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

Progress in the review process

1,300 objectives and 22 items of progress online

From the total of 116 submitted roadmaps, 83 have now been assessed successfully and published on our website, and the others will follow when their assessment is complete. In addition, 22 members have published their progress report voluntarily this year.

Positive opinions in the press

The publication of the roadmaps from the middle of August onwards drew a largely positive response, including from the press. Over 50 articles reported on this milestone in the national and international daily and expert press, and it was noted that binding deadlines and volume targets now apply and that the members are increasingly implementing and reporting on tangible measures.

Evaluation of the 2018 roadmaps

An evaluation of the existing roadmaps was carried out again this year. In addition to the voluntary objectives, the members that were obliged to report set themselves 715 new binding targets this year, and a further 142 binding targets have already been met by the members. As well as that, there are also a total of 121 recommended targets, and over a third of them have already been met.

 

Newsletter – September 2018

Welcome to the Partnership

Alma & Lovis

We would like to welcome the Bonn-based fashion brand Alma & Lovis as a new member of the Textile Partnership. This brand is the creation of two female designers and their team who have set themselves the goal of blending fashion with sustainability.

They have produced two collections every year since 2011, relying on natural materials, excellent quality and socially fair production methods.

 

Satema

We would also like to welcome another new member, Satema, a family-run company that was founded in 1999 in Reutlingen, Germany.  The company focuses on the processing and finishing of an extremely wide range of clothing in the area of corporate fashion.

Satema procures its materials from sustainable sources and, among other strengths, has developed long-term partnerships with textile producers that are BSCI members.

 

 

Newsletter – September 2018

Steering Committee – greater commitment to Partnership Initiatives & international issues

The 21st Steering Committee meeting and this year’s Steering Committee strategy meeting took place in Siegburg, Germany on 5 and 6 September.

The Committee passed a schedule for the further development of the Partnership Initiatives with the objective of kicking off additional initiatives and increasing the commitment of the stakeholders. Specific measures here were, for instance, a needs analysis, an optimisation of the processes for developing Partnership Initiatives, the promotion of cooperation and self-motivation, and also the introduction of preliminary modules that act as a low-threshold way into the preparation of Partnership Initiatives. One initiative to benefit from these resolutions, for instance, will be the new Partnership Initiative on living wages, which is currently in the planning phase.

Another new development for members is the additional advice provided by the auditors in the review process. Members can now seek advice directly by telephone if they have any specific queries about understanding or need help with revising reports.

Moreover, the new strategic cooperation with the international network Textile Exchange represents another important step on the path towards the internationalisation of the Textile Partnership. This charitable organisation was founded in 2002 and has 210 members in 25 countries. It aims to reduce the negative impacts of the textile industry while boosting its positive effects. The work of the Textile Exchange focuses particularly on sustainable fibres (‘preferred fibres’), ecological natural fibres, the promotion of sustainable supply chains and also the development and dissemination of corresponding standards.

Finally, the Steering Committee also appointed the members of the new Natural Fibres expert group, which can be viewed here.

 

Work plan 2019

The work plan for 2019 was drawn up in the strategy meeting following the meeting of the Steering Committee. The central components of the plan are the efforts to improve and simplify the review process and to increase the commitment to Partnership Initiatives. Partnership member Enrico Rima (Lebenskleidung – organic fabrics) also reported to the Steering Committee on the outlook for small and sustainable companies in the Textile Partnership. We are currently examining how the requirements of small, sustainable companies can be integrated into the enhancement of the Partnership processes.

 

Newsletter – September 2018

Report on strategic cooperation

Event: stronger coordination at EU level needed

The Textile Partnership Secretariat and the secretariat of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT) jointly organised an event entitled ‘Promoting responsible business conduct and due diligence in the EU textile and garment sector’ on 4 June in Brussels. The objective of the event was to stimulate a debate on increasing coordination of national approaches to promoting corporate due diligence in the textile sector at EU level.

Some 80 representatives of the European Parliament, the European Commission, governments of the EU member states, international companies, European business associations, non-governmental organisations and standards organisations took part in the event. After the Textile Partnership and AGT were introduced, the representatives of the European Commission (GROW Directorate General), of the European Parliament, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), C&A and IndustriALL Europe discussed the opportunities and challenges of stronger coordination at EU level.

There was consensus about the need for stronger coordination in order to achieve ongoing and systemic improvements in the production countries and prevent distortion of competition on the EU market. The participants also agreed that the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector should be the basis for coordination at EU level. However, opinions differed when it came to how this should be achieved. While some panel discussion participants called for legal regulations on corporate due diligence in the textile sector at EU level, other participants argued in favour of incrementally harmonising the approaches of existing national initiatives under the leadership of the European Commission.

To find out more about the event, please contact Andreas Edele (andreas.edele@giz.de).

Reports from initiatives and projects

Impact assessment: demonstrating progress

On 28 May 2018, the Impact Assessment expert group met for the second time to develop a results model for the Partnership. Developing this type of model will allow the members to analyse how and why certain measures and activities create an impact. The first issue to be addressed by the expert group in their analysis is living wages.

