Latest news from the Steering Committee

The Steering Committee held its 22nd meeting in Berlin on 30 November. At this event, the Steering Committee set out key items for the year ahead and discussed issues feeding into longer-term planning. The Review Process will be further simplified and improved for the 2019 reporting period. The Committee also approved the Partnership Initiative on Living Wages.

Review Process 2019

TexPerT will be opened for the 2019 Review Process on 8 January. All members have to enter their data by 31 March, which will then be verified by an independent third party. The Partnership will then publish its members’ Roadmaps and Progress Reports in the summer.

As before, the Partnership Secretariat will provide you with intensive support during reporting for the Review Process. Starting in January, you can find comprehensive information about this in the Members’ area. You can also send your questions to review@textilbuendnis.com at any time.

What’s new in the Review Process

The requirements for both mandatory and recommended targets have been tightened up based on the experience gained in 2018. Definitions, information about admissible evidence and links to appropriate support services for each target will be available in standardised factsheets. The comparison of standards has also been expanded such that some targets no longer need to be set if you already meet the requirement by means of a membership or a certificate. The requirement to declare support for zero tolerance of corruption is another mandatory target that has been added for 2019. The existing target for wastewater has been tightened to enable the Partnership to agree that the ZDHC wastewater standard will be the minimum standard for wastewater discharge in the textile industry. Alongside these substantive improvements, the Steering Committee agreed that even more support and advice would be provided by the Partnership Secretariat and the verifiers during the Review Process in 2019.

A new look for the Roadmaps

The publicly accessible reports should be more clearly structured and comprehensible in the coming reporting year – based on feedback from the members. For example, it should be easier to recognise targets that have been achieved, and the structure should provide stronger links to due diligence requirements. The data that have to be published will remain unchanged.

Partnership Initiative on Living Wages

2019 will see the start of the Partnership Initiative on Living Wages. The initiative is designed to offer all members the chance to become involved, irrespective of their size or procurement markets. At its meeting, the Steering Committee once again emphasised the relevance of Partnership Initiatives for our common goals, along with the expectation that as many members as possible would participate in the Partnership Initiative. Detailed information about the Partnership Initiative is available here.

Grievance mechanisms

The Steering Committee has given the green light to continuing work on effective grievance mechanisms. This will include offers of support and planning a Partnership Initiative in 2019. Here, too, members are invited to participate.

Contact: Anneke Bremer

Impact assessment

The Steering Committee wishes to continue making genuine progress with the achievement of results by individual members and by the Partnership as a whole. It therefore approved a preliminary results concept for the topic of living wages with the aim of expanding it to embrace chemicals and environmental management. Data collection is expected to begin next year. Baseline data from TexPerT will be used in order to keep the workload for the members to the minimum. To this end, existing questions on living wages have been tightened up in some places.

 

Members

Trigema

We welcome Trigema Inh. W. Grupp e. K. as a new member. The company produces sportswear and leisure wear textiles, and was previously a member up to 2017.

 

 

Varvaressos

Varvaressos S.A. European Spinning Mills is a Greek firm that produces various yarns which it distributes in 20 countries. We welcome the company as a new Partnership member.

 

 

VDMD

Another new arrival to the Partnership is the Association of German Fashion and Textile Designers (VDMD) – a network of about 600 employed and self-employed fashion interior and textile designers. We welcome the VDMD as part of the Business stakeholder group.

 

An associated member’s Action Plan

Another step towards internationalisation has been taken by Alsico NV. The company, which is an associated member of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles via the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garment and Textiles (AGT), has published its Action Plan on the Partnership’s website. The firm fulfils its reporting obligation as a member of the AGT. This means that Alsico also meets the requirements for associated membership and has unrestricted access to all the Partnership’s services and information.

 

News from the projects

Achieving more together – the Partnership Initiative on Living Wages is launched!

The Steering Committee approved the launch of the Partnership Initiative on Living Wages at its meeting on 30 November. It is intended to help companies continually increase industry wages by improving their internal purchasing practices and by strengthening freedom of association and collective agreements in production countries. The Partnership Initiative will have a modular structure. In a basic module, companies participating in the Partnership Initiative commit themselves to analyse their purchasing practices using the Purchasing Practices Self-Assessment Tool developed by Action Collaboration Transformation (ACT), and to improve them on this basis. In additional modules, companies will also demand that living wages are paid in production countries. Cambodia is currently expected to be the first pilot country. In Cambodia the Partnership Initiative is planning to promote implementation of the collective agreement supported by the ACT in the industry by involving more companies in the Partnership. On 17 January, the expert group will hold a webinar providing information about the Initiative. You can participate in the webinar via a link in the Members’ area. Companies wishing to join the Initiative should contact the Secretariat.

