Press Releases

New Social Responsibility Toolkit Aims to Help Outdoor Companies Improve Operations

For Immediate Release

Media contact:
Avery Stonich
Outdoor Industry Association

New Social Responsibility Toolkit Aims to Help Outdoor Companies Improve Operations
Guidelines Developed by the Outdoor Industry Association® Sustainability Working Group

Boulder, Colo., Sep 05, 2013 – The Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) Sustainability Working Group (SWG) has just released the first of a three-part updated Social Responsibility Toolkit, designed to help brands and suppliers start and improve their social responsibility programs.

Created by the SWG Social Responsibility Working Group, the toolkit is a guidebook with strategy guidance, tools, and resources that can be adapted to suit any company’s needs. Part one of the Social Responsibility Toolkit addresses basic awareness and compliance issues; parts two and three, scheduled for release within the next year, will cover the “improvement” and “aspirational” levels of social responsibility practices and programs.

“It’s important to outdoor industry companies to promote and monitor safe and fair treatment of the workers who make our products, yet it can be challenging to figure out exactly how to go about implementing a program to achieve this,” said Mary Bean of Columbia Sportswear, a leader of the Social Responsibility Working Group who is spearheading the development of the updated Social Responsibility Toolkit. “We encourage companies to use this toolkit to establish new social responsibility programs, as well as to assess and improve the programs they may already have.”

The toolkit was developed with the input of dozens of outdoor industry companies. It is an open-source working document designed to evolve with and respond to growing needs as the outdoor industry strives to improve its supply chain operations and management.

The Social Responsibility Working Group is one of the issue-specific working groups under the umbrella of the OIA Sustainability Working Group, which formed in 2007 to explore issues of corporate responsibility in the outdoor industry.

For more information, visit To download the toolkit, go to

About Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives, and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment and services. For more information, go to or call 303.444.3353.

About the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group
The Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group (SWG) is a volunteer collaboration among more than 250 outdoor industry brands, retailers, suppliers and other stakeholders working to identify and improve the environmental and social impacts of their shared global supply chains. The OIA SWG is currently focusing on four key areas: 1) index development for apparel, footwear and equipment, 2) responsible chemicals management, 3) materials traceability throughout the supply chain, and 4) social responsibility and fair labor issues. Through the OIA SWG, the outdoor industry is demonstrating that it is possible to effect meaningful, scalable change through pre-competitive, business-driven collaboration. For more information, visit