Textile Exchange and the Partnership of Sustainable Textiles get together to increase the sustainability in the textile industry

[Milan: October 23, 2018] Today the global working nongovernmental organisation Textile Exchange and the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) and agreed on a cooperation to promote the development and use of sustainable materials and fibres in the clothing industry.

 With this focus, the cooperation covers the following fields:

  • Capacity building and knowledge transfer for stakeholders of the textile- and clothing sector, within the development and implementation of strategies for the use of sustainable fibres
  • Support the collective engagement of the production countries due to exchange of experience and dialog between producers, brand manufactures and more relevant stakeholder of the supply chain
  • Promoting of the (international) alignment of requirements on companies and standards
  • Development of measure instruments for documentation and verification of sustainability-programs to achieve significant improvements in this branch      

After signing the LOI Textile Exchange and the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles will collective concrete the fields of cooperation, communicate and further implement first activities together.

 

ABOUT TEXTILE EXCHANGE

Headquarter in Texas, Textile Exchange is a global non-profit that creates leaders in the sustainable fiber and materials industry.

 Textile Exchange also manages and promotes a suite of six leading industry standards, including organic, recycled, responsible down and responsible wool, as well as, collects and publishes critical industry data and insights that enable brands and retailers to measure, manage and track their use of preferred fiber and materials. With more than 260 members who represent leading brands, retailers and suppliers, Textile Exchange has meaningfully accelerated the use of preferred fibers and increased the adoption of standards and certifications across the global textile industry.

Members of the Textiles Partnership Posing a Joint Demand

Members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles urge the government in Bangladesh to advocate for compliance with the agreements reached for the transition of the Bangladesh Accord.  

In a letter to the Bangladeshi Government, members of the Textiles Partnership and the Accord, among them Tchibo, ALDI Süd and ALDI Nord as well as Hugo Boss, demand the adherence and support to the existing agreements for the transition of the Bangladesh Accord to a national institution. This is mainly due to current developments and discrepancies. The Accord governs measures for fire and building safety in textile and clothing factories.

In October last year, the Transition Monitoring Committee (TMC) of the Bangladesh Accord – consisting of the government, the employer organization, trade unions and brand and retail companies participating in the Accord – had agreed on several objective criteria, which must be fulfilled in order to commence the transition of the Accord to a national institution. The TMC is responsible for making the decision, if these criteria are ultimately met.

Read here the complete letter of the Partnership and Accord members.

Roadmaps 2018 are Published

Members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles committed to take more responsibility for sustainability in their own supply chain. In the annual Roadmaps, they demonstrate how they handle the work to improve fair wages, environmental protection and working conditions. The creation of a Roadmap is binding to all members. Next year, they have to report on the achievement of their defined targets. From today on these roadmaps are publicly available and free to download.  

On the Partnership’s website you can find a filter function >Roadmap 2018 published<, through which you can access the current status of the examined Roadmaps. All following Roadmaps will gradually be published on the Partnership’s website.

 Read on here the press release of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles from the 13th August 2018.  

Dr. Juergen Janssen interviewed by the EU Parliament Member Arne Lietz

On an event of the Handelsverband Deutschland (HDE) and the German Economic Institute in Brussels with the core question: “How can sustainable Supply Chain Management succeed?”, Juergen Janssen (Head of the Secretariat of the Partnership of Sustainable Textiles) and Arne Lietz (Member of the European Parliament) talked about the Textile Partnership. About its strategic cooperation, inter alia with the “Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile” (AGT) and the “Action Collaboration Transformation” (ACT), as well as the implementation of due diligence OECD Guidelines.

 

Alsico NV becomes the first associated member of the Textile Partnership

We are pleasedto welcome Alsico NV as the first associated member in the Textile Partnership. The company with a deep heritage manufactures high quality workwear and attaches great value on ecological textiles and a sustainable business management. Alsico ensures the required conditions to become an associated member of the Textile Partnership with being a member of our Dutch cooperation Partner the „Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile“(AGT). From now on, the company has full access to the information platform and all our tools.

The Alsico-company group employs about 7,000 employees/workers and achieves annual sales of 200 Million Euro. The company’s head quarter is located in the Belgium city Ronse in the eastern Flemish region next to the French border.

Partnership Members got together at the Working Meeting in Cologne

On the 11th and 12th of July about 160 Partnership members got together for a working meeting in the converted industrial building “Bauwerk” in Cologne Kalk. In eight different workshops, the members discussed the structural development and further content of the Textile Partnership.

 

In the group „Supply Chain Transparency” with approximately 50 participants, members presented their own case studies. The diverse possibilities in digital innovations were demonstrated in reports about block chain solutions as an information tool in the supply chain or in the idea of barcodes, which provides immediately details about the production country on your smartphone.

“Living Wages” as an annual theme of 2018 was presented in an own Workshop. A specialist presentation showed how challenges in implementing living wages could be handled. Further, the participants discussed how the Textile Partnership could strengthen their cooperation with other initiatives to use synergies more effectively.

In the workshop “Sustainable man-made Fibres”, more than 40 participants concentrated on topics like regenerated fibres, synthetic chemical fibres and biobased plastics. Thereby they identified challenges of using socially and environmentally sustainable chemical fibres. In the “Chemicals” workshop, the focus was on relevant tools and practical objective of the deeper supply chain.

