Webinar: Introduction to the Chemical Management Trainings with Systain

News
01.04.2020

Webinar: Introduction to the Chemical Management Trainings with Systain

Since January 2020, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles’ Basic and Advanced Training Programmes have been offered to factories with wet finishing production steps in various production countries. Systain is responsible for the programme management as well as quality assurance and coordinates the training programmes for the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and interested partners.

We would like to invite you to a virtual introduction to the joint chemical management trainings with Systain . The webinar will take place on April 15 from 10-11 a.m. and will be held in English.

With the Basic and Advanced Training Programmes, companies can support their local production plants in establishing sustainable chemical management and promoting the substitution of hazardous chemicals. In the long term, this can contribute to reducing risks and promoting sustainable supply chains.

Brands can nominate their textile factories for the Advanced Chemical Trainings until the 30th of April . Further information can be found here.

Our information package provides an overview of the concept of Systain and the training programme (DE and EN).

For further questions please contact Marie Oldopp from Systain (P: + 49 40 609 4618 22; Mail: marie.oldopp@systain.comor Rahel Lemke (P: 49 228 4460-3502; Mail: rahel.lemke@giz.de).

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"The MSI-TN is doing a wonderful job" - Statements from Tamil Nadu

News
06.04.2020

"The MSI-TN is doing a wonderful job" - Statements from Tamil Nadu

At the second international Annual Conference of the Multi Stakeholder Initiative Tamil Nadu (MSI-TN) we interviewed some of the conference attendees. Among other things, we asked them how they assess the work of the MSI-TN, how they work with the MSI-TN and what their wishes for the future are.

Mr. A. Narayanasamy, General Manager, Armstrong Spinning Mills

Often the workers in the factories come from different districts and the factory management notes a lack awareness of their rights. This is where the cooperation with the MSI-TN and their trainings pays off: “We are very impressed what the MSI-TN is doing and offering. For example, workers should know what is their salary, what is social compliance and everything. […] We have to keep our workers happy, at the same time business has to continue. […] So yes, if our workers are happy, we are also happy.”

Renida Sarala, Director of WORD (Women's Organisation in Rural Development)

WORD is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in the Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu. The organisation is committed to the promotion of the rural population, especially women and children. WORD Director Sarala on the cooperation with the MSI-TN: “In many mills the girls living there have no sufficient salary, no sufficient rest and no good food. To address these problems, I got in touch with the MSI-TN and we started to work inside the textile mills. Initially, it is difficult to get access to the mills. They do not allow us to work inside the mills. But with the help of the MSI-TN dialogue team we are slowly entering to the mills. This is a great help for us.”

Dr. K. Venkatachalam, Chief Advisor, Tamil Nadu Spinning Mills Association (TASMA)

“The MSI-TN is doing a wonderful job. They are taking care of the workers employed in the textile and apparel industry here in Tamil Nadu”, says Venkatachalam from TASMAabout the MSI-TN. His association will continue to support the MSI-TN so that it can become active in even more districts. Among other things, he highlighted the posters that the MSI-TN provides to the factories: „Safety posters can also be printed in the local languages and displayed in various places prominently so that everyone who crosses the area would understand that these are all the obligations to maintain the safety and the dignity of workers. They help make the factories a good and safe place.”

Dr. K. Rajeswari, Programme Manager, MSI-TN

The engagement as a woman for women is a very personal issue for Rajeswari: „I work as a programme manager for the MSI-TN. In my life, I got a lot of opportunities, that is why I am standing in front of you. But there are lot of women having a lot of potential but still standing in the dark. But once we meet them and give them training, they are getting empowered and they understand what their potential is. Personally, I am happy that I am able to do a certain service for the women. That makes me very happy.”

Prabhu Dhamodharan, Convener, Indian Texpreneurs Federation (ITF)

Dhamodharan (ITFemphasised the importance of providing training and further education for the workers: “We need a more empowered workforce. […] We should take them to the next level, so that everyone takes its own responsibility in achieving excellence. So we need to improve the knowledge and skills of the workers. And we need to ensure that they are working in a happy environment. The aim of our association is to create a happy work place.” The collaboration with the MSI-TN and the other stakeholders helps all, "to work more in progressive goals and make the world more sustainable.”

