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Partnership for Sustainable Textiles publishes joint supplier list via the Open Apparel Registry

News
26.11.2020

Partnership for Sustainable Textiles publishes joint supplier list via the Open Apparel Registry

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles publishes an aggregated list of suppliers with around 6,500 production facilities from 23 members on the Open Apparel Registry (OAR) platform. Through this contribution, the Partnership fosters greater transparency in supply chains. Open Apparel Registry (OAR). Damit trägt das Bündnis zu mehr Transparenz in Lieferketten bei.

This year, for the first time, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles called on its members to voluntarily contribute to the joint supplier list. So far, 23 member companies have contributed to the aggregated list, which is now published on the OAR platform. If you search by contributor „Partnership for Sustainable Textiles“on the platform you will currently find around 6,500 production facilities that manufacture for the participating Partnership members. The Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT) has adopted a similar approach (Report).

In this way, the Partnership makes an important contribution to creating a uniform and reliable data basis for greater transparency in the supply networks of the textile and apparel industry. This will enable the various stakeholders in the industry to strengthen their cooperation and thus achieve positive change together.

“With currently over 46,000 production facilities, the OAR is the most important public platform for a clear identification and allocation of production facilities in the textile, shoe and clothing industry. We are pleased that the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is now actively working with the OAR, thereby strengthening this important cooperative approach to greater transparency in textile supply chains.” Jürgen Janssen, Head of the Partnership Secretariat

Open Apparel Registry

The Open Apparel Registry is an open source tool which maps garment facilities worldwide and assigns them a unique identification number. The OAR serves as a central source of truth for the identification of production facilities and their affiliations by combining supplier lists of different stakeholders in the textile, shoe and clothing industry in a central, independent and publicly accessible database. The OAR thereby aims to eliminate confusion and improve the identification of production facilities and, in doing so, to promote and facilitate closer cooperation between different stakeholders.

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Welcome to the Partnership: global tactics

News
05.11.2020

Welcome to the Partnership: global tactics

We welcome global tactics to the Textiles Partnership.

Global tactics is a textile manufacturer for fair and sustainable fashion from Rheurdt-Schaephuysen. The company, which has around 32 employees, specialises in collections for artists, musicians, fashion labels and clubs as well as work and sportswear.

Global tactics produces exclusively in Europe (Portugal and Serbia). The textile manufactory maintains direct personal contact with the producers and visits them regularly. In addition to fair working conditions and compliance with social standards, environmentally friendly production processes are also important to the company. For example, global tactics is increasingly using sustainable materials such as GOTS certified organic cotton and GRS certified recycled fibres. In future, EcoVero viscose fibres are also to be used. Production, dyeing and printing partly meet GOTS and OEKO-TEX 100 standards. The company also uses biodegradable packaging.

"As a member of the Textiles Partnership we would like to learn more about social, ecological and economic improvements along the entire production and supply chain. We also want to take a closer look at our own value chain and the associated risks and opportunities. We want to help define, initiate and implement appropriate measures for improvement," says managing director Tom Illbruck.

You can find more information on the global tactics website: https://www.global-tactics.de/

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ILO-Konvention 190

News
25.11.2020

Historic milestone: the ILO Convention 190

Interview with Dr. Christina Stockfisch (DGB) on the ILO Convention 190 and the status of implementation

On June 21, 2019, the International Labour Conference adopted ILO Convention 190 to eliminate violence and harassment in the world of work. The convention highlights gender-specific violence and harassment and contains concrete requirements for companies. Christina Stockfisch from the German Trade Union Confederation (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund - DGB) was actively involved in the negotiations. In this interview, she explains the progress the convention means and the specific issues at stake.

Christina Stockfisch Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund
Over a year ago, the ILO Convention No. 190 on violence and sexual harassment was adopted. What does the convention mean for workers worldwide?

The ILO Convention is a historical milestone. It is probably the most far-reaching regulation on labor standards ever adopted by the ILO. It emphasizes the right of everyone to a world of work that is free from violence and harassment. The convention takes account of the current reality in the world of work and the violence and harassment that prevails in it. Especially the MeToo debate has revealed the urgent need to have an international standard that clearly defines norms and limits.

Which innovations does the convention offer in terms of protection against violence and harassment in the world of work?

The ILO Convention provides the first globally valid definition of sexual harassment and violence. It not only applies to the workplace, but to the world of work in general, and thus provides a much wider scope of protection for employees. According to the new definition, it is not only violence on the job that has an impact on the world of work. The ILO norm also emphasizes the responsibility of the employer, for example, to protect employees from the effects of domestic violence. Moreover, the ILO established a very wide definition of the term “worker” that includes both formal and informal working relationships.

