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.

 

 

 

At a Glance – The worldwide Commitment of our Members

Worldwide there are more than 60 million people working in the textile and clothing sector.

The members and cooperation partners of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles are highly committed to improve the social, ecological and economic conditions alongside the entire textile supply chain.

Our interactive world map provides you a detailed insight into this dedication. Beside information about every single initiative, you will find details about every relevant country.

About 40 initiatives of our members and the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) regarding the textile and garment sector are located in the respective country on our world map. The currently ongoing Partnership Initiatives, cooperatively planned and implemented by our members, are also visualised on the word map.

The initiators give an overview of their general project information and provide detailed information on the objectives and achievements of their engagement.

The interactive “Textile Partnership world map” ensures a detailed overview of the different fields of action in the global textile production. They involve measures like a sustainable environmental management in the cotton production countries as well as projects for the improvement of the social standards in sewing factories and spinning mills.

Read on here and learn more about the wide-ranging involvement of the different actor groups of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and about the different production countries in the textile and clothing industry.

 

 

DECISION ON BINDING DEADLINE AND VOLUME TARGETS

As already communicated in the press release dated 24th of November 2017, the Partnership Steering Committee agreed at its 16th meeting on specific binding deadlines targets for all members. These deadlines, together with the recommended targets, form the requirements for the forthcoming Review Process.

Under these requirements, the Textiles Partnership will distinguish as of 2018 between

  • binding targets that must be pursued by all members by a specified point in time
  • recommended targets that should be pursued by all members, and
  • freely definable targets based on the content and structure of the indicator grid. These targets can largely be set by members as they see fit.

You can find an Overview of the agreed deadline and volume targets for 2018 to 2020 here.

 

FROM INDICATOR GRID TO INDIVIDUAL ROADMAP

You can download the full indicator grid, with separate versions for each of the seven Stakeholder Groups within the Textiles Partnership, below.

In the course of drawing up a Roadmap and taking part in the resulting Review Process, members answer selected questions on topics such as business practices and supply chain management, risk analysis, complaints mechanisms and communication within the company.

In the interests of the ongoing achievement of targets, concrete targets have been specified for 2018, 2019 and 2020, and individually tailored to the Stakeholder Groups. In this way, all members contribute to the shared vision of making the textile supply chain socially and environmentally sustainable.

 

Brands        Manufactures       Trade unions      Non-governmental organisations  

Standard organisations        Federal Government        Business associations   

 

 

Partnership for Sustainable Textiles enters a new phase in 2018: binding targets for all members and greater internationalisation

Decision in the Textiles Partnership: Implementation of Partnership Goals Starts in 2017

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is entering a new phase on the path towards better working conditions, more environmental protection, and fair wages in textile supply chains. Its ambitious targets are now underpinned by specific individual goals for all members in the period from 2018 to 2020. In addition, the Partnership will become more international and step up its cooperation with partners.

At its meeting on the 22 and 23 November 2017, the Steering Committee of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles set the first-ever binding deadlines for all members. The deadlines build on individual planned measures and apply for the period from 2018 to 2020. This means, for example, that members have to conduct a risk analysis, systematically document their business partners and producers, undertake specific measures to ensure that their suppliers do not use any toxic chemicals, and introduce processes to prevent child labour and forced labour. There are also targets for living wages. The Partnership plans to make this topic a major focus in the coming year.

Alongside the individual requirements, common binding targets have also been specified that include the common target of using at least 35% sustainable cotton by 2020. Here 10% of the total quantity must be organic cotton. By 2025, the overall proportion of sustainable cotton should rise to a total of 70%, and the share of organic cotton to 20%.

‘The members have agreed specific deadlines and target quantities. That is a huge step for the Textile Partnership and a major lever for making genuine improvement in the producer countries,’ said Dr Jürgen Janssen, Head of the Partnership Secretariat.

Businesses, non-governmental organisations, policy-makers, trade unions and standards organisations want to implement the targets through individual responsibility, shared commitment in producer countries, and mutual support.