"The MSI-TN helps..."

Moreover we asked the conference attendees for short statements:

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OECD published results of the Alignment Assessment

News
12.03.2020

OECD published results of the Alignment Assessment

Recently, the OECD published the results of Alignment Assessment of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (PST) . With the Alignment Assessment, the OECD examines to what extent the approach of the Textiles Partnership takes into account the recommendations on due diligence in the textile sector (OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector). The study focused on the review process and the support offered to member companies.

The results in brief

In its requirements for member companies for the review process and in the supporting documents, the Textiles Partnership takes into account the vast majority of the OECD recommendations in full or at least in part (50 % to 70 % agreement).

The PST also has clear strengths as a platform for dialogue and learning. This was confirmed by companies, NGOs, trade unions and the German government in interviews conducted by the OECD.

However, deficits are apparent in parts of the question grid, in the specifications for binding and recommended targets and in the external audit in the review process. There it is emphasised that the audits do not evaluate the quality of the objectives set and the measures carried out systematically enough and therefore cannot sufficiently support the member companies in fulfilling their due diligence obligations.

In addition, some important principles of the due diligence approach, such as meaningful stakeholder dialogue and a consistent gender perspective in the review process, have not yet been sufficiently taken into account.

With regard to the publication of roadmaps and progress reports, the OECD also notes that, due to the existing procedural and substantive requirements in the Textiles Partnership, the informative value of the reports for the public could be improved.

What are the benefits of the results?

The OECD recommendations were an important basis for the revision of the review process. As of this year, the companies in the PST are therefore undergoing a fundamentally revised and improved review process. Further information on the review process can be found here.

The results of the Alignment Assessment will also contribute to the further alignment activities with other initiatives at European level. As two of our most important cooperation partners - the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition - have also gone through the Alignment Assessment and implemented the OECD recommendations, significant progress can be expected.

Links and further information

The OECD published the report here .

Find a response of the Textiles Partnership on how to deal with the OECD recommendations here.

In our last year's annual report (DE and EN) you will find further Information on the Alignment Assessment of the PST (p. 35).

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Second Annual Conference of the MSI-TN

News
28.02.2020

Second Annual Conference of the MSI-TN

The Multi-Stakeholder Initiative Tamil Nadu (MSI-TN) is making progress – this became visible at the Second International Annual Conference. About 140 participants attended the conference on 6th February 2020 in Coimbatore, which was supported by the Partnership Initiative Tamil Nadu.

The training and dialogue formats of the MSI-TN are accepted and appreciated by local and international stakeholders. In comparison to the conference last year it was shown that trust has grown, and the cooperation of all members becomes more and more routine.

The Partnership Initiative pursues long-term systemic improvements in working conditions, especially for young women in the textile and garment industry in Tamil Nadu, with a special focus on spinning mills. HUGO BOSS, KiK, Otto Group, Tchibo, FEMNET, the BMZ, TransFair and Brands Fashion are working together in Tamil Nadu.

Representatives of the Partnership Initiative from Germany and Bangladesh travelled to the conference. The delegation met different stakeholders of the South Indian textile industry, visited two spinning mills and had an exchange with local partners at the conference.

Part of the delegation has been Gisela Burckhardt (FEMNET), Rapha Breyer & Claudia Brück (TransFair), Patric Hehemann (BMZ), Hossain Manzoor Kashfin (KiK), Felix Rauer (Otto Group), Rabea Schafrick (Brands Fashion) and representatives from the Partnership Secretariat.

Workers in a Spinning Mill in Tirupur. © Textiles Partnership
Change is possible and happening

One of the key objectives of the MSI-TN was the inspiration for this year’s conference theme: „Partnering for Sustainable Growth“. Right at the beginning Mr Aloysius, Convener of the MSI-TN pointed out: “Change is possible and happening”.