Contact: Kristin Huber

Ten projects by our members

Under the slogan ‘Learning from one another, jointly achieving targets’, the Partnership presents ten selected projects here (in German), in which Partnership members are working to improve social, environmental and economic conditions along the entire textile supply chain. While ALDI SÜD and ALDI Nord are working on early learning and Brands Fashion concentrates on living wages, C&A has developed the world’s first completely circular jeans. Learn how transparency can be created for sustainable cotton and how consumers can find out about the origin and production of their textiles thanks to a transparency code at Dibella and GREIFF. Lebenskleidung focuses on the importance of a regional wool value chain, while ZDHC provides information about substituting harmful chemicals in the production of synthetic leather. Terre des hommes is campaigning for an end to child labour and forced labour in the textile industry in southern India. VAUDE is also working with its level-2 suppliers to improve environmental and social standards, and KiK is enhancing building safety in Pakistan by adopting the Bangladesh Accord Standards.The projects have differing themes but they all aim to make products and processes more sustainable. They all share their experience with implementation, offer basic information for initiating similar projects, and generate impetus for cooperation.

Environmental and chemicals management: Piloting basic training

The Partnership Initiative’s first basic training session has taken place in Lahore, Pakistan. At the event, local textile producers who use wet processing gained an overview of practical approaches to embracing more sustainable environmental and chemicals management. The training session on 1 December was a good place for swapping ideas following the Environmental Forum in Lahore on 28 and 29 November. Partnership members had invited their suppliers and got a huge response. More than 80 people applied to take part, but there were only 40 places available. Participants included suppliers of Aldi, Brands Fashion, Primark, Rewe, s.Oliver, Takko and Tchibo. They also expressed very strong interest in further training sessions in Pakistan.

New wool – support services

Guidelines entitled Developing and implementing your own policy – Responsible procurement of new wool are now available as a new support service in the area of fibres. This document describes various aspects that members should take into consideration when drawing up a policy and give suggestions for content. You can access the guidelines either from the Members’ area under Tools and Support, or by clicking here.

Social dialogue benefits workers and companies

The Partnership members Tchibo and Adidas, along with other companies from the region, NGOs, the ILO and trade unions, attended a conference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Its main topic was the relevance of social dialogue in the textile industry.

All those present agreed that dialogue between management and workers is a key mechanism for improving social standards and production conditions. Textile entrepreneurs from Pakistan described how production conditions in their plants have been improved using this approach. The key message was that everyone benefits from optimising work processes and improving the design of workplaces.

A Cambodian trade union representative stressed that their work focuses on creating a culture of trust and cooperation between the management and the workforce, and on setting up joint health and safety committees (organisation) in factories.

The event was organised by the GIZ regional programme Social and Labour Standards in the Textile and Garment Sector in Asia, which supports approaches by the private sector and state players in the textile and clothing industry in South-East Asia. This helps to improve the social and labour standards in the sector.

Invitations and dates in 2019

Weekly updates on Thursdays

Since November, regular weekly updates of dates and the latest tips for events have been posted in the Members’ area. Every Thursday, you can retrieve all of this information so you always stay up-to-date.

 

Your opinion – your partnership: take part in our survey!

Next year, we will once again conduct an online members’ survey in which you can send us your feedback on the work of the Partnership Secretariat and the processes within the Partnership. This is especially important so that we can ensure smooth communication and make constant improvements. You can access this survey via a link in the Members’ area any time from 8 January to 8 February. We are looking forward to receiving feedback from a large number of members!

 

SAVE THE DATE: Working Meetings in 2019

Following the positive response to the 2018’s Working Meeting, we will have two working meetings in 2019. Those will be held on 11 April 2019 and 18 September 2019, giving you an opportunity to share experience and get technical input.

 

SAVE THE DATE: Members’ Meeting

You should also mark this date in your diary: 19 November 2019 – this is when the fifth Members’ Meeting of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles will take place.

 

Newsletter – December 2018

Contents


Dear Partnership members,

Another year of intensive work by the Partnership is now behind us. We gathered new ideas during exciting workshops held at our Working Meeting in July and the Members’ Meeting in October. The binding publication of the Roadmaps and work towards manda-tory targets represented milestones in the work of the Partnership. The expansion of in-ternational strategic cooperations has also laid an important foundation for the Partner-ship to continue its work.