The Steering Committee has also decided to continue expanding the Textile Partnership’s international cooperation with strategic partners in order to achieve an even broader impact, coordinate approaches, and establish internationally aligned requirements.

Textile Partnership: Cooperation with ACT initiative kicks off internationalisation – partnership initiative for chemicals management starts implementation in producer countries

On the path to improve the conditions in global textile supply chains, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles has now taken key steps towards a stronger internationalisation. Strategic cooperation with the Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT) initiative will exploit synergies in order to encourage payment of living wages in the textile and clothing industry. That for members of both initiatives plan to share their experience of purchasing practices and to cooperate on implementation in producer countries. In Asia, the partnership initiative on chemicals management is advancing common commitment and concrete implementation in the producer countries. 15 members of the partnership have now enshrined their cooperation in a formal agreement.

Back in November, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles decided to place a stronger focus on the topic of a living wage. This decision will now be underpinned by the new cooperation with ACT. Yesterday the two partners signed a joint declaration to promote the payment of a living wage in the producer countries of the textile and clothing industry via industry-wide collective agreements, and by adapting purchasing practices. The parties share the view that a solution to the existing challenges in the sector requires a systematic approach.

Dr Jürgen Janssen, head of the Secretariat of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, stressed the relevance of the new focus in the partnership: ‘Until now living wages have generally been the exception rather than the rule, especially in the textile industry. A large number of players must come together and facilitate systemic change for being successfully implemented everywhere. For this reason, our cooperation with the ACT initiative is such an important lever.’

The ACT initiative consists of 17 brands and trading companies, along with the IndustriALL international trade union federation. Dr Frank Hoffer, Executive Director of ACT, emphasised the importance of sector-wide collective bargaining combined with adapting the purchasing practices, saying ‘It has to be possible to negotiate wages under the same conditions right across a country – irrespective of the individual factory and the client it is supplying. This should also be made possible under the terms of appropriate agreements with global brands and retailers. ’He added that this would need a broad-based partnership. ‘We are therefore delighted to have found such a committed and ambitious partner in the German Textile Partnership.’

The cooperation enshrined in the new agreement is a key element in tackling the topic within the partnership, and at the same time marks the beginning of efforts to strengthen the internationalisation of the partnership.

Furthermore, the newly enshrined partnership initiative for chemicals and environmental management should greatly reduce the use of problematic chemicals in wet processing in the textile production. The initial focus is on China and Bangladesh. Additional regions are expected to follow, and negotiations have already commenced with Myanmar, Ethiopia and Pakistan. This week 15 partnership members signed a memorandum of understanding. This represents a commitment on the part of ALDI Nord, ALDI SÜD, BEPI, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, BSI, Brands Fashion, Deuter, Hej Support, KiK, the Otto Group, the Rewe Group, Sympatex, Tchibo, the German Environment Agency and ZDHC to work on a broad-based training programme and give financially support. By the end of 2019, not only will workshops, training courses and dialogue events have raised awareness of sustainable chemicals and environmental management in production facilities. Supported with extensive training materials, courses in factories with wet processing operations will lead to a significant increase in knowledge and help in the gradual substitution of harmful chemicals. In addition, the creation of structures for cooperation with universities, research facilities and the chemical industry will consolidate the processes further and ensure broad-scale impacts.

The formal agreement now takes the partnership initiative out of the planning stage to the implementation phase. Other partnership initiatives will follow next year with systematic and specific impacts that generate further improvement in the producer countries.

German-Dutch cooperation takes sustainability in the textile sector

German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Textiles and Garment announce strategic cooperation

The German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textiles signed a cooperation agreement. The core objective is to support companies in implementing due diligence by harmonizing sustainability requirements. In addition, member companies will work on joint projects to improve working conditions in risk areas and benefit from shared knowledge and support by both secretariats. Additionally, cooper-ation in working with local stakeholders such as producers, governments, trade unions and NGOs will increase the joint leverage.

The announcement of the strategic cooperation at the OECD Forum in Paris demonstrates the im-portance of the due diligence approach of the United Nations and the OECD for both initiatives. Their activities and tools are already based on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector. The agreed joint goal to align the content of both initiatives aims to broaden the market impact and thereby to increasing the influence on la-bour rights and the environment in producing countries.

