of the commitment to using 100% preferred man made cellulosics, (made from a naturally occurring polymer) combined with the uptake of use of recycled cotton.
Kathmandu has committed to using only sustainable cotton by 2020 and is well on its way to attaining that goal with sustainable cotton use increasing to 78 percent over the last year.
Further recognition of Kathmandu‘s continued progress in ethical practices came with Kathmandu being accredited by the Fair Labour Association.
This complimented the outdoor brand being awarded an A rating from the 2018 Ethical Fashion Guide produced by Baptist World Aid Australia and Tearfund New Zealand which grades companies on their ethical fashion practices.