Arc'teryx is owned by ANTA, a Chinese company that uses forced labor to create profits.

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Dave Giacomin

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Jan 10, 2022, 11:10:24 PMJan 10
to Mountaineering Section of the PATC
Was everyone familiar that Arc'teryx is owned by ANTA, a Chinese company that uses forced labor to create profits.

Please read more in this article about ANTA.

"Anta has patriotically pledged to continue using Xinjiang cotton, in contrast to Nike and Adidas, which said they halted sourcing from the region."


Matthew M

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Jan 11, 2022, 12:15:20 AMJan 11
to Dave Giacomin, Mountaineering Section of the PATC
Many of us were aware that ANTA acquired them a year or two ago.   I've since not bought anything from arc'teryx or attended any of their events.  I am very not a fan.

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Dave Giacomin

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Jan 11, 2022, 9:37:20 AMJan 11
to Mountaineering Section of the PATC
Some facts about ANTA, the parent company and owner of Arc'teryx. Arc'teryx's parent company uses slave labor to cloth the world. I'm just laying out the facts of ANTA and the atrocities they allow to continue. You make up your own mind. Washington Post on Xinjiang cotton: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/china-xinjiang-cotton/2021/11/17/fcfe320e-37a3-11ec-9662-399cfa75efee_story.html Source: Reuters https://sports.yahoo.com/congressional-body-urges-nba-stars-200407207.html Source: US Congress https://www.cecc.gov/media-center/press-releases/xinjiang-chairs-urge-nba-players-to-end-endorsement-deals-with-chinese And, well, it's just kind of telling that the Chinese president wears Arc'teryx now. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/xi-jinping-steps-us-700-093000020.html

Douglas Alexander

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Jan 12, 2022, 5:52:06 PMJan 12
to Mountaineering Section of the PATC
I was not aware of the ANTA/Arc'teryx connection until recent articles. Accordingly, I don't think PATC, AAC or other climbing organizations should hold meetings at Arc'teryx facilities or do climbing programs with them as we have in the recent past. We also should not accept any funding from them since it may be blood money. ANTA/Arc'teryx should not be able to buy our support. This is a no-brainer moral issue — an easy choice for PATC, AAC, and other climbing groups to end relationships with them.
Doug Alexander

oldm...@gmail.com

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Jan 12, 2022, 8:52:29 PMJan 12
to Douglas Alexander, Mountaineering Section of the PATC

I agree, Doug.

 

But, it would be unfortunate for this turn of events to take away from the initiative and effort put in by Caroline and others who worked on getting patronage from anyone – even Arc’teryx.

 

Thanks, Caroline!

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John Gregory

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Jan 12, 2022, 9:09:26 PMJan 12
to Brian Florence, Douglas Alexander, Mountaineering Section of the PATC
So it's OK if there is enough money? The club has money, we don't need chump change from the Chinese.

oldm...@gmail.com

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Jan 12, 2022, 9:45:34 PMJan 12
to John Gregory, Douglas Alexander, Mountaineering Section of the PATC

You’re right, we don’t need chump change from China.  That’s why I agreed with Doug.

 

I was simply thanking Caroline for putting in the effort to find a sponsor.

John Gregory

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Jan 12, 2022, 9:52:55 PMJan 12
to Brian Florence, Douglas Alexander, Mountaineering Section of the PATC
Fair enough, of course President Xi will be ok with us getting money from Patagonia, North Face, Eddie Bauer, REI etc.

Chris Beebe

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Jan 12, 2022, 10:08:23 PMJan 12
to Mountaineering Section of the PATC
I'd like to see evidence.

Arc'teryx claims their suppliers meet the US import ban requirements. Furthermore, they've listed their suppliers here:

Please provide evidence against at least one of the listed suppliers.

Douglas Alexander

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Jan 12, 2022, 10:11:43 PMJan 12
to oldm...@gmail.com, Mountaineering Section of the PATC
Here’s a moral perspective to consider. Is forced or slave labor wrong? Was slave labor of blacks in America wrong? If we agree they are wrong, then having affiliation with and receiving funding from those companies or people who materially support or benefit from the forced labor is wrong.

There has been significant evidence and reporting that the Chinese are committing genocide and forced labor against the Uyghur muslims and other minorities in China. We now have evidence that a particular company is part of that effort. There are probably many other Chinese companies we have not learned about yet. As each company becomes known to be a material participant in this crime against humanity, we have a moral obligation to those who are suffering and dying to stand with them. It is a minimal, minuscule response to say they we hold ANTA/Arc’teryx responsible in this crime and will not work with them in any way nor accept their money.

Better, a formal statement holding ANTA/Arc’teryx responsible for their part in this crime should be made by all climbing organizations and climbers here and nationally. Do we have the moral conscience to take that stand?

Chris Beebe

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Jan 12, 2022, 11:08:35 PMJan 12
to Mountaineering Section of the PATC
For those who are distressed about this, here's another viewpoint to consider.

