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Handling the situation in Myanmar

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24.09.2021

Handling the situation in Myanmar

Positions of the stakeholder groups in the steering committee

Since the military coup in Myanmar, the Partnership Secretariat has been informing the members of the Textiles Partnership on a weekly basis about current developments in the country. It turns out that the military is using increasing violence against opposition members and trade unionists. Against this background, IndustriALL Global Union, ITUC: and the Myanmar Labor Alliance called for a comprehensive boycott against the military junta.

The Steering Committee of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles has intensively discussed the situation and possible responses of the Partnership members. There is consensus that Myanmar is a high-risk country in terms of human rights.

In essence, every company purchasing in Myanmar must decide, within the framework of an intensive due diligence assessment, whether a responsible continuation of business relationships and thus the safeguarding of jobs and income is possible in the current situation, or whether these business relationships potentially make a return to democracy more difficult and should therefore also be interrupted due to the extensive restriction of association and workers' rights.

The Steering Committee will continue to address the situation in Myanmar and possible responses. The Partnership Secretariat is tasked with continuing to inform members in the Myanmar Issue Brief and continue coordination with other multi-stakeholder initiatives.

Statements of the representatives of the stakeholder groups in the Textiles Partnership
Economy

The steering committee representatives of the stakeholder group Economy recommend that members purchasing in Myanmar regularly reassess their business relationships in view of the current risk situation and with the involvement of the relevant stakeholders in Myanmar and critically consider whether these relationships can be continued.

Standard Organizations

The steering committee representative of the standard organizations stakeholder group clarifies that the standard organisations do not make general statements, e.B. related to countries/regions, as certifications, including on-site audits, are always case-by-case considerations.

Labour unions and Non-profit Organizations

The steering group representatives from trade unions and non-governmental organizations consider a withdrawal from Myanmar to be the only remaining measure due to the risk situation in order to effectively minimise the risk of further human rights violations in their supply chain in the sense of due diligence. Due to the risk situation and therefore in line with the call of the international trade unions, they demand that all companies withdraw from Myanmar and make this withdrawal as responsible as possible in compliance with their due diligence obligations.

Government

The Steering Committee representatives of the Federal Government endorse the above-mentioned recommendation of the Economic Stakeholder Group. They add the following addition: "In order not to support the military regime in a direct or indirect way, it should be excluded, as far as possible, that business partners or suppliers in Myanmar are associated with the military or that there are direct business relationships with companies owned by the military."

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Launch of the Living Wage Lab

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23.09.2021

Together on living wages: Launch of the Living Wage Lab

With the launch of the Living Wage Lab, the Partnership Initiative Living Wages entered a new phase. The aim of the Living Wage Lab is to support PST members in developing and implementing individual living wage strategies and to develop scalable solutions together with their suppliers.

The Living Wage Lab is attended by 17 partnership members, including representatives of companies and trade unions, civil society and the Federal Government. On the one hand, they want to share experiences of what they have already done to increase wages and what they are planning to do in the future. On the other hand, they want to learn from each other how to implement pilot projects to increase wages with suppliers and how to improve transparency and their purchasing practices in the company. In the first phase of the Partnership Initiative on Living Wages the focus was on improving purchasing practices as well as on training and capacity building for suppliers on the subject of Open Costing.

Virtual launch event

Around 25 BI representatives took part in the virtual kick-off event of the Living Wage Lab on 14 September 2021. Kristin Apffelstaedt from the Partnership Secretariat (BS) gave an overview of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the agreements it contains. The Thrive Collaborative, a consulting organization with human rights expertise and sector-specific practical experience along the textile supply chain, presented a "Roadmap to Living Wages", with the help of which companies can implement living wages step by step.

On the basis of case studies, two companies provided insights into the practical implementation. The Swiss company Coop described its path and challenges towards living wages. Coop also addressed the issue of transparency and described how it involved various departments in the company and exchanged ideas with its suppliers. Subsequently, the Dutch jeans label Kings Of Indigo shared its learning experiences with the other Alliance members. For example, Kings of Indigo brought other brands that are manufactured by the same producer on board in order to be able to achieve more together. The case studies showed that both companies strive for transparency and protection of increased labor costs through an open cost calculation with the suppliers.