For the first time then, a globally valid definition of “violence and harassment” and “gender-based violence” was established. How are these terms defined and which dimensions of violence are covered?

Exactly, violence and harassment were included in a joint definition in the text. They are defined as a range of unacceptable behavior and practices or the threat thereof, which aim at or may result in physical, psychological, sexual or economic harm. For the first time, there is an explicit reference to the gender dimension of violence and harassment. This can also imply that resources or access to services are denied. Gender-specific violence is based on gender norms and unequal power relations. Women are affected more often than men.

Who is particularly protected by the convention? And how do those affected obtain their rights?

A major achievement is that the convention protects victims regardless of the country of origin or place of work, i.e. not only permanent employees, but all employed persons as well as volunteers, job seekers, and others. Thus, a manager on a business trip or in e-mail correspondence can invoke the convention in the same way as an intern in an office or a cleaner in a private household. Violence and harassment from third parties, such as passengers on a bus, are also considered. The agreement provides for grievance mechanisms, medical care, social support and legal assistance. Employees worldwide can now invoke the ILO Convention and stand up against violence and harassment at the workplace, for example, by unionizing and negotiating regulations on violence at the workplace in company agreements and collective bargaining agreements.

What are the - new - obligations of employers under this convention and what implementation mechanisms does the convention provide for?

These are set out quite comprehensively: Preventive and protective measures, agreements, information of the employees and of course sanctions against violations. Employers are obliged to take appropriate steps in order to prevent violence and harassment in the workplace and, for example, to adopt and implement a workplace policy on violence and harassment in consultation with employees and their representatives. They should consider violence and harassment and related psychosocial risks in occupational health and safety management and, with the participation of employees and their representatives, identify risks, and take measures to prevent them. Moreover, they should provide workers with information and training on the risks and available prevention and protection measures.

It is recognized that gender-based violence and harassment are widespread and the convention requires addressing both causes and symptoms. But how should this be implemented in practice?

Ultimately, the goal is to change society's attitudes towards sexual harassment and violence. We must address the underlying causes, including multiple and intersectional forms of discrimination, gender stereotypes and unequal gender power relations. The convention and its recommendations for implementation place emphasis on risk assessment in the workplace, training and awareness raising measures.

The convention also takes into account the fact that domestic violence can become a problem in the world of work when it affects work. Therefore, measures against domestic violence are also necessary and provided for. Which ones exactly?

Not only violence at work has an impact on the world of work. One example: A woman fled from her violent husband to a women's shelter. But the husband lies in wait for her in front of the factory gate because he knows that she continues to work in the factory. This is where the employer comes in and has to protect the woman; for example, by including domestic violence in the workplace risk analysis, flexible scheduling of working hours and location, or a possible leave for victims of domestic violence. Temporary protection against dismissal could also be an option.

What is the next step? So far, only Uruguay and Fiji have ratified the agreement.

Two countries are enough - and hence the convention will enter into force on June 25, 2021. Yet there remain many reservations worldwide. The international trade union movement Global Union has launched the campaign “#Ratify now!” and is lobbying worldwide for a speedy ratification. Among others, Iceland, Namibia, Barbados, Ireland, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Netherlands have announced that they will ratify the convention 190 very soon.

After the convention was adopted, German Federal Minister of Labour Hubertus Heil had announced a rapid ratification, but to date that has not yet happened. Where does Germany stand today?

In Germany, the situation does not look bad at all. Following the official translation of the convention last autumn, the ratification process progressed very quickly. Now, however, the European Council must be authorized, and the European Parliament must give its consent as European regulatory content is touched upon. Only afterwards the parliamentary debate in the German parliament can take place. And this is where things are stuck at the moment. In January the European Council started negotiations but there are member states blocking a decision. Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia have expressed reservations. The European Commission is currently looking for a solution.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the world of work for many people - by relocating the workplace to people’s homes, lockdown or restrictions on freedom of movement. Especially people in informal or precarious employment are affected. A disproportionately high number of these are women. How do you assess the impact of the pandemic on gender-specific violence in the world of work?

The corona crisis has exacerbated problems and women are more affected than men. Women textile workers often have the worst paid jobs in factories and struggle with health problems, financial insecurity, risks of violence, and a high burden of care work both at work and at home. COVID-19 has further exacerbated these risks. Health risks are often ignored, and hygienic conditions are sometimes catastrophic. Many women textile workers work in the informal sector and have no financial security. The deprivation of resources is also a form of gender-specific violence.

