A Commitment to Prosperity
At the heart of our sustainability efforts lies a commitment to fostering prosperity within both our local and global communities. We believe that true success is not only measured by financial gain but also by the positive impact we create.
Locally, these endeavours are focused on supporting First Nations peoples, who are still experiencing significant inequalities. We hope to play our part in closing the gap and contributing to the wider reconciliation movement in Australia.
As a brand, we are committed to continually exploring ways we can uphold the traditions and honour the creativity and innovation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
On a global scale, we recognise the interconnectedness of our world and strive to make a meaningful difference beyond our immediate reach. Through partnerships, initiatives, and philanthropic efforts, we actively support organisations and causes that align with our values. By investing in education, social empowerment, and environmental initiatives, we work towards creating a positive and sustainable impact on a global scale.
We understand that prosperity extends beyond financial gains. By prioritising ethical practices, fair wages, and providing opportunities for growth and development, we strive to create a work environment where our supplying partners can thrive and prosper.
In embracing "Prosperity", we acknowledge our responsibility as global citizens and actively seek to contribute to the betterment of society. By investing in our local and global community, we aim to create a ripple effect of positive change that extends far beyond the realm of fashion. Together, we can build a prosperous and sustainable future for all.
“Championing causes that make for a better Australia and wider world inspires us to keep doing better. Our goal is to use our platform, resources and voice to maximise our positive impact on humanity.”
– Adrian Norris, Founder
“We are committed to being an active ally, and recognise that this requires social action.”
— Edwina Forest, Founder and Creative Director
Target 1: Implement Worker Empowerment Training in One Factory
In celebration of International Women's Day 2023, we announced our partnership with RISE — Reimagining Industry to Support Equality — a collaborative initiative supporting fashion brands to advance equality for women working in global garment supply chains.
RISE brings together the four largest women’s empowerment programs in the apparel industry to build on proven approaches, scale impact and accelerate equality for women workers in international garment supply chains.
In partnership with RISE, we seek to empower women working within our supply chain by supporting both women and men with a 10-month training program to embed and ensure gender equity at every level of our business practices.
In 2024, we will launch our first program to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in one of our key facilities and look forward to sharing this journey with you.
Target 2: Complete a Living Wage Pilot Project
Aje and AJE ATHLETICA are committed to paying a living wage to their supplying partners and have designed a comprehensive pilot project that the team will implement in partnership with IMPACTT, in their longest-supplying relationship studio in Bali, Indonesia.
Below outlines in more detail our commitment to paying a living wage.
We believe RISE is the world's leading worker empowerment organisation due to the fact that they have brought together the apparel industry’s leading women’s empowerment programs to create a new independent organisation, building on proven approaches, scale impact and accelerate equality for women workers in international garment supply chains.
How did you decide which facilities to implement this training in?
As this training goes for approximately one year, it was important for us to find the right supplier who was interested in engaging in such an indepth training rather than it being a burden to them and their workers. It was therefore a matter of engagement and consultation to see who was interested.
Is AJE committed to paying their suppliers a living wage?
Aje and AJE ATHLETICA's Commitment to a Living Wage
Aje and AJE ATHLETICA acknowledge the importance of fair wages for workers in the countries where we source raw materials and manufacture our goods. While governments set minimum wages, these often fall short of providing workers with a decent standard of living. Embracing the definition of a living wage proposed by the Global Living Wage Coalition and Anker Methodology, we believe that workers should receive compensation that allows them and their families to meet essential needs, such as food, housing, education, healthcare, clothing, transportation, and unforeseen expenses.
To uphold this commitment, Aje and AJE ATHLETICA endorse the Global Living Wage Coalition and Anker Methodology's principles and incorporate them into our Supplier Code of Conduct. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the challenges in ensuring that factory workers actually receive a living wage. We are fully aware of these complexities and actively strive to address them.
One of the significant hurdles is the lack of a clear benchmark for determining a living wage in each region where we operate. Progress is being made, as the Global Living Wage Coalition has developed 142 regional benchmarks, including 20 for the garment and textile industry, using the Anker Methodology. However, living wage benchmarks are not static and vary with economic development and changing factors such as inflation, taxation, commodity costs, and local price fluctuations. This real-time challenge makes benchmarking a living wage globally and within countries, regions, cities, and towns difficult.
Additionally, the nature of the global supply chain poses another obstacle. Simply paying higher prices for goods does not necessarily translate to higher wages for workers. Ensuring fair compensation for workers involves suppliers passing on benefits to their employees, which can be influenced by various factors.
Collective bargaining is a powerful approach for workers to advocate for better rights and wages. In certain regions like China, promoting higher wages through collective bargaining and freedom of association is a challenge due to the macro-environment. Nonetheless, Aje and AJE ATHLETICA remain steadfast in supporting the implementation of living wages and driving positive change within the industry.
In line with our commitment, we have designed a comprehensive project strategy to facilitate the successful implementation of living wage protocols. The strategy revolves around three key factors:
Consultation: We will engage with our suppliers in different countries and conduct interviews with workers and managers at factories, particularly in China, where a significant portion of our production occurs. This research will help us understand the challenges associated with providing a living wage and enable us to collaborate with industry peers, suppliers, NGOs, and workers to bring about change in our supply chain.
Worker Empowerment: We believe in empowering workers to advocate for their rights. By fostering an environment where workers have a voice, we can collectively work towards improving their conditions.
Responsible Buying Practices: Aje and AJE ATHLETICA are committed to ensuring that our business practices do not hinder the payment of a living wage. Through our Responsible Buying Program, we outline our dedication to fair terms of payment, transparent cost breakdowns that include itemized workers' wages, setting product floor costs, improving planning and forecasting practices, and supporting material certification schemes that promote fair wages downstream. Collaboration with our direct factories, where we have the most influence, will be vital in determining the best methods to measure impact and outcomes.
Throughout this journey, we will regularly measure and report the impact and outcomes of our efforts both internally and externally to key stakeholders. By testing this project strategy within our supply chain, we aim to identify challenges and opportunities quickly and work collaboratively with industry stakeholders to implement crucial components such as grievance mechanisms to amplify workers' voices.
In conclusion, Aje and AJE ATHLETICA remain steadfast in our commitment to the realisation of living wages for all workers in our supply chain. We understand the complexity of this global issue and are dedicated to making a positive impact in partnership with our industry peers.