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Members of steering committee support higher minimum wages in Bangladesh

News
10.07.2019

Members of steering committee support higher minimum wages in Bangladesh

Before the meeting of the National Wage Board in Bangladesh, members of the steering committee sent a joint letter to the government in Bangladesh.

They emphasise the importance of living wages, respect for workers' rights and, above all, freedom of association and collective bargaining. The signatories call on the government to seek a significant increase in industry-wide minimum wages, taking into account trade union demands. The National Wage Board was convened to negotiate for the first time in over five years an increase in minimum wages in Bangladesh's textile industry.

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Partnership for Sustainable Textiles

c/o Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale
Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 36
53113 Bonn

mail@textilbuendnis.com
Phone: +49 228 4460-3560

@2019 Partnership for Sustainable Textiles

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

News
27.06.2018

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.

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Putting OECD guidelines into practice

News
30.04.2019

Putting OECD guidelines into practice

In Germany and the Netherlands, companies, trade associations, the government, non-governmental organisations, standard organisations and trade unions have joined forces in national multi-stakeholder initiatives to improve the social, ecological and economic conditions along the textile supply chain.

How are these two initiatives structured and how do they support their members in their implementation? How does their work relate to the OECD Guidelines on due diligence to promote responsible supply chains in the apparel and footwear sectors? What direction will the cooperation of the two initiatives take?

To address these and other issues, the Secretariat of the Alliance for Sustainable Textiles and the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textiles are organising a joint meeting. Both initiatives present the priorities and latest results of their work and discuss critical issues. In addition, members of both initiatives will demonstrate how the agreement is implemented in practice.

Joint side event at the OECD Forum on Due Diligence in the Clothing and Footwear Sector

Date: Tuesday 30 january

Location: OECD, Paris

Schedule: 11 am to 1 pm

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

News
24.11.2017

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

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 Textiles 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 Textiles Partnership’s international cooperation with strategic partners in order to achieve an even broader impact, coordinate approaches, and establish internationally aligned requirements.

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General Assembly 2017 - A look back and a look forward

News
11.10.2017

General Assembly 2017 - A look back and a look forward

On the occasion of the third General Assembly of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles on 11 October, over 150 Alliance members and guests gathered at the Quadriga Forum in Berlin. In addition to contributions by Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and BMZ textile ambassador Barbara Meier, there were rounds of talks with international experts, parallel workshops and plenty of opportunities for discussion and exchange.

The Partnership Secretary presented the Annual Report 16/17 and looked at results, successes and learning experiences. The focus was on findings from the action plans, which each member had to draw up for the first time this year. State Secretary Silberhorn had a lot of recognition for the creation of these so-called roadmaps. He thanked the members for their commitment and urged them to continue on this path.

In working groups on topics such as due diligence, transparency in the supply chain, prevention of corruption and professional qualification in the textile industry, the members exchanged experiences and jointly discussed solutions for the most pressing challenges in the textile sector. For example, best practices for more transparency in the supply chain and ideas for improving vocational qualification in textile factories were presented.

To the question "Just pay more? On the way to living wages" discussed Christa Luginbühl (Public Eye), Frank Hoffer (ACT), Henning Seidentopp (Melawear), Lary Brown (Esprit), Martin Curley (Fair Wear Foundation) and Mark Starmanns (BSD Consulting). The discussion showed that the problem cannot be tackled by one actor alone - it is precisely in this area that new forms of cooperation are crucial for success. In the coming year, the Partnership would like to meet this challenge and present itself with a Partnership Initiative  .

In the evening, model and textile ambassador Barbara Meier gave an interview in which she praised the Partnership members, showed how to walk the catwalk properly, and revealed her strategy to help her create a "sustainable wardrobe".

Presentation of the Steering Committee

Panel on "Just pay more?"

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How sustainable is your wardrobe, Mrs. Meier?

News
06.10.2017

How sustainable is your wardrobe, Mrs. Meier?

Barbara Meier, BMZ ambassador for sustainable textiles, model and actress

From Math studies to catwalk to textile ambassador: Barbara Meier won the TV competition Germanys Next Topmodel ten years ago. Since then, the former Math student has been successful as a model and actress, and since this year she has been on the road as a textile ambassador on behalf of the Federal Government to take up a lance for sustainable clothing.

Barbara Meier: Let's just say I'm on my way. I actually do it like the members of the Textiles Partnership. I have set myself a goal, one that I can achieve. I know that not all my clothes will be sustainable overnight. In my job, no one will take that away from me. But I have a goal and that is 20%. I look now more consciously and buy here a fair produced top, sometimes there a certified sweater from organic cotton. This makes my wardrobe more sustainable bit by bit. My experience is that 100% targets or bans are more deterrent than motivating. Then the task seems so huge that you have to fail and don't even start. But 20% that is feasible, anyone can do that.