2nd Annual Conference of the MSI-TN "Partnering for Sustainable Growth". © Textiles Partnership

In Coimbatore all stakeholders have met: political and business representatives (especially from spinning mills in Tamil Nadu), also members from NGOs, labour unions, trade unions and (inter)national organisations. All of them described their perspectives and expectations to the Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships.

Mr Narayanasamy, General Manager of Armstrong Spinning Mills, spoke about his motivation for attending the conference: “With Armstrong, we started very early on the path to sustainable improvements in working conditions. But still, we are learning. Today I joined the conference to hear what else we can do.”

Moreover, Dr. K. Venkatachalam, Chief Advisor of Tamil Nadu Spinning Mills Association (TASMA) acknowledged the hosts: “The MSI-TN is doing a wonderful job. I hope it will expand continuously and reach more and more people.”

Vibrant exchange in working groups on action plans

In the afternoon, the annual action plans of the MSI-TN in the four production districts of Erode, Tirupur, Dindigul and Coimbatore were the focus of attention. The key topics were:

  • Prevention & redressal of harassment of women at workplace
  • Better living conditions in working women hostels
  • Social security and statutory benefits for workers
  • Labour laws supporting sustainable growth

After representatives from international organizations, trade unions, NGOs and the MSI-TN steering committee had commented on the action plans, the conference participants gathered in four working groups to discuss and fine-tune the action plans for their district.

Exchange in working groups on district action plans. © Textiles Partnership

On behalf of the members of the Partnership Initiative Patric Hehemann, Felix Rauer, Hossain Manzoor Kashfin and Gisela Burckhardt presented current developments in Germany and the cooperation with the MSI-TN. Rauer emphasized that in the face of climate change, excessive use of resources and inhumane working conditions in some contries, cooperation is "what we need to move together towards the future. And by collaborating we can bring this initiative [MSI-TN] with its dialogue and training to another level".

Gisela Burckhardt (FEMNET) presented the collaboration with the MSI-TN. © Textiles Partnership
Patric Hehemann, BMZ Department Sustainable Supply Chains. © Textiles Partnership
Non-compliance must be more expensive than compliance

In addition to the conference, the delegation also had meetings with political stakeholders on the agenda. The German Consul General in Tamil Nadu Karin Stoll received the delegation in her office in Chennai. She supports the Partnership Initiative with her contacts to the Tamil Nadu government in order to further establish the MSI-TN and support in its implementation.

In the afternoon, the Consul General accompanied the Textiles Partnership delegation to meetings with government representatives of the State of Tamil Nadu. The additional chief Secretary of the "Labour and Employment Department" Shri. Thiru Md. Nasimuddin focused the discussion on the social and ecological challenges in the textile sector in Tamil Nadu.

One positive aspect, he said, was that inspections of factories were increasingly being carried out without prior notice.

Hendrik Plein (Partnership Initiative), Consul General Karin Stoll, Michael Janinhoff (Partnership Initiative), Felix Rauer (Otto Group), Shri. Thiru. Md. Nasimuddin, Hossain Manzoor Kashfin (KiK), Gisela Burckhardt (FEMNET), Rohini Chandrasekaran (MSI-TN). © Textiles Partnership

It was agreed on the German and Indian sides that it should not be a competitive advantage for companies and textile factories to bypass human rights and due diligence: "Non-compliance must be more expensive than compliance.”

Tmt S. Madhumathi. © Textiles Partnership

After a meeting with the "Ministry of Handlooms, Handicrafts, Textiles and Khadi Department", the delegation met Tmt S. Madhumathi, Secretary of the "Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme Department". Her department is particularly committed to the protection and development of women and girls in the textile sector, promotes the adequate accommodation of workers in factory accommodation and has, for example, set up a helpline for workers.

Madhumathi showed a strong commitment to change and to find solutions for all these issues. The working conditions are continuously monitored, and violations are punished. The situation has already improved and there are, for example, more Works Committees and women in leading positions. Nevertheless, the priority is to continue to inform workers about their rights and to improve accommodation in the factory's own hostels.