When people become unemployed in families whose financial situation was already precarious, the risk of domestic violence increases. The rapid increase in the number of domestic violence cases this year has demonstrated this very clearly. It also shows how closely domestic violence and its effects on the world of work are linked - an important concern of the ILO Convention 190.

Although women are particularly affected by the COVID-19 crisis, a gender perspective is often lacking in government and employer responses and actions. What orientation can we draw from the convention and how can multi-stakeholder initiatives such as the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles provide support?

Governments and employers should set an example and implement the measures envisaged in the agreement in their companies. The text of the agreement has been concluded and is available online. Companies do not have to wait for ratification to implement preventive measures in their companies and supply chain - aiming for a non-violent and harassment-free world of work. Possible approaches include raising awareness among textile workers for the issues or supporting workplace committees. Gender-sensitive data and its analysis are also an important first step towards closing due diligence gaps of companies. These are areas where the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles could provide support.

Read the full text of the convention (in German).

Gender-based violence is our annual topic in the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. More information here.

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New Expert Group on Circular Economy

News
25.10.2020

New Expert Group on Circular Economy

On October 7th, the new expert group (EG) on circular economy started with a virtual kick-off meeting. Around 35 Partnership members are participating in the new EG. Their aim is to identify and develop best practices and guidelines on recyclable processes and products along the entire textile value chain. In doing so, they primarily follow the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.

The promotion of recyclable textiles promises great potential for minimising the negative environmental impact of the textile production. The main objective is to identify challenges and develop solutions to maintain the value of fibres and textiles for as long as possible. Waste and resource consumption should be kept to a minimum and - in the best case - all resources should be returned to the economic cycle.

The members of the expert group plan activities on five main topics:

  1. Sustainable design: Sustainable design plays a key role in the implementation of a circular economy. The prerequisite for recyclable products is high-quality raw materials that are already defined in the design process. It is also determined what technical material and processing efforts are necessary for the creation of a product. The EG wants to develop an overview on materials and support services for recyclable fibres in order to promote the optimisation of design concepts and fibre use as well as a better assessment of fibres.
  2. Repair, sharing, collection, re-use and recycling: This is about the recycling of textiles and the challenges associated with the issues. The experts form subgroups on these topics. Here they compile best practices and exchange views on the problems and possible solutions.
  3. Alternative business models: These include leasing, sharing and repair - all models with great potential.
  4. Packaging: Packaging is associated with a high use of resources. It is necessary to optimise the scope and use of materials in order to use sustainable resources and ensure the best possible recyclability. To this end, a peer learning group will be set up with two objectives: Firstly, the members want to make tools for material evaluation more accessible. Secondly, the optimisation of packaging logic will focus on how packaging can be saved and what sustainable alternatives are available.
  5. Stakeholder dialogue: Stakeholders in textile collection, recycling, recyclers, designers and producers have hardly been in touch with each other. The EG would therefore like to promote a dialogue with relevant partners such as industry associations, research institutes and organisations that are also working on circular economy.

The following members are involved in the expert group on circular economy:
ALDI NORD, ALDI SÜD, artus group, bluesign, BMZ, Brands Fashion, Bremer Baumwollbörse, Bundesverband des Deutschen Textileinzelhandels, CharLe, Closed Loop Fashion, Deuter Sports, Dibella, Dieckhoff Textilsysteme, FairWertung, Gemeinschaft für textile Zukunft, Gesamtverband der deutschen Textil- und Modeindustrie, GOTS, GREIFF Mode, HAKRO, Hof University, Hopp, HUMANA Kleidersammlung, IVY & OAK, KiK, Lidl, MISEREOR, NABU, NKD Services, OEKO-TEX, ORTOVOX Sportartikel, Primark, Sympatex Technologies, Takko, Tchibo, Triaz (Waschbär Umweltversand), Umweltbundesamt, VAUDE Sport, WWF and ZDHC

If you have any questions or would like to participate in the EG, please contact the EG coordinator Creta Gambillara.

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Blockchain basierte Plattform zur transparenten Dokumentation textiler Lieferketten

News
27.10.2020

KAYA&KATO and IBM launch new blockchain project

This month, KAYA&KATO, member of the Textiles Partnership, started a cooperation project with IBM with the aim of developing a blockchain-based solution for the transparent documentation of their supply chain. The solution will provide complete transparency and traceability of garments down to the fiber for both companies and consumers. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports the cooperation project.