For further stronger consideration of “Preventing Corruption” as a topic in the Textile Partnership, the group of experts made a proposal how to integrate it in the Partnerships question grid. Benchmarking was the focus of the discussion in the “Impact Assessment” workshop. The participants disputed possibilities to measure the impact in the production countries. A concrete proposal for topics regarding “Living Wages” and “Chemical and Environmental Management” should be elaborated this year.

The participants of the workshops “Internationalisation” and “Communication” discussed more structural questions, like the possibilities of a stronger international focus of the Textile Partnership and strategies of recruiting new Partnership member.

 

 

 

Partnership welcomes NABU as a new member

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and its members are pleased to welcome the Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. as a new member in the category non-governmental organizations.

The Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. (NABU) is a German environmental association which aims to improve nature protection in Germany and abroad, as for example the protection for rivers, forests and different species of animals. Uniting 660.000 members and sponsors, the NABU is one of the biggest associations in Germany.

Members of the Steering Committee support higher minimum wages in Bangladesh

Right before the next National Wage Board’s meeting in Bangladesh, members of the Steering Committee appealed to the Government in Bangladesh to support higher minimum wages in the Bangladeshi garment and textile sector. In a joint letter, they emphasized the importance of living wages, the respect for workers’ rights and the significance of freedom of […]

Exclusion of seven members from the Partnership

The steering commitee of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles decided yesterday to exclude seven members with immediate effect. They had not fulfilled their reporting obligations and had not submitted any roadmaps and progress reports, which are required in the review process. Some other members have left the Textiles Partnership since the beginning of the year, so the Textiles Partnership currently consists of 130 members. The common market coverage of the members remains almost untouched at 49.4%.

At the same time, the Textiles Partnership could welcome new members. For example, the steering committee has included Germany’s NABU (association for nature conversation) and the first associate member Alsico NV.

The steering committee regrets the leavings/exclusions and hopes to welcome these organizations as members again. As a learning organization, the partnership is evolving and is going to provide a platform for improvements in supply chains to all players in the textile industry. The publication of progress reports of 2017 and the roadmaps of 2018 is planned for August.

Thus, the following members have not been in the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles since the beginning of 2018:

AB Lindex

Brands TeamTex GmbH

Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel Deutschland e.V. (bevh)

brainshirt

Carson Company

Corporate Textiles Kolling GmbH

Cotonea – Gebr. Elmer & Zweifel GmbH & Co. KG

Ethnic Styles

Galatea Ziss – Atelier für Bekleidung

Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform gGmbH/GITI

Image Druck & Strick GmbH & Co. KG

Jako-o Möbel und Spielmittel für die junge Familie GmbH

Kleiderei Hamburg GmbH

Lillika Eden GmbH

Maas Naturwaren GmbH

MIP Europe GmbH

Natascha von Hirschhausen

OLYMP BEZNER KG / Marvelis KG

Ortlieb Sportartikel GmbH

Oxfam Deutschland e.V.

Schweikardt-Moden GmbH

Textildruck Europa GmbH

The Fair Fashion Network

Vier Pfoten – Stiftung für Tierschutz

YKK Europe LTD

High-level Panel on Due Diligence in the EU Textile and Garment Sector

The panellists included Katarzyna Kuske (Policy Officer at DG GROW, Unit Tourism, Emerging and Creative Industries, EU Commission), Agnes Jongerius (Vice-Chair of the Committee on Employ-ment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament), Pascale Moreau (Public Affairs Manager, Sustainable Apparel Coalition), Aleix Gonzalez Busquets (Head of External Stakeholder Engage-ment, C&A) and Luc Triangle (Secretary General, IndustriALL Europe).

The German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile facilitate debate about opportunities for cooperation around the topic of due diligence in the garment sector at the EU level.

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (Textiles Partnership) and the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT) organised a panel debate on Monday, June 4th 2018 in Brussels at the margins of the European Development Days. The aim of the event was to discuss the potential for cooperation on the issue of due diligence in the garment sector at the EU level and debate possibilities for scaling up existing national efforts.

Dr. Jürgen Janssen, Head of the Textiles Partnership Secretariat, and Jef Wintermans, Coordinator of the AGT, introduced the approaches of the two initiatives and presented first results as well as lessons learned. In addition, they explained that their strategic cooperation aimed at stronger alignment based on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector. Afterwards, a high-level panel discussed how responsible business conduct and due diligence in the EU textile and garment sector can be promoted. In particular, the panel debated the need and potential for cooperation around the issue of due diligence at the EU level.

The panel agreed that scaling up the implementation of due diligence by EU textile and garment companies was crucial for achieving systemic and continuous improvements of environmental and working conditions in production countries. The panellists, however, had different opinions on how this should be achieved. While some called for binding due diligence requirements at the EU level, others advocated for stronger alignment of exiting national efforts and requested the EU Commission to provide the necessary support and coordination.

Other topics addressed in the discussion included EU trade policy as an instrument for enhancing compliance with labour and environmental standards, the role of governments in production countries and garment production in Eastern Europe and EU candidate states. Overall, the event facilitated a fruitful discussion among the participants, which included representatives of EU member state governments, the European Commission, the European Parliament, international brands, business associations, trade unions as well as NGOs.