The Textiles Partnership was founded in October 2014 in response to the deadly accidents in textile factories in Bangladesh and Pakistan. It was initiated by the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Gerd Müller. The multi-stakeholder initiative brings together members from the industry (companies and associations), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), trade unions, standards organisations, and the German Federal Government. The Partnership strives to improve conditions in global textile supply networks — from the production of raw materials to the disposal of textiles. The Partnerships' approach toward this goal is based on OECD due diligence guidance. Members are encouraged to join Partnership initiatives in production countries to foster structural change on the ground. They are also requested to uphold their individual responsibility in a structured, meaningful, and transparent manner. Moreover, the Partnership serves as a platform for dialogue and learning in the various issues related to the textile production.
What guides us?
The Textiles Partnership orientates its work on international agreements and guidelines that define the principles of social, environmental, and economic sustainability and set the framework for corporate responsibility.
Social standards such as respect for human rights, care for health, safety and fair pay are laid down in various sets of regulations. These include the ILO Convention, the UN Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, as well as further international standards and codes.
The Textiles Partnership also applies ecological, social and, in the case of new wool, animal welfare international standards.
In terms of content, these correspond to the framework of the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) Expert Panel on Social, Environmental and Economic Performance of Cotton Production (SEEP).
How do we work?
The Partnership members are on the way to substantial improvements along global textile supply chains by taking individual responsibility, joint engagement on the ground and mutual support. In order to achieve a broader impact and to use synergies, the Partnership cooperates with the relevant organisations and initiatives in the sector.
In alternating project groups, members and experts jointly develop approaches for the implementation of topics such as living wages, complaint handling and redress, wastewater standards, chemical management, sustainable fibers or supply chain transparency. The results of this work are incorporated into the formulation of the Partnership's requirements for all members, into the information and learning offer and into the conception of Partnership initiatives.
Within the framework of the Review Process, members individually implement the Partnership's requirements. To do so, they pursue mandatory and voluntary targets and report on the progress of implementation. In this way, members can demonstrate how they fulfil their due diligence responsibilities and work toward their sustainability goals.
The second pillar of our work is collective engagement: Initiatives for ecological, social, and economic improvements in chosen production countries can advance significant changes in the textile sector and improve on-site conditions.
Three Partnership Initiativesare currently in implementation and are constantly being extended into new regions. One such initiative aims at improving working conditions in the textile sector in India. Another focuses on chemical management in several Asian countries. The Textiles Partnership also launched an initiative for living wages at the beginning of 2019.
To support its members, the Partnership is developing into a platform for sustainability and corporate responsibility in the German textile and clothing industry. Networking, exchanging information, and collective, practice-oriented learning issues related to the textile production form the basis for successful work for the Partnership's goals.
Follow us at
Partnership for Sustainable Textiles
c/o Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale
Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Phone: +49 228 4460-3560