General Assembly 2017 - A look back and a look forward
On the occasion of the third General Assembly of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles on 11 October, over 150 Alliance members and guests gathered at the Quadriga Forum in Berlin. In addition to contributions by Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and BMZ textile ambassador Barbara Meier, there were rounds of talks with international experts, parallel workshops and plenty of opportunities for discussion and exchange.
The Partnership Secretary presented the Annual Report 16/17 and looked at results, successes and learning experiences. The focus was on findings from the action plans, which each member had to draw up for the first time this year. State Secretary Silberhorn had a lot of recognition for the creation of these so-called roadmaps. He thanked the members for their commitment and urged them to continue on this path.
In working groups on topics such as due diligence, transparency in the supply chain, prevention of corruption and professional qualification in the textile industry, the members exchanged experiences and jointly discussed solutions for the most pressing challenges in the textile sector. For example, best practices for more transparency in the supply chain and ideas for improving vocational qualification in textile factories were presented.
To the question "Just pay more? On the way to living wages" discussed Christa Luginbühl (Public Eye), Frank Hoffer (ACT), Henning Seidentopp (Melawear), Lary Brown (Esprit), Martin Curley (Fair Wear Foundation) and Mark Starmanns (BSD Consulting). The discussion showed that the problem cannot be tackled by one actor alone - it is precisely in this area that new forms of cooperation are crucial for success. In the coming year, the Partnership would like to meet this challenge and present itself with a Partnership Initiative .
In the evening, model and textile ambassador Barbara Meier gave an interview in which she praised the Partnership members, showed how to walk the catwalk properly, and revealed her strategy to help her create a "sustainable wardrobe".