Paramo was founded and is still owned by Nick Brown who is also the founder and owner of Nikwax, the first company in the world to produce a range of water-based waterproofing products, to replace solvent-based aerosols, when ozone depletion became a concern in the 1980s.
Each year Paramo’s Recycling Scheme receives around 1000 garments which it refurbishes and resells as second-hand; or it is able to recycle them into new high quality fibre, because they do not contain a membrane or laminate. 80% of Paramo’s production takes place in a factory in Colombia, run to give new opportunities to vulnerable women. The company also has a volunteering policy, incentivising its UK staff to use up to 5 days holiday per year for volunteering projects of their choice by paying them an additional £50 per day.
Patagonia is a B-Corp, or ‘Benefit Corporation’. This means employees, communities and the environment rank alongside shareholders in decision making processes. In 2015, Patagonia increased its number of Fair Trade products from 33 to 192, made in India, Sri Lanka and Los Angeles, California. The company is now looking to enrol other factories in the Fair Trade program in Thailand, Vietnam, Colombia and Mexico. After discovering human trafficking in their own supply chain in Taiwan in 2012, they developed a ‘Migrant Worker Standard’ which they now apply to their whole supply chain.
Helly Hansen was started by a Norwegian sea captain and his wife in 1877. It is now owned by the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, a huge company that invests in an array of widely criticised corporations including ExxonMobil, BAE Systems and Nestlé. The OTPP also owns Camelot who run the UK National Lottery, as well as the company that secured a 20 year contract in 2014 to run the Irish National Lottery.
Jack Wolfskin would have ranked higher if it was not owned by the Blackstone Group. Blackstone cost them marks due to their investments in Sealife and Seaworld centres which have boycott calls against them, as well as being members of several major lobby groups, and paying its directors excessive salaries.
North Face is the target of a campaign against its owner, VF Corp, which has not signed the Bangladesh Accord.