The next meeting of the Living Wage Lab is scheduled for October 26.

Useful information and links
These partnership members have signed the MoU and are participating in the Living Wage Lab
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Partnerships 2030: Factsheets on the SDGs

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22.09.2021

Partnerships 2030: Factsheets on the SDGs

Advantages of multi-stakeholder partnerships in addressing complex challenges

How do multi-actor partnerships (MAPs) contribute to the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda? In a factsheet series Partnerships2030 address this issue. For each of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 to 16, two pages describe the advantages of a MAP to address major and complex challenges. This is illustrated by the example of a MAP working on one of the SDGs.

SDG1: Humane work for a good life

For the first time since 1999, the number of extremely poor people rose again in 2020, by 115 million according to the World Bank. In the previous 20 years, their number had fallen by one billion, despite a growing world population. The prerequisites for a life without extreme hardship are living incomes and decent working conditions. Multi-actor partnerships (MAP) can achieve a lot here, for example if they take the entire value chain into account.

With the aim of improving social and environmental conditions in global textile value chains, the work of the Textile Alliance also contributes to the achievement of the SDGs (SDG-Mapping). In the Factsheet about SDG1 the Textile Partnership is mentioned as an example-MAP.

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Welcome to the Partnerhsip:Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf

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17.09.2021

Welcome to the Partnerhsip:Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf

We are pleased to welcome Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf (DITF) to the Textiles Partnership.

The DITF is a foundation under public law and is under the supervision of the Ministry of Economics of the State of Baden-Württemberg. Founded in 1921, their mission is to support the primarily small and medium-sized textile industry with research and development. The DITF cooperates with three chairs at the University of Stuttgart in the fields of chemistry, process engineering and mechanical engineering. In addition, they offer further courses in other fields of study.

From polymer synthesis to the development of textile products, the DITF covers the entire value chain and a full-step manufacturing process of textiles: from the development of wood-based (cellulosic) and man-made fibres to the spinning of fibres into yarns and further processing into fabrics to textile finishing.

Götz Gresser, one of three managing directors, describes the motivation for working in the Textile Partnership as follows: "On the one hand, we hope that the Textile Partnership will provide us with information from companies and, above all, retailers about their requirements and hurdles in the development of a sustainable textile economy. On the other hand, we would like to share our research results with the other members and thus carry it across the board."

Find more information on www.ditf.de.

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Welcome to the Partnership: KLiNGEL Group

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14.09.2021

Welcome to the Partnership: KLiNGEL Group

We are pleased to welcome KLiNGEL Group to the Textiles Partnership.

The KLiNGEL Group, headquartered in Pforzheim, is one of the largest multichannel distance sellers in Germany with numerous subsidiaries in other European countries. Fifteen fashion brands operate under its umbrella, including KLiNGEL, WENZ, MONA, MIAMODA, Babista, Happy Size, Vamos and Alba Moda. The company employs around 2,200 people.

The product portfolio includes textiles and shoes as well as electronics and hardware. Textiles are the company's most relevant product group.

The new partnership member aims to create transparency in the textile supply chain among its suppliers at Tier 1 (production of the end product) and Tier 2 (material and surface production, wet processes). In addition, the KLiNGEL Group is gradually expanding the use of sustainable materials. The company is also a member of Cotton made in Africa, amfori BSCI and the Leather Working Group.

As a multichannel distance retailer, the KLiNGEL Group will contribute its experience to the textile partnership and share its knowledge, including on supply chain management and traceability as well as on environmental and chemical management.   

The Chairman of the Management Board, Dr. Sven Axel Groos explains: "We want to find synergies with other partners and join forces with regard to improving social, environmental and economic conditions in supply chains. We are building on dialogue with other players in the textile industry to penetrate important issues that have not yet been satisfactorily resolved and to find suitable approaches."

