The Partnership

Partnership Profile

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles was founded to improve the social and environmental conditions within global textile production.

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 Topics.

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.

The Partnership objectives concerning social and human rights issues are based in particular on the ILO Conventions, the UN Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the OECDGuidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The environmental and climate objectives as well as those for sustainable natural fibre production are also based on international standards . In implementing its goals, the Partnership is strongly oriented towards the recommendations of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector:

How do we work?

The partnership members work towards substantial improvements in their global supply networks. They do so through individual responsibility, collective engagement, and mutual support. To achieve broader impact and increase synergies, the Partnership cooperates with relevant organisations and initiatives in the sector.

In changing project groups members and experts jointly develop approaches for the realisation of topics such as living wages, handling of grievances and remedies, wastewater standards, chemical management, sustainable fibres, and supply chain transparency. The results of this work are pivotal for the formulation of the Partnerships' member requirements, for developing information and learning opportunities, as well as the conception of Partnership Initiatives.

Within 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.

Four Partnership Initiatives are currently running, e.g. on improving working conditions in the textile industry in Tamil Nadu (India) and on living wages.

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 Topics are the foundation for achieving Partnership objectives.

The Partnerships' work is supported by the Partnership Secretariat. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Secretariat is hosted by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.