 

In a second meeting in July, the expert group plans to design a results model for the areas of chemicals/environmental management. Based on the models, the group will then develop indicators for measuring results.

 

Living wages: analysing the review data

The Partnership Secretariat will identify the most important procurement countries among the Partnership members by analysing the review data and will approach the members to inquire about their interest in a Partnership initiative.

 

The civil society representatives in the Living Wages expert group have compiled the reasons that they feel speak for engaging with the topic of living wages in Indonesia here. Companies that have a fundamental interest in engaging in Indonesia can notify the Partner Secretariat by sending an email to mail@textilbuendnis.com.

Support services

Coaching for holistic water management along the value chain

In cooperation with DGCN, we offer you coaching on holistic water management. The coaching supports companies in establishing a holistic and context-based water-management system and is geared mainly towards the textile and food sector. The focus of the coaching is on developing a holistic water strategy with water objectives and measures within the value chain. The coaching is designed for people with previous knowledge about water-risk analysis.
For more information, click here.

 

Webinars: understanding and implementing corporate due diligence

In July, the Partnership Secretariat will be offering three webinars on all aspects of Understanding and implementing due diligence. In addition to offering a general introduction to the topic, the webinars’ main focus is on binding objectives and backgrounds, as well as on guidelines for implementation.

Communicating requirements to the supply chain    Monday, 30 July 2018, 10:00 – 10:45

 

There is no need to register for the event. If you follow the link to the individual calendar dates in the Members’ Area, you can download the event and save it in your own calendar. Click the Calendar button on the upper right in the event.

At the indicated time, you can use the link in the event to join the webinar. Instructions for using the webinar tool (SABA) are also included with each event. The webinars will be recorded.

 

Webinars: cotton and new wool standards

Do you already know your way around the standards systems recognised in the Partnership? Or would you like to refresh your knowledge about them?

Our webinar series on the cotton and new wool standards recognised in the Partnership compiles the key information. After each presentation, you will have the opportunity to ask the contact partner for the standard for more in-depth information. The webinars will take place in July and will be announced on the Partnership platform closer to the dates.

We also welcome your ideas and suggestions for support services related to natural fibres. Please do not hesitate to share them with us.

Contact:
Mandy Piepke
Partnership Secretariat
mandy.piepke@giz.de

Report on the Review Process

Review Process: A learning curve is emerging

The Review Process has made definite progress. All of the data and documents submitted are now in the first or second assessment loop. By 6 June, 115 members had submitted their roadmaps and progress reports. Ten members did not submit their documents. At the next Steering Committee meeting on 11 July, a decision will be taken on the suspension of the defaulting members.

Two trends in the assessments can already be observed. The roadmaps for 2018 are significantly better than those of the previous year and the appraisers had very few objections.

In contrast, the progress reports for 2017, which had been prepared for the first time, attracted a comparatively large number of objections, frequently with respect to completeness and quality of evidence. This applies in particular to objectives that were either very vague or convoluted; in other words, with many sub-objectives. In addition, many members had to deal with ‘issues’ from the past year. For example, last year it was decided that ‘implausible’ objectives would also be accepted if it meant that the requirements for the number of objectives would be exceeded. Members are now required to provide details of these objectives in the reports, which in many cases is proving to be very difficult. Please note that this year your sustainability profile will be published again. You have until 6 July 2018 to edit these data again in the master data in TexPerT.

 

Adjusting the assessment requirements for eliminating ‘past issues’

In view of the large number of objections that were raised, the Steering Committee asked the review team to consider how the requirements for the assessment could be adjusted to somewhat alleviate the situation for the members. The goal of these considerations was explicitly not to soften or subsequently lower the requirements, but rather, based on the lessons learned from the first assessment loop, to identify where the use of the rules that were implemented for the first time this year had reached plausible limits.

No sooner said than done, with several adjustments made for the second assessment loop. Old issues from the past year can now be deleted from the 2017 roadmap retrospectively. In addition, the requirements for the appraisers to keep documentary evidence were simplified to some extent. You can find more information on this here. Please note that the requirements will initially apply for this year only as of the second assessment loop.

 

Publication of the reports

The first roadmaps will be published on the Partnership website in August. The associated data will be extracted automatically from TexPerT. Progress reports are also to be published, however, only at the request of a member. Please note that in the course of publication, each member will be assigned its own profile on the website. The data for this will also be extracted from the master data in TexPerT.

 

Arbitrator appointed

If a Textile Partnership member and the assessment are unable to reach a consensus on an assessment result in the course of the review process, the arbitration process adopted by the Steering Committee will apply. The Steering Committee has now appointed external individuals who can be entrusted with the arbitration:

  • Prof. Dr Reingard Zimmer, Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR Berlin)
  • Prof. Dr Josef Wieland, Zeppelin University
  • Herbert Ladwig, retired attorney
  • Dr Andreas Hacke, Zwanzig, Hacke, Meikle & Partner Attorneys

Alternatively, the review team can take on cases for arbitration. Detailed information on the arbitration procedure will be posted in the Members’ Area in July.