In their press release, KAYA&KATO and IBM explain that the blockchain solution enables customers and partners to identify the source of fabrics and trace every step of production and distribution. The aim is to create transparency in the entire process from fiber to final product and to develop a nearly forgery-proof protocol for the traceability of ecological materials. Supply chain transparency and reliability of information are important parameters for sustainability management in the textile industry.

The transaction data, which can be accessed by all parties involved, is collected in blocks and stored as an unalterable, chronological chain. If the ownership of an asset changes, this is also automatically visible within the blockchain.

"We consider the intelligent combination of sustainability and digitalization as forward-looking. The project combines both aspects excellently and supports transparency within the supply chain. For KAYA&KATO, this has been the main reason for initiating the development of a blockchain solution. We are looking forward to the implementation and are excited to see the solutions developed in cooperation with IBM," says Dr. Stefan Rennicke, co-founder and managing director of KAYA&KATO GmbH.

Read the full press release.

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Welcome to the Partnership: erlich textil

News
22.10.2020

Welcome to the Partnership: erlich textil

We are pleased to welcome erlich textil to the Textiles Partnership.

Erlich textil is a fair fashion label from Cologne with around 15 employees. The start-up specialises in underwear and basics for women, men and children, home textiles and personal care products. Erlich textil sells all products directly via its own online shop.

Erlich textil produces climate-neutral  and exclusively in Europe. Sustainable materials such as organic cotton (n.b.A.), Lenzing Modal and linen are used. Individual collections, such as children's underwear, are GOTS and Grüner Knopf certified.

Erlich textil claims to carry out risk analyses on a regular basis: "Our aim is to minimise or completely avoid negative effects in the long term - as long as we can exert direct influence on them. We base our analysis on the OECD guidelines and the ILO Convention on the Respect and Implementation of Human Rights, and to systematically address potential country-specific risks".

The start-up also considers the calculation of the product carbon footprint and climate neutrality in companies to be important. By exchanging and imparting expert knowledge within the Textiles Partnership, the founders of erlich textil hope to further professionalise structures and processes, especially with regard to supplier management.

"We are clearly against fast fashion. Instead, we are concerned with making the right decisions in terms of production locations, partnerships, material selection and packaging. We want to do business fairly and sustainably. At present we are still too small to create an impact and change in the fashion industry on our own. Therefore we are dependent on partners and experts who pursue similar goals as we do. As we already have the Grüner Knopf, the Textiles Partnership is a good complement to our work," Katharina Henning, CSR Manager at erlich textil.

You can find more information on the website of erlich textil: https://erlich-textil.de/

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New Expert Group on Climate Action

News
12.10.2020

New Expert Group on Climate Action

On October 1st, the new expert group (EG) on climate action was launched. It aims to develop best practices for minimising climate risks in all parts of the supply chain. The members of the EG are also discussing solutions to better measure and account for environmental impacts. In a kick-off call, the about 20 EG participants exchanged views on objectives, content and next steps.

Working on the topic, the EG is using two approaches and guidelines in particular: On the one hand, the participants plan to calculate emissions using "science-based targets" and to derive solutions from these. On the other hand, they would like to take up and use the practical solutions from the Playbook of the UN Fashion Charter for Climate Action. Some EG members have been actively involved in the conception of the Playbook and contribute their expertise to the group.

The experts plan to formulate individually tailored climate risk minimisation targets for the Partnership and to initiate individual and joint measures. In addition, they want to provide information and support materials, especially with regard to mechanisms for reducing and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions and for switching to renewable energies. The EG also intends to supplement the Guideline on Preventing the Use of Hazardous Chemicals in Textile Supply Chains with information on emission reduction.

"I am happy that the participants have confirmed the topics from the project plan at the kick-off call. We want to reduce duplication of work and use existing approaches where possible. The experts in the group showed high motivation and bring years of experience from their organisations. They are committed to achieving concrete results on-site in the production countries. For example, the advanced companies want to use capacity building to ensure that their suppliers also identify with the climate protection goals," says Rahel Lemke from the Partnerships Secretariat, who coordinates the new EG.