Furthermore, the last Steering Committee meeting in 2018 brought some new develop-ments that we will tell you about in this newsletter.

Next year, two working meetings will offer opportunities for technical discussions and new input. The Partnership Initiative on Living Wages is about to start and we hope to be able to launch more initiatives with your support.

So, we are looking forward to a number of highlights in 2019. We would like to thank you for the trust that you have placed in us and for your cooperation throughout the year.

I wish you all a good start to the New Year!

Jürgen Janssen
Head of the Partnership Secretariat

 

 

Review: Members’ Meeting 2018

The fourth Members’ Meeting was held on 30 October 2018 in Berlin and was attended by over 120 people. You can gain an impression of the day and find documents from the dif-ferent workshops in the Members’ area.

Das Thema Internationalisierung stand im Fokus der Panel-Diskussion am Abend der Mitgliederversammlung

Internationalisation was the main subject of the panel discussion on the evening of the Members’ Meeting.

The Members’ Meeting provided a framework for seven different break-out sessions whose results will now feed into areas such as the work of the various expert groups.

Under the slogan “Learning from one another – jointly achieving targets”, ten selected projects presented approaches for making processes and products more sustainable (see News from the projects). An open space session offered participants a chance to gather and jointly develop ideas for new Partnership Initiatives.

In addition, the concept for the Partnership Initiative on Living Wages was presented and discussed. The expert group has channelled feedback into the ongoing development of the concept, which has now been approved (see also Living Wages). This topic was also the focal point of another break-out session. An interactive case study was used to introduce the method of open costing and to explain the connection between open costing and living wages.

Participants attending the Understanding and carrying out due diligence workshop had an opportunity to discuss in small groups the specific challenges associated with carrying out due diligence.

Interested members also peered into the future of the textile industry and learned about current trends in innovative fibres.

The major opportunities and risks of automation were at the heart of another workshop where the global impacts of increasing digitalisation in the textile industry were also discussed.

Newsletter – September 2018

Contents


Dear Partnership members,

In mid-August we were able to begin publishing the roadmaps for 2018 and the progress reports from 2017. There are now 85 roadmaps available online and the outstanding action plans are currently being added successively. The press and the general public have closely monitored this important step by the Partnership and have given it a thoroughly positive assessment. This shows how important the review process is for the credibility of the Partnership and for communications with all the participants, despite the hard work involved.

There is also good news from the Partnership Initiatives: apart from the ongoing initiatives, the preparations for the initiative on living wages is making excellent progress. Moreover, the Steering Committee passed specific measures at its most recent meeting to ensure a greater commitment to Partnership Initiatives and a closer involvement in the review process.

In parallel to this, we are driving our internationalisation further forward through strategic cooperative alliances. For instance, the cooperation with the Fair Wear Foundation, especially in the area of living wages and complaint mechanisms, was formalised early in the summer. At the start of September, the Steering Committee then resolved to issue a Letter of Intent for the cooperation with Textile Exchange. In this case, the cooperation is focussed on sustainable fibres and materials in textile production. The Steering Committee emphasises that the strategic cooperative alliances are a central factor in the success of the Partnership – in terms of the harmonisation of requirements and procedures, the joint processing of topics and also the effective implementation of measures in production countries.

Many of the topics that we report on in this newsletter are also on the agenda of the Members’ Meeting at the end of October. We recently sent out the invitations, and we are looking forward to meeting you in Berlin.

Until then, I wish you a successful late summer and early autumn, and a pleasant read!

 

Jürgen Janssen

Head of the Partnership Secretariat

 

 

Invitations & dates

Members at a workshop at the Members’ Meeting in 2016

Members’ Meeting – save the date!

We would like to warmly invite you to the 4th Members’ Meeting of the Textile Partnership at the GIZ Representation in Berlin on 30 October 2018.

We shall send you information about registration and about the whole-day programme and procedure as soon as possible. We look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

CottonUP introductory webinar

Six steps are necessary for setting up the procurement process for sustainable cotton – and the CottonUP Guide gives you a clear overview. To help you get to know the new, free information platform CottonUP better, an introductory webinar is being held on 9 and 11 October. Charlene Collison (Forum for the Future) and Jacqueline Vater (Made-by) from the Cotton 2040 Initiative will explain the central challenges involved in cotton production and the advantages of sustainable cotton.

Two dates are available:

Tuesday, 9 October 2018, 9.30 – 10.30 a.m. and
Thursday, 11 October 2018 from 4.30 – 5.30 p.m.

