Etiko's business is fundamentally different to most clothing, footwear and sports brands. Our ambition is to do as much good as possible, not to 'do no harm' or simply 'be a responsible purchaser’. Etiko’s engagement with Australia fair trade certified suppliers means we are working with raw material and factory suppliers who are investing in the economic and social development of farmers and workers. Producing Etiko garments, ethical shoes and sports balls is a vehicle for these people to lift themselves out of poverty and create a better life for themselves and their community. That is why we are in business.
For Etiko, the payment of fair prices and development premiums is fundamental to achieving labour rights in garment, footwear and sports ball production. Continuing to pursue low prices and concentrating value extraction at the brand end of supply chains won’t deliver labour rights and poverty reduction.
Our commitment to ensuring labour rights in our supply chain expresses itself in three ways:
Tackling the fundamental driver of labour rights violations - poverty and demand for low prices - through ensuring Etiko pays fair prices, chooses ethically sourced and traded raw materials, and payment of additional social premiums to be invested by workers in improving their businesses and communities
Choosing to do business with factories that are committed to upholding labour rights and demonstrating this through independent, third party audits
Setting an example for other businesses - Nick often speaks out in the media, shares the Etiko example in textbooks and university lectures, and invests time and resources in community education such as school visits and community festivals
The supply chain for our range of organic underwear provides a good example of our core commitment to human rights:
Etiko sources its range of men’s and women’s underwear from a factory in India that is certified by Fair Trade USA to meet fair trade standards for labour rights, worker democracy and environmental performance. The factory demonstrates that it pays a living wage to its employees. Etiko pays an additional premium on top of tis prices that the factory workers invest. Additionally, Etiko pre-finances their orders, paying 50% of the final price prior to shipment.
- Etiko chooses for its garments to be made from Fairtrade and Organic certified cotton from India. The cotton is produced by organisations of cotton farmers that are paid fair prices, Fairtrade premiums, audited by independent fair trade and organic certification bodies, and committed to tackling poverty in their communities.
Etiko is a an apparel, footwear and sports ball business that has had the respect and promotion of human rights at its core for a decade.
Products without child labour and worker exploitation were the impetus for Nick Savaidis (our founder) to create the business a decade ago. Nick started Etiko at the end of 2005 after finding that, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t buy stuff such as sports balls, clothing & footwear, which he could be 100% confident hadn’t been made by a child or some poor worker being ripped off in a developing country. Sweatshops, corporate greed, globalisation, call it what you want, Nick knew that it sucked and it was time for an alternative.
Over the last 10 years, our pioneering company has set the bar for upholding and campaigning for human rights of those working in traditionally exploitative industry supply chains while achieving business success. For example, Etiko achieved the top rating - an A+ for ethical production - in the 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Australian Fashion Reports (there was no report in 2014) which investigated the supply chains of fashion brands retailing in Australia. You can read more about our achievements and awards here.
Most importantly, though, a decade of sales of Etiko’s products have supported the human and labour rights of cotton growers and rubber tappers, workers in apparel, sports ball and shoe production, and their families and communities in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
We’ve got a lot more information here on our website about the positive impact our products and your purchases have, the certifications and standards that we choose, and more. Explore to find out more. And if you can’t find what you want to know, send us an email or give us a call with your questions!