From Germanys Next top model to ambassador for sustainable textiles - how does it fit together?

Barbara Meier: Quite good! Many people know me and I was able to build up a certain credibility in fashion issues over many years in the industry. I want to use this influence so that people value their clothes and increasingly opt for the sustainable T-shirt or the fairly produced variant of the suit.

Visit to a textile factory in Ethiopia

At the beginning of the year I was allowed to accompany the minister on an educational journey to Pakistan, India and Ethiopia. I saw production plants there and spoke with seamstresses. The whole topic suddenly became very clear to me. There are people who produce these beautiful new outfits for us and who are not always well off. I want to help improve their situation. And I do that by addressing people in Germany who like to dress fashionably. If they start to be interested in where their clothes come from and how they were made, and if they start to move their wardrobes bit by bit, then a lot has already been achieved. We should never underestimate the power we have as consumers. At the end of the day, an entire industry also depends on our wishes and needs.

What message do you have for the members of the Textiles Partnership?

Barbara MeierSince I have been more intensively involved with environmentally friendly and fair produced textiles, I have noticed what pioneering work is being done in the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. They are working hard to fundamentally change the structures. So in numerous small and large steps something is changing for the better in many different places. Until the whole system is changed at some point. So that at some point it will be possible to dress sustainably - without having to familiarise oneself with the subject or study seals.

Visit to a textile factory in Ethiopia

I am sure that a commitment to the Partnership is a worthwhile investment in the future. The issue does not disappear. I can also see this in the reactions of my followers, for example to Instagram: They think it's good. My commitment has always met with a positive response. And personally, I would be delighted if at some point I could say that my wardrobe is not only 20% sustainable, but 30, 40, 50 or 80%. Of course, I can only do that if the offer is right. So, dear Partnership members: Keep up the good work. Together we are on the right track!

Barbara Meier writes about sustainability and fair fashion on her Instagram account . She also shared her visit to the annual general meeting of the Textiles Partnership with her followers.

The interview was published at umweltdialog.de ..

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For fairness and environmental protection in textile production - The members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles will implement concrete social and ecological improvements as of 2017

For Fairness and Environmental Protection – commencing in 2017, the Members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles are Implementing Concrete Social and Ecological Improvements | © GIZ
News
28.07.2017

For fairness and environmental protection in textile production - The members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles will implement concrete social and ecological improvements as of 2017

On the way to better working conditions, more environmental protection and fair wages, the members of the Textiles Partnership have taken a decisive step forward: 129 members have submitted concrete action plans for 2017, including 87 members from the German textile industry. This means that 50 percent of German textile retailers are demonstrably committed to better working conditions and environmental protection. External experts review the progress annually.

For 2017, Alliance members have undertaken more than 1,500 measures that will lead to concrete improvements within the framework of the Partnership's objectives. They relate to issues such as living wages, combating child labour, avoiding harmful chemicals and sustainable water use in cotton farming.

"129 binding action plans for more environmental protection and social justice - the Alliance for Sustainable Textiles is taking a completely new path," said the Partnership's Steering Committee yesterday.

"All members who have participated in this success know how challenging the past weeks and months of intensive work have been. This result shows that the Textiles Partnership is bringing about very concrete improvements in the textile supply chain," emphasises the moderator of the steering committee, Dr. Bernhard Felmberg from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Partnership follows the principle of procedural commitment: Accession to the Partnership is voluntary - the submission of action plans is binding. Some 40 members have left the Partnership since the end of 2016 or have been excluded because they have not submitted an action plan.

The Partnership currently has 148 members, including advisory members who do not need to draw up action plans and new members who will not be subject to implementation until next year. The individual measures are based on key issues in the areas of "chemical and environmental management", "social standards and living wages" and "sustainable natural fibres", which were jointly developed by the various stakeholder groups last year. The formulation and implementation of measures in all three areas is binding on the members.

More than 80 percent of the members met these requirements immediately. Around 20 percent of the action plans submitted do not fully meet these requirements - for example, because special business models cannot yet be fully mapped within the existing system. However, these are also action plans of those members who are already very progressive in some areas of sustainability, so that the requirement to formulate ambitious goals could not be met. For the head of the Partnership Secretariat, Dr. Jürgen Janssen, this shows the need for revision in line with expectations: "The requirements jointly developed by the various stakeholder groups were tested for their practicability for the first time in 2017. The Textile Alliance is therefore a learning system. On behalf of the steering committee, the technical working groups in the alliance have therefore already begun the further development of the requirements."