Visiting the implementation partners of the Partnership Initiative

The MSI-TN is the local implementation partner of the Partnership Initiative Tamil Nadu. The team of the MSI-TN welcomed the delegation on the second day of the trip in their office in Tirupur. They presented the work and progress of dialogue formats and factory training.

More than 40 meetings at district/state level have already been held to discuss health and safety and social standards and develop action plans on these topics. In addition, training courses are being held in over 180 factories, where over 15,000 workers have been trained about their rights and internal complaints committees are being set up.

In the afternoon, the delegation visited two spinning mills where the NGO Social Awareness and Voluntary Education (SAVE) provides training and forms and supports Works and Internal Complaints Committees.

The German and international guests had the opportunity to talk directly to a complaints committee about its work and to convince themselves that the women have taken on their role in this committee and are fulfilling their function.

Rohini Chandrasekaran, MSI-TN. © Textiles Partnership
Representatives of an Internal Complaints Committee. © Textiles Partnership
Training in a spinning mill. © Textiles Partnership

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Welcome in the Textiles Partnership: Lodenfrey Menswear GmbH

News
20.02.2020

Welcome in the Textiles Partnership: Lodenfrey Menswear GmbH

We would like to welcome Lodenfrey Menswear GmbH in the Textiles Partnership!

For further information on the traditional company Lodenfrey see: http://www.lodenfrey.eu/historie.php

 

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Welcome to the Textiles Partnership: GrenzGang (einstein Consulting GmbH)

News
20.02.2020

Welcome to the Textiles Partnership: GrenzGang (einstein Consulting GmbH)

We welcome GrenzGang to the Textiles Partnership! The Steering Committee approved the admission to the private sector stakeholder group at its meeting in February.

Since its establishment in 2014, the company, which is based in the Allgäu and Tyrol, has been committed to offering clothing collections that are produced regionally and from renewable materials. In doing so GrenzGang relies on the cooperation with regional partner companies like textile factories on the Swabian Alb or material suppliers from Bavaria and Austria. Furthermore the company tries to keep the ecological footprint of the products as low as possible by implementing innovations and traditional craftsmanship. In its online shop, the company offers a wide range of garments such as dresses, tops and trousers as well as home accessories.

You can find further information on the Corporate Philosophy of GrenzGang and its eco-friendly production here.

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Welcome to the Partnership: pervormance international GmbH

News
20.02.2020

Welcome to the Partnership: pervormance international GmbH

We welcome pervormance international GmbH to the Textiles Partnership! The Steering Committee approved the admission to the private sector stakeholder group at its meeting in February.

Pervormance international is a young family-owned company from Ulm. According to Gabriele Renner and Sabine Stein, they are in charge of the only German company that develops, manufactures and sells active cooling textiles. They address customers who live and work under heat stress or spend their leisure time, for example in medicine, occupational health and safety, but also in sports and leisure.

Pervormance international has developed a system techology whose whose core consists of a special high-tech fleece: "The high-tech COOLINE SX3 fleece is capable of binding water in seconds inside the 3D material and storing it firmly in the core or directly on the fleece fibres. This results in an enormously large surface area of water molecules which are capable of actively cooling in any heat situation. Under pressure, no water drops or condensation form. All products are dry and hygienic on the outside. A natural antibacterial finish with DEOXX fresh keeps you cool and fresh. It works "like an air conditioner to put on" with much less CO2 pollution.

The start-up with around 10 employees joined the UN Global Compact in 2012 and has been climate-neutral since 2013. It produces the core technology in Germany and manufactures in the EU. In addition, pervormance international is a member of the Alliance for Development and Climate and is committed to Plant-for-the-Planet.

Sustainability, social standards and environmental protection have played an important role in the company since its establishment. The Ulm-based company compensates for its own energy requirements with a forest conservation project in Papua New Guinea. pervormance international would like to contribute its expertise in the aforementioned areas to the Textiles Partnership.

Further information can be found here: www.e-cooline.de

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Welcome to the Partnership: REISINGER premium workwear

News
20.02.2020

Welcome to the Partnership: REISINGER premium workwear

We welcome REISINGER premium workwear to the Textiles Partnership! The Steering Committee approved the admission to the private sector stakeholder group at its meeting in February.