The webinar will be held in English. You can register here.

Blockchain Round Table

Dear Partnership members, we would like to invite you to the blockchain round table on 29 October from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will be held on the day before the Members’ Meeting in Berlin. The aim of the meeting is to get to know the blockchain technology better and to discuss together whether and to what extent blockchain could play a role in the textile delivery chain and the activities of the Textile Partnership. The workshop will be held in German and is aimed at all interested Partnership members.

A detailed agenda will follow as soon as possible. You can register for the event via the members’ portal here up to 5 October 2018.

 

Expert symposium on wages

Living wages will also be the key topic of an expert symposium that the civil society stakeholders of the Textile Partnership are planning to hold on 5 to 7 November in Berlin. Representatives from trade unions and NGOs from Germany and Europe, as well as from production countries in the textile industry, will discuss opportunities and challenges regarding the issue of wages in the textile industry. There will be guests from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Turkey, among other countries. Companies are explicitly invited to enter into dialogue with representatives of civil society in a workshop held on 6 November (2 – 5 p.m.). If you have any queries, please consult Tim Zahn (koordination@nro-textilbuendnis.de), coordinator for civil society organisations in the Textile Partnership.

Organic Cotton Round Table

The Organic Cotton Round Table will be held from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on 8 November in Bonn.

The objective of this meeting is to enable discussion of the challenges in the procurement of organic cotton and to define the relevant needs for joint involvement.

The workshop will be held in German and is aimed at companies that use organic cotton – even if only in extremely small quantities – and all other interested stakeholders.

Please register for the event here by 12 October 2018.

 

New Wool Round Table

We would also like to invite you to the New Wool Round Table from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on 12 November in Eschborn, near Frankfurt am Main. The participants will be able to compare notes about the latest challenges in the procurement of sustainable new wool and to identify the relevant needs for joint involvement.

The event will particularly focus on the traceability of certificates throughout the textile supply chain. Dalena White from the International Wool Textile Organisation will provide input on the related problems and approaches to finding solutions.

The workshop will be held in English and is aimed at companies that use new sheep’s wool – even if only in extremely small quantities – and all other interested stakeholders.

A detailed agenda will follow as soon as possible. Please register for the event here by 12 October 2018.

Water management coaching

A coaching session will take place on 13 November 2018 in Frankfurt am Main, which is designed to support companies in determining water risks and introducing holistic water management systems. The coaching session will give an introduction to materiality and water-risk analyses and will demonstrate how relevant information can be shared along the value chain. There will be a particular focus on the water stewardship approach.

The coaching session will be organised by the German Global Compact Network (DGCN) and WWF Germany, in cooperation with the Textile Partnership. In contrast to the water coaching session in October, no previous knowledge of water management will be necessary for this event.

Please register for this coaching session, which is subject to a charge, by 27 October 2018. You can find further information and the registration form here. Hendrik Plein at the Partnership Secretariat will be glad to help you with any queries.

 

Newsletter – September 2018

Report from the Projects

Living wages

On 29 August, the expert group on living wages convened in Berlin for their second meeting, in part to drive forward the development of a Partnership Initiative on living wages. The meeting began with a presentation of the approach adopted by the Fair Wear Foundation (FWF), which became a cooperation partner of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles in July this year. Anne van Lakerveld (FWF) explained to the members of the expert group how the Fair Wear Foundation helps member companies to work together with factories towards a continuous increase in the wages above and beyond the minimum-wage level.

The subsequent discussion in the expert group focused particularly on two ideas for a Partnership Initiative developed by members of the group. It was discussed how projects in both Cambodia and Indonesia could make a contribution to promoting living wages. In order to allow companies that are not active in either of these two countries to also participate in a Partnership Initiative on living wages, the expert group is considering incorporating another module in the Partnership Initiative, on responsible sourcing and purchasing practices. The expert group is now developing proposals for fleshing out the Partnership Initiative, which are due to be presented to the Partnership members at the Textile Partnership annual conference on 30 October in Berlin. In cooperation with the Action Collaboration Transformation (ACT) initiative, a purchasing practices self-assessment tool is currently also being developed which should be made available to the members towards the end of this year. This online tool will enable the analysis and benchmarking of sourcing and purchasing practices and will help companies to detect potential for improvement in the area of purchasing. The new tool can be used for tracking the binding target for living wages in 2019.

Members who have any questions on this topic may consult Dr Kristin Huber who recently took on responsibility for this area at the Partnership Secretariat.

 

Newsletter – September 2018