Deuter joins Fair Wear Foundation
Since 01.08.2011 Deuter Sport GmbH & Co. KG is the newest member of the Fair Wear Foundation. With headquarters in Gersthofen/Germany, Deuter is a leading producer and distributor of backpacks, sleeping bags and accessories. The Bavarian backpack pioneer was founded in 1898 and is one of the most renowned outdoor brands worldwide.
To permanently guarantee the best quality and innovation standard, Deuter started its co-operation with Korean production partner Duke over 22 years ago. What began with 35 sewing machines back in 1994, has evolved into a highly specialized back pack manufacturing company in Vietnam. Today, 3.500 employees are exclusively producing all backpacks and accessories for Deuter. This is rather uncommon within the industry. Usually, brands produce in many different factories and are often changing production sites. Over the years, the strategic decision has turned into a close friendship between Duke and Deuter.
Such a special partnership guarantees long-term planning dependability, reliable delivery dates, as well as secure working employment. At the same time, it gives Deuter the opportunity to have significant influence on the production as well as the production conditions. Over the past years, Deuter and Duke together built and modernised several new production sites in Vietnam.
Fair and social relations among the employees and partners such as Duke have always been key Deuter values. The high quality of our complex products can only be ensured by highly motivated, skilled workers – in the end, a backpack is made of up to 220 single pieces. Over the years, Deuter and Duke have fostered the staff’s integrity and have thus been able to secure the worker’s experience and expertise. This loyalty was also guaranteed by above average wages and unobjectionable labour conditions. The famous Deuter quality speaks for the quality of the production.
Therefore, the brand was also able to quickly provide the necessary requirements for becoming a FWF member. “By joining the Fair Wear Foundation, we are able to offer more transparency regarding our production sites in Asia and we want to constantly guarantee good labour conditions”, says Bernd Kullmann, Deuter Sport CEO. “Our decision to become a FWF member was also influenced by the fact that the organisation works with several renowned outdoor brands. For Deuter it is a strong concern to establish a common standard for the industry to grant comparability and safety as well as to create synergies when it comes to overlapping suppliers.”
Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is an independent verification initiative cooperating with companies and factories to improve labour conditions for workers in the industry producing clothing and other sewn products, especially in low-wage countries. About 70 companies represent 100 brands in seven European countries. Those companies produce in 15 key countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.
“Fair Wear Foundation is very pleased to welcome Deuter – one of the leading producers of outdoor hardware in Europe – as its newest member”, says Fair Wear Foundation director Erica van Doorn. “We are very much looking forward to working with Deuter and to support the brand in all its efforts to improve labour conditions.”
Here's a video commissioned and produced by the FWF to highlight how Deuter have worked to improve standards for workers and production.
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