The original article Dave sent pits Xinjiang potentially unethical cotton against western approved, ethical sources.  Arc'teryx is not using unethical cotton. Arc'teryx is part of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), which dropped the problematic cotton areas in China.

Anta controls a 52% share of the parent company that owns Arc'teryx and some other recognizable brands. Anta has pledged to support Xinjiang cotton, and Arc'teryx's parent company has publicly disobeyed that by sticking with BCI cotton. That's pretty baller and gets my dollar.

"But Amer Sports, a Finnish sporting goods group that Anta acquired for 4.6 billion euros two years ago, has said it remains a member of the BCI and will follow its own policies, which are in line with internationally recognized human rights and ethical standards.

Amer is the parent company of well-known sports brands including Salomon, Arc'teryx, Wilson and Peak Performance."


Buying Arc'teryx does not directly finance genocide.

Douglas Alexander

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Jan 12, 2022, 11:13:11 PMJan 12
to Chris Beebe, Mountaineering Section of the PATC
I appreciate Chris’s viewpoint. When I search on both ANTA and Art’teryx, there is a large amount of evidence for ANTA sourcing cotton and other materials from forced labor camps. There is implied sourcing for its subsidiaries but the evidence is not as substantial. I plan to look for more evidence directly related to Art’teryx.

Then the question becomes if ANTA is clearly involved in use of materials from forced labor and it owns Art’teryx from which it makes billions of dollars/euros/etc. does this really change the position I outlined. For me it doesn’t. The money they made to buy Art’teryx is also blood money from forced labor and now creates a profit that goes back to support the whole criminal system. 

I feel the same about ANTA ownership of Amer Sports and all their affiliates. The climbing community should not affiliate with or accept funding from them. And when possible we should make statements that condemn the use of forced labor in helping fund the purchase by ANTA of these companies and the profits they make for ANTA.

China and ANTA (and probably other companies we are not aware of yet) have sold products made by forced labor in China, the US, Europe and elsewhere. That profit from forced labor has propped up the whole system including the companies they were able to purchase from the profits. That make them all accountable for the whole evil enterprise even if any one companies doesn’t purchase or use forced labor products directly in their particular merchandise.
Doug

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Brian Florence

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Jan 13, 2022, 12:05:06 AMJan 13
to Douglas Alexander, Chris Beebe, Mountaineering Section of the PATC
There are many reports of Anta leaving BCI (e.g., https://fortune.com/2021/04/03/anta-shoes-sneakers-basketball-nike-adidas-xinjiang-cotton-boycott-china/).

Regardless of the "reports," I don't see either Anta or Arc'teryx on the BCI membership list (https://bettercotton.org/membership/find-members/) so it would seem the reports of Arc'teryx leaving BCI are true.



Leonardo Regoli

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Jan 13, 2022, 8:26:42 AMJan 13
to Brian Florence, Douglas Alexander, Chris Beebe, Mountaineering Section of the PATC
Hi everyone,

Just my two cents here, and as a disclaimer, I am not familiar with the subject at all. I just started digging after seeing the first email of the chain by Dave. First of all, I agree that the club should try to distance itself from any company with dubious labor practices, or environmental impacts. My only concern here is, where will we go? Not only for funding, but also for buying gear or clothes. Are you sure you can buy a mountaineering jacket that is completely free of forced labor? North Face has been mentioned, but VFC owns the North Face, and even though they have made statements that they are not affiliated with Xianjiang labor camps, there are accusations against them. Nike was mentioned, but they have sold $20k shoes made with skin of 20 different animals.

This is an article I just found (and haven't read, I will after I send this email) from The Atlantic that claims that even Patagonia hasn't been able to get rid of human trafficking in their supply chain.


Of course, if I will give my money to a company, and the two options are one that proudly supports forced labor, and one that tries to eliminate it from the supply chain and just fails because the world really sucks for far too many people, I guess I would go with the second, but my point is, we are just trying to clean our consciousness while still wearing clothes that were made with the suffering of other human beings.

This is more of a train of thought. A somewhat cynical one. The truth is a bit darker than just Arcteryx being bought by Anta. The truth is that if companies did the very right thing, an already expensive jacket sold for $500 would be worth at least twice as much.

Thanks for the interesting conversation!
Leonardo  

Edith Han

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Jan 13, 2022, 8:49:06 AMJan 13
to Leonardo Regoli, Brian Florence, Douglas Alexander, Chris Beebe, Mountaineering Section of the PATC
I have been following the issue of the Uyghur camps in China for the past 5 years, and I am glad to see that the world is starting to do something about it now to hopefully end this genocide.

While we are at it, there are other companies who have been identified as being linked to using Uyghur forced labor that I hope you consider while you make any future purchases. I am a big believer in "voting with your money," so to speak. Have you looked into the brands and stores and companies that you purchase from with a similar lens?