The following members are involved in the expert group on climate action:
ALDI NORD, ALDI SÜD, Bierbaum-Proenen, BMZ, Brands Fashion, Bremer Baumwollbörse, Bundesverband des Deutschen Textileinzelhandels, Deuter Sport, Dieckhoff Textilsysteme, GOTS, HUGO BOSS, Internationaler Verband der Naturtextilwirtschaft, KiK, Lidl, NABU, NKD, OEKO-TEX, ORSAY, ORTOVOX Sportartikel, OTTO, Primark, Sympatex Technologies, Tchibo, Textilbündnissekretariat, Triaz (Waschbär Umweltversand), Umweltbundesamt, VAUDE Sport and ZDHC.

Expert Groups

Expert groups aim to work on individual topics across all three pillars in the Partnership for Sustainable Textile. For Individual Responsibility (pillar 1) this means, for example, that members in the review process must report on climate risks in their supply chain and set themselves risk-reducing targets. Secondly, the EG is exploring possibilities for Collective Engagement (pillar 2) in the producing countries, for example in the form of Partnership Initiatives and training. And thirdly, they are an instrument of Mutual Support (pillar 3)developing, among other things, support materials and trainings and then making them available to all members of the Partnership. In addition, they strive for topic-specific cooperation with relevant partners and organisations.

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Welcome to the Partnership: RETAILPRAXIS

News
07.10.2020

Welcome to the Partnership: RETAILPRAXIS GmbH

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

The international company based in Düsseldorf develops, produces and distributes fashion/sportswear at brand level, particularly in the categories of sport, music and film, including streetwear concepts for leading Bundesliga clubs in specialist retail quality. A passion of the two owners is their own professional ACTS Parkourwear Collection.

Six employees currently work for the sustainable and soon to be Grüner Knopf-certified company. RETAILPRAXIS GmbH has its own foreign offices in the production countries Italy, Portugal, China, India and Bangladesh.

By selecting natural and sustainably produced raw materials, RETAILPRAXIS GmbH strives for ecological sustainability in production. As a member of the BSCI (amfori), the company has also been committed for years to improving the working conditions of textile workers.

"We joined the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles to exchange ideas with other members and contribute to visibly establishing sustainability in the textile industry. We want to make a targeted effort to promote sustainable forms of production, not only on paper, but especially in the Asian producing countries. To this end, we have many years of experience in the industry and expertise in international clothing production," comment the two managing directors Claus Busse and Andreas Puchert.

You can find more information on the website of RETAILPRAXIS GmbH: www.retailpraxis.de.

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OECD Due Diligence Guidance now available in German

News
07.10.2020

OECD Due Diligence Guidance now available in German

The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment & Footwear Sector sets standards for the textile industry. The social and ecological goals of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiels are strongly aligned with the recommendations and specifications of the OECD. The guidance is now also available in German.

The guidance helps companies to implement due diligence obligations in their supply chains, taking into account key recommendations and requirements; in particular the OECD Due Diligence Recommendations for Multinational Enterprises, the United Nations Guiding Principles and the ILO Core Labour Standards. Moreover, the guidance shows how companies can avoid and remedy potential negative effects of their business conduct and within their supply chains.

Background

The Partnership applies the due diligence approach: a continuous process designed to ensure that corporate due diligence obligations are met both within the company and along its supply chain. This approach is enshrined in the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and has been adapted to the textile sector by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The key elements of the process include a policy statement, the analysis of risks and impacts, the incorporation into the company’s own business practices and supply chain management, monitoring, remedies and complaints mechanisms, as well as communication.

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T-REXS: the new risk analysis tool

News
06.10.2020

T-REXS: the new risk analysis tool

A careful and continuous risk analysis is a fundamental part of corporate due diligence and the review process 2021. The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles has now introduced a new IT tool: the Textile Risk Expert System (T-REXS). It helps to analyse and prioritise social, environmental and corruption risks in supply chains.

T-REXS guides the risk analysis in a structured and user-friendly way. Step by step, it helps


  • determine abstract risks in the supply chain.
  • compile information on the probability of risks occurring, taking into account mitigation measures and previous incidents.
  • identify those specific risks that are particularly relevant in the respective supply chains.
  • prioritise the most serious risks.

The analysis steps include data uploads and downloads, space for own entries, analyses and review of the information and instructions. The work process can be interrupted at any time and the progress saved. Practical instructions on each page guide through the work steps. In addition, extensive background information is available.

The result is a deeper understanding of abstract risks, existing mitigation processes and concrete and company-specific risks. All the information are available for download in the form of a report template at the end.

The use of T-REXS is not obligatory for Partnership members in the review process. The tool is available in German and English. If you have any questions, feedback or technical problems, please contact the review team of the Partnership secretariat (review@textilbuendnis.com).


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