Social responsibility is something we take seriously in our approach to business. That’s why we have a social responsibility policy with our parent company, Exxel Outdoors, that has a Code of Conduct which has guided us since 1995.
Exxel Outdoors’ Diversity and Inclusion Statement:
We at Ultimate Direction, along with our parent company, Exxel Outdoors, have a mission to help create memorable life experiences in the outdoors for everyone. Diversity and Inclusion is important to ensure everyone has equal access to celebrate the outdoors. Mutual Respect is a core value at Exxel. This culture of Equality has been part of our DNA since Exxel’s inception. Diverse Companies are more innovative and better positioned to succeed. We continue to build an inclusive culture that encourages, supports, and celebrates the diverse voices of our employees and our customers.
We also want to ensure the most ethical practices, help improve working conditions, and protect the rights of people in factories around the world where our equipment and apparel is made. Being socially responsible is a huge priority—whether we’re partnering with vendors or providing peace of mind to stakeholders (our employees, customers, and the general public).
Here’s how we’re working to be as mindful of workers and practices as we can:
Human Rights Expectations
Criteria forming the basis of our Code of Conduct include:
- Expect and maintain high Ethical Standards
- Operate under legal Working Hour requirements
- Provide all legal Wages and Benefits
- Employ no Child Labor with age documentation of all workers
- Practice Environmental Safekeeping
- Assure Health and Safety for both factory complex and dormitories
- Abide by Legal Requirements of Country law
- Employ no Prison or Forced Labor
- Engage in Non-Discriminatory Policies
- Maintain acceptable forms of Disciplinary Practices
- Allow legal rights to Freedom of Association
We employ both an internal staff of compliance auditors and contracts independent monitors such as Bureau Veritas (BV), International Compliance Group (ICG), and UL Responsible Sourcing to conduct rigorous social compliance audits. The scope of the audits requires factories to provide detailed records including employment information, payroll and time data, and worker benefits to validate compliance. Monitoring is done on a routine and continuous basis.
Our membership utilizes the collaborative resources of Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC), a valuable database tool for tracking and analysis of compliance efforts. Together with other textile industry leaders as members, the FFC is dedicated to improving workplace conditions internationally.
Following factory audits, any violation, no matter the severity, is documented on a Corrective Action Plan. The factory must commit to a plan of action and timeframe for correction. Follow-up monitoring is done to verify improvements are implemented and sustained. Plus, our internal audit team will counsel and train factories, advising on solutions to pending issues. Our view in developing safe and humane work environments is not merely to audit and monitor –but to train and educate for continuous improvement. This creates a long-term successful relationship.
We accept factories that are certified through Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP). We have found this organization’s monitoring criteria to be aligned with our goals, and factories completing WRAP certification have well-implemented human rights practices. Certified factories must undergo periodic audits by independent monitors to maintain their WRAP status.
A History of Social Responsibility
We are proud of our well-established Social Responsibility Program, having instituted our Code of Conduct in 1995, with continuous monitoring efforts throughout two decades. We expect dignity and ethical treatment of all factory employees who produce our products. The cornerstone of our program’s effectiveness is based on fair but strict enforcement, understanding unique factory operations, and working successfully with supplier management to facilitate process improvements affecting the worker’s quality of life.