The End Uyghur Forced Labour coalition currently lists the following fashion/textile companies that have not yet taken all credible steps outlined in their Call to Action:
    Abercrombie & Fitch (Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister Co., Ruehl No. 925)
    Adidas
    Amazon private labels
    American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.
    Anta Sports Products Ltd.
    Burberry Group PLC (Burberry)
    Burlington Stores, Inc. (Burlington)
    Capri Holdings Ltd. (Michael Kors, Versace, Jimmy Choo)
    CHANEL International B.V. (Chanel)
    Costco
    Esprit
    Fast Retailing (Uniqlo, Theory, Helmut Lang, J Brand, Comptoir des Cotonniers, GU, Princesse Tam-Tam)
    Foot Locker
    GIII Apparel Group Ltd. (licensed apparel for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL)
    Gap Inc. (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta)
    Guess
    Hanesbrands Inc. (Hanes, Champion, Playtex)
    Hermès International S.A. (Hermès)
    HLA Corporation Ltd.
    Inditex (Zara, Massimo Dutti, Berska, Oysho, Pull and Bear, Stradivarius, Uterque, Stradivarius, Lefties)
    Kering (Gucci, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Brioni)
    Kohl’s
    Kontoor Brands (Lee, Wrangler, Rock & Republic)
    L Brands (Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, La Senza)
    Levi Strauss & Co. (Levi’s, Dockers)
    Lululemon Athletica
    LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Celine, Sephora)
    Macy’s Inc. (Macy’s)
    Next plc
    Nike, Inc. (Nike, Brand Jordan, Converese)
    Nordstrom, Inc. (Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack)
    PVH (Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Heritage Brands portfolio)
    Ralph Lauren Corporation (Ralph Lauren, Club Monaco)
    Richemont Group (Chloé, dunhill, Peter Millar)
    Ross Stores, Inc.
    J Sainsbury plc (Sainsbury’s)
    Sears Holdings (Sears)
    Tapestry (Coach, Kate Spade, & Stuart Weitzman)
    Target Corporation (Target)
    Tesco plc (Tesco)
    TJX Companies Inc. (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, HomeSense
    VF Corporation (The North Face, Timberland, Dickies, Vans, Jansport)
    Walmart Inc. (Walmart, Sam’s Club, Flipkart, Bonobos)
    Walt Disney
    Wesfarmers (Kmart Australia, Target Australia)
    Woolworths
    Zalando

Of course this does not include the list of solar panel companies or electronics companies that are also tied to using Uyghur forced labor and genocide as well.
(And while we're looking at electronic companies, do you know if your laptop or phone are using conflict-free minerals that do not fund armed conflicts?)

It's great to see that other individuals try to practice ethical consumption. It's a pretty difficult and complex in this global economy.



Sarah Sorenson

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Jan 13, 2022, 9:58:28 AMJan 13
to Edith Han, Leonardo Regoli, Brian Florence, Douglas Alexander, Chris Beebe, Mountaineering Section of the PATC
While we're all moralizing here, I'll chime in with some points in favor of Arc'teryx. I've purchased several products from them over the years, and all are still in use today. I have yet to throw away or replace anything from Arc'teryx. On my last mountaineering trip, my hardshell pants were completely shredded while glissading. They are in a landfill now, and I intend to replace them with Arc'teryx.

Sustainability aside, I'm skeptical that high-quality products we only buy once every couple decades are strong drivers of the demand for forced labor. Especially when compared to inexpensive products that people replace every year or two, e.g. "fast fashion". For my part, I'll stick to my philosophy of paying a premium for quality and buying new things as infrequently as possible. As long as Arc'teryx is making the best gear I'm going to buy it.

To Doug's point though... Does our club really need money from corporate sponsors badly enough that it's worth it, if we have any reservations whatsoever? I would say probably not.

Sarah

David Knowlton

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Jan 13, 2022, 12:05:20 PMJan 13
to Sarah Sorenson, Edith Han, Leonardo Regoli, Brian Florence, Douglas Alexander, Chris Beebe, Mountaineering Section of the PATC
I have pretty much switched to Patagonia, other like-minded companies when it comes to labor and sourcing materials (not owned by the evil empire), or buying second-hand used clothing.  It's a difference that is easy to make.  



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David Knowlton
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UP Media

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Jan 13, 2022, 12:53:53 PMJan 13
to Mountaineering Section of the PATC

William Kruse

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Jan 13, 2022, 5:42:11 PMJan 13
to Mountaineering Section of the PATC
I'm not sure this is the hill to die on. Do you own an iPhone or any other computer? Can you really tell me you know the supply chain of all the stuff in your house? Do you know how much of it comes from China? Do you prefer a US company who uses overseas labor or an overseas company that uses north american labor? This rabbit hole can get real deep reel fast. Would I prefer Arteryx not be a subsidiary of a company who may have other companies that don't care about human rights? Yep. But
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