Find more information here www.klingel-gruppe.de.

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Welcome to the Partnership: Global Nature Fund

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02.09.2021

Welcome to the Partnership: Global Nature Fund

We are pleased to welcome Global Nature Fund to the Textiles Partnership.

The Global Nature Fund (GNF) was established in 1998 as an international foundation for the environment and nature. The foundation acts independently and pursues exclusively and directly charitable purposes. The head office is in Radolfzell, further offices are located in Bonn and Berlin. The GNF initiates and implements projects for nature conservation and environmental protection. GNF is also committed to the conservation of habitats and resources with publications and events. Furthermore, the foundation develops projects to promote sustainable management and is involved in several multi-stakeholder dialogues.

Biodiversity is the focus of many GNF projects around the globe and with a variety of partner organisations. In Germany and Europe, the contact and exchange with companies is particularly important to the GNF. Together, they search for solutions for responsible, biodiversity-oriented business.

Together with the organisation FEMNET (also PST member), the GNF is currently implementing the project "Fair Wear Works" on sustainable textile purchasing in companies. The project partners offer advice, training and information material on the textile supply chain and sustainable procurement. Further textile-related projects exist on the reduction of microplastics in lakes and the cultivation of sustainable natural rubber.

Managing Director Udo Gattenlöhner describes the motivation for membership in the Textile Partnership as follows: "With our knowledge and expertise on nature conservation and environmental protection, we want to contribute to a sustainable textile economy. We want to exchange with the other members and collaborate on solutions, especially in relation to biodiversity, climate change, chemicals and water."

Find more information here: www.globalnature.org.

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Welcome to the Partnership: Blutsgeschwister GmbH

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02.09.2021

Welcome to the Partnership: Blutsgeschwister GmbH

We are pleased to welcome Blutsgeschwister GmbH to the Textiles Partnership.

The Berlin label Blutsgeschwister was founded in 2001 and tailors "feel good couture" with feminine cuts, materials and patterns. The company is now represented by over 300 retail partners in Germany and abroad. In the spirit of slow fashion, Blutsgeschwister attaches great importance to quality standards and careful production so that the fashion is long-lasting and timeless.

Blutsgeschwister has been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation since 2013 and has achieved Leader status in the Fair Wear Brand Performance Check since 2016. On its website, the company writes about FWF membership and social responsibility: "We therefore focus on long-term supplier relationships and support our partners in implementing measures to comply with the Fair Wear Code of Labour Practices. We are convinced that long-term cooperation is key to sustainable change in the supply chain."

The company relies on sustainable materials: in addition to organic cotton from controlled organic cultivation (kbA), Eco Vero viscose, Tencel and recycled polyester are used. Blutsgeschwister is clearly against mulesing wool and does not use mohair, angora, cashmere, fur or silk.

Managing Director Karin Ziegler describes the motivation for working in the Textile Partnership as follows: "We want to collectively help shape changes in the textile industry and drive them forward. In the Textile Partnership, we want to get and give impulses, especially on social issues such as gender-based violence and living wages. At the same time, we hope for support in other issues such as environmental and wastewater management and climate protection. We also welcome an alignment of requirements with other initiatives, such as the Fair Wear Foundation."

Find more information here: https://www.blutsgeschwister.de/de/oeko-faire-mode

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Neues Projekt: Kreislauffähige Produktklone

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05.08.2021

Project of the WG Recycling: Recyclable Product Clones

Currently, only 1% of all garments collected worldwide can be recycled. Moreover, due to fast fashion, the quality of the collected used clothing is so inferior that neither reuse is possible, nor recycling is worthwhile.

What requirements do textile products have to meet in order to be recycled, which materials should be replaced by more sustainable ones, which fibres should be phased out or replaced, which technologies allow us to carry out valuable high quality recycling...? These are just some of the questions that the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles seeks to answer in cooperation with its partners.  