Compliance with both initiatives through one step
The heart of the cooperation will be the opportunity for an associated membership, which will al-low member companies to participate in both initiatives under simplified conditions. In order to join the Dutch AGT, members of the German Textiles Partnership will have to submit a list of their pro-duction locations of direct suppliers to the Dutch secretariat. They also accept being subject to the AGT complaint mechanism for third parties. For an associated membership to the German Textiles Partnership, members of the Dutch AGT will have to publish their action plans and progress reports on the website of the German Partnership.

Dr. Juergen Janssen, Head of the Secretariat of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, highlights the need for cooperation: “With the challenges in global supply chains in mind, national initiatives can provide good transitional solutions. However, in order to achieve durable systematic changes we need collaborative international efforts. An alignment of sustainability requirements at the Eu-ropean level is an important milestone.”

Pierre Hupperts, Chairman of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garment and Textile, adds: “The cooperation of the two existing national multi-stakeholder initiatives in the textile sector oper-ating on the European market is an important step towards strengthening our impact. It leads us on the path to create, at least on the European level, a level playing field. This is an important as-pect in making sure that Due Diligence is not an issue of competition, but rather a common denominator. “

Joint event at OECD
The two initiatives declared the formalized cooperation at the joint event “Putting OECD guidance into practice – Implementing due diligence in the framework of government-backed multi-stakeholder initiatives in The Netherlands and Germany” at the OECD in Paris. Central topics of the session were the intersections of both approaches as well as joint next steps. Members of both initiatives shared their experiences and emphasized the benefits of membership in both initiatives.

Additional quotes

Dr. Bernhard Felmberg, German Federal Ministry on Economic Cooperation and Development and moderator of the steering committee of the Textiles Partnership: „This cooperation contributes to implementing due diligence that is in line with the OECD Guidelines throughout the EU market. It is a continuation upon the trustful collaboration between the German and the Dutch Government that exists for years with regard to this topic.“

Sigrid Kaag, Dutch minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation: “Major European textile companies have pressed for alignment of national textile initiatives within the EU. The Dutch and German agreement will contribute to clear guidance for business and better results for the working conditions and lives of millions of people in the garment industry.”

Aleix Busquets Gonzalez, Global Head of External Stakeholder Engagement at C&A: “C&A, as a member of both initiatives, warmly welcomes the cooperation between them. We believe that this partnership will create further synergies for member companies in implementing supply chain due diligence. It is important that fashion brands and retailers collaborate to address industry-wide sustainability issues together. We are happy to see that both initiatives have made strong commitment towards this new partnership.”

Contact:
Partnership for Sustainable Textiles
T +49 228 4460-3560
E presse@textilbuendnis.com

Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garment and Textile
Marieke Ruijgrok, press officer: +31 (0)6 29230262, m.ruijgrok@ser.nl.

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles
The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is a multi-actor partnership made up of companies, unions, non-governmental organizations, and standards organizations, as well as the Federal Govern-ment. The actors have united in 2014 with the aim to jointly achieve improvements alongside the entire textile supply chain. In order to achieve this, they agreed upon ambitious social and environ-mental goals. The actors are pursuing these targets practically by the means of individual measures by members and joint Partnership initiatives in the production countries. For more information, visit www.textilbuendnis.com.

Agreement on Sustainable Garment and Textile
A broad coalition of businesses and other organisations signed an agreement on international re-sponsible business conduct in the garment and textile sector. The aim is to improve working condi-tions, prevent pollution, and promote animal welfare in production countries. The Agreement on a Sustainable Garment and Textile Sector is a new instrument to work on the transition to sustaina-ble, responsible international production and supply chains. For more information, visit: www.internationalrbc.org/garments-textile

Members publish their individual action plans

Members publish their individual action plans | ©GIZ Anne KathrinMohr extern (Auftraggeber-GIZ)

A large number of members has consented to disclose their roadmaps for 2017. Publication of individual objectives is still voluntary. As of 2018 the yearly publication becomes obligatory.