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