In this context, the Recycling Working Group was established by and with the members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, and the project "Recyclable Product Clones" was launched in March 2021. In the project, eleven selected products from the members are been examined by the Research Institute for Textiles and Clothing at the Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences in terms of their recyclability. The selection includes a backpack, PES-based functional laminates, bed linen, women's clothing, socks, work wear and hiking shorts.

The aim of the project is to develop more sustainable updates of the products. Barriers to the recyclability of the products will be identified and recommendations formulated to improve the design and material circularity of the products. At the end of the project, the participating companies will have gained the necessary knowledge to produce more sustainable and recyclable "clones" of their nominated products.

These PST members are part of the Working Group Recycling:
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Steering Committee: With two new members into the new term

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02.08.2021

Steering Committee: With two new members into the new term

The Steering Committee is the highest decision-making body in the Textiles Partnership. In its meetings, the steering committee decides, among other things, on membership applications and new projects. Once a year, the SK meets for a closed meeting to discuss the general structure and strategy of the Textiles Partnership.

Every two years, the members of the various stakeholder groups elect their representatives for the steering committee. In the spring, the last election took place, the term of office began on August 1, 2021. The newly elected steering committee is composed as follows:

Economy:
  • Dr. Uwe Mazura, German Textile and Fashion Industry Association e.V. (Textile+Fashion)
  • Stefan Genth, Commerce Association Germany - HDE e.V.
  • Nico Kemmler, Textilkontor Walter Seidensticker GmbH & Co. KG
  • Prof. Dr. Tobias Wollermann, Otto Group
Non-governmental organisations:
  • Alexandra Caterbow, HEJ Support
  • Dr. Gisela Burckhardt, FEMNET
  • Berndt Hinzmann, INKOTA
Trade unions:
  • Frank Zach, German Trade Union Confederation – DGB
Standard organisations:
  • Claudia Kersten, Global Standard non-profit GmbH (GOTS)
Federal Government:
  • Anosha Wahidi, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Dr. Olaf Seiring, Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs – BMAS
  • Ingo Strube, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – BMU

Johannes Merck (Otto Group) and Sabine Ferenschild (Südwind) did not run again for the steering committee. As a result, Tobias Wollermann and Alexandra Caterbow joined the Steering Committee as new members.

We would like to express our thanks to all members of the Steering Committee for their contribution in the past and wish the newly elected or re-elected members all the best and great success for the upcoming term of office!
Voices from the steering committee

"I hope that civil society and companies will work together in alliance initiatives, such as the Tamil Nadu Alliance Initiative (India) and the Initiative on Complaint Mechanisms (in India and Vietnam), to achieve improvements for workers, especially women. I also think that in the review process we can lay some important foundations for requirements in the future Supply Chain Act, which many civil society organisations have advocated for."

Dr. Gisela Burckhardt, FEMNET

"The next two years will be decisive for the further orientation and establishment of the Textiles Partnership. Due to the binding regulation for corporate due diligence obligations, industry-specific multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Textiles Partnership are particularly in demand. My expectations here are that the Alliance will develop relevant industry standards and targeted support measures for the implementation of corporate diligence. As a result, the Textiles Partnership can gain even more importance and scope. Because the alliance has great potential to play a decisive role in shaping standards – let's use this potential!"

Anosha Wahidi, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

"Clothing is made by people for people – the Textiles Partnership is an important building block towards more environmental compatibility and social justice along the textile supply chain. I hope that (even) more companies will make their ambitions public through membership."

Ingo Strube, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety – BMU

"I am looking forward to being elected to the Steering Committee and to representing the Economic Stakeholder Group in the term of office that is now beginning. Together with the other SK members, the Textiles Partnership wants to play a strategic role in shaping and thus enabling further progress and improvement for the entire textile sector. The topics of innovative solutions for more transparency of supply chains or the translation of legal requirements into business practice are of particular concern to me."

Prof. Dr. Tobias Wollermann, Otto Group

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Welcome to the Partnership: Karl Rieker GmbH & Co. KG