Progress in implementing the objectives is reviewed annually by external experts. "Each year the targets become more ambitious and each year the members implement a multitude of improvements across the entire supply chain," Jürgen Janssen explains the process.

As of 2018, publication of the action plans is mandatory. This year, more than 30 members have already agreed to a voluntary publication. The publications will be available next week on the Partnership's website: www.textilbuendnis.com zur Verfügung.

Contact:

Partnership for Sustainable Textiles
Press contact
T +49 228 4460-3484
E presse@textilbuendnis.com

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is a multi-stakeholder initiative of companies, associations, non-governmental organisations, trade unions and standard organisations as well as the Federal Government. The actors joined forces in 2014 to jointly implement improvements along the entire textile supply chain. To this end, they have agreed ambitious social and ecological targets. With the help of individual measures by the members and joint alliance initiatives in the producing countries, the actors are pursuing these goals in practice.

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Indicators and key questions for the development of the individual roadmap

Indicators and Key Questions for the Formulation of Individual Roadmaps | ©Textilbündnis_Dr.K.Dobersalske_06_extern-klein
News
14.06.2017

Indicators and key questions for the development of the individual roadmap

Indicators and Key Questions for the Formulation of Individual Roadmaps | ©Textilbündnis_Dr.K.Dobersalske_06_extern-klein

The three technical working groups Social Standards and Living Wages, Chemicals and Environmental Management and Natural Fibres have defined key issues and indicators as the basis for the review process, with the help of which the members assess their starting position. On the basis of the individual starting positions, all members are obliged to draw up an individual roadmap and submit it to the Partnership Secretariat. It provides them with the Textiles Partnership Performance Tool (TexPerT) for this purpose. From next year it will also be obligatory to publish the roadmaps.

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What's better now than three years ago?

News
24.05.2017

What's better now than three years ago?

Interview mit Dr. Jürgen Janssen, Leiter Bündnissekretariat | © GIZ

Dr. Jürgen Janssen,
Head of the Partnership Secretary

Dr. Jürgen Janssen: A lot: For the first time, the key social groups are working together to make the textile sector fairer and more environmentally friendly. Business, politics, civil society and trade unions are learning from each other, optimising the processes and business practices of companies here in Germany and working on concrete problems in the producing countries that none of the groups can solve alone. This triad is a novelty!

The approximately 150 members also submitted annual plans for the first time this year and thus committed themselves to individual goals. This makes 150 x improvements: - in business practices, by training workers or in the management of hazardous chemicals.

Isn't this all going way too slow?

Janssen: I would also like to see an all-will-be-good button that solves all the problems in the textile sector ad hoc. But unfortunately that does not exist. A multi-stakeholder approach is certainly not the quickest way, but in my view it is the most effective and, above all, the most sustainable. It is clear that all beginnings are difficult: negotiating common goals, establishing criteria behind which nobody has to hide and which everyone can support at the same time, developing a mechanism for formulating and reviewing goals that is both ambitious and feasible - and that for all members and company types - these are mammoth tasks. The first step in drawing up the annual plans is therefore naturally a learning process. In subsequent years, the processes will be smoother and the steps in the right direction larger and more visible.

But what really arrives at the seamstress?

Janssen: There is no general answer to this question. The textile supply chain is complex and changes do not immediately penetrate every ramification. But: What we are now initiating a thousand times over with the Textiles Partnership will be passed on into the overall system in waves and will bring tangible improvements for everyone in the long term. In addition to the structural change of the overall system, which indeed takes time, the Textiles Partnership has also managed to leverage the Partnership Initiatives: As a result, several members of the Partnership have joined forces to tackle individual problems in production countries immediately.

Can't you just raise the price of a T-shirt and then the problem is solved?

Janssen: I'm afraid not. This is a structural problem, which is also related to the complexity of the supply chain. Especially in the case of fashion clothing, production costs are often only a small part of the final price. In addition there are design, advertising, costs for preliminary products, transport costs and taxes, middlemen and last but not least costs for distribution and sales in Germany. Unfortunately, the price of a T-shirt is not a good indicator of social and ecological production. Credible seals offer good indications of this, but increasingly also good information from brand manufacturers and retailers, who report transparently on origin and production conditions and their activities. The Textile Alliance will publish the first annual plans of its members from July 2017. This is also an important step towards socially and ecologically fair textile production.

Das Interview mit Dr. Jürgen Janssen finden Sie auch auf ..

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