REISINGER premium workwear is a wholesale enterprise for workwear, especially for the catering and health care industry. The company, based in Altusried looks back on more than 30 years of experience in the textile industry, with a focus on retail, wholesale and production. All the fabrics used are classified as ÖkoTex Standard 100, most of them are also STeP or BlueSign certified.

Within the Partnership, REISINGER would like to exchange views with the other members of the Partnership on all areas of sustainability, fair trade and fair textile production. Another goal is to cooperate with other members on a broader level for a liveable future.

In a Code of Conduct, REISINGER has outlined for its suppliers how they can ensure better working conditions and a more sustainable production. The Code of Conduct and further information on corporate responsibility can be found here: https://reisinger-workwear.de/verantwortung/

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Welcome to the Partnership: HUMANA Second Hand Kleidung GmbH

News
20.02.2020

Welcome to the Partnership: HUMANA Second Hand Kleidung GmbH

We welcome HUMANA Second Hand Kleidung GmbH to the Partnership! The Steering Committee approved the admission to the private sector stakeholder group at his meeting in February.

HUMANA runs 32 second-hand shops in Germany. The shop at Frankfurter Tor in Berlin is the largest Second-Hand shop in Europe. The main supplier is the HUMANA Kleidersammlung GmbHwhich gathers and sorts second-hand clothing and has been a member of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles since 2014.

Sustainability and conscious consumption are of great importance to the company. HUMANA uses its profits to provide second-hand clothing for development cooperation. In addition to selling second-hand clothing, HUMANA also contributes by improving the image of second-hand clothes. With its expertise in recycling management, HUMANA would like to further promote this topic within the Textiles Partnership.

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Textiles Partnership, AGT and SAC organise partner session at OECD Forum in Paris

News
30.01.2020

Textiles Partnership, AGT and SAC organise partner session at OECD Forum in Paris

 
„Alignment between initiatives at the European level: Potential for scaling up due diligence implementation in the garment sector“

The Textiles Partnership is participating with a partner session in the OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector in Paris (11 - 13 February). The session is organised and conducted jointly with the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT) and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). It is titled „Alignment between initiatives at the European level: Potential for scaling up due diligence implementation in the garment sector“.

Pierre Hupperts (AGT Chairman) will moderate the session. According to the current status, the following persons will participate in the panel discussion:

  • Anosha Wahidi, Director “Sustainable Supply Chain Unit”, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Muriel Treibich, Lobby and Advocacy Coordinator, Clean Clothes Campaign International Office
  • Christina Hajagos-Clausen, Director Textile and Garment Industry, IndustriALL
  • Anna Athanasopoulou, Head of Unit “Tourism, Textiles and Creative Industries”, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission
  • Sofie Schop, Sustainability Director, G-Star RAW
  • Abhishek Bansal, Head of Sustainability, Arvind Ltd. (India)
 
A common approach at European level to the implementation of corporate due diligence

The three cooperation partners - Textiles Partnership, AGT and SAC - are united in their desire to achieve a common understanding of corporate due diligence in the textile sector at European level. If the same requirements were to apply to all European brand and trading companies in the fashion sector ("level playing field"), this would be a major step forward and would significantly increase the leverage. The OECD Forum provides the appropriate international framework for discussion with industry representatives* as well as with non-governmental organisations, trade unions and political decision-makers*.

The Textiles Partnership, AGT and SAC have been cooperating for several years. All three initiatives have passed the OECD review. This so-called Alignment Assessment aims to promote a common understanding of corporate due diligence and to facilitate the mutual recognition of existing initiatives. The OECD has now also published the final report of the Alignment Assessment of the Textiles Partnership: http://mneguidelines.oecd.org/alignment-assessment-garment-footwear.htm

Find a response of the Textiles Partnership on how to deal with the OECD recommendations here.

OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector: http://www.oecd.org/industry/inv/mne/responsible-supply-chains-textile-garment-sector.htm

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