Garment industry reveals progress in sustainability


Garment industry reveals progress in sustainability

Progress reports and roadmaps published

In their progress reports, all reportable members of the Textile Partnership disclose for the first time what they actually achieved in 2018 in order to implement decent working conditions, environmental protection and fair wages in their supply chain. In addition, all members have presented roadmaps for 2019 describing new activities to achieve the Partnership's goals. So far, 86 progress reports and 89 roadmaps have successfully passed the external review and can be found link . The rest will follow until September.

Partnership members archieved 80 percent of their goals set
The progress reports document that the Partnership members jointly implemented 1,100 projects that they set out to implement in their roadmaps 2018. This means that around 80 percent of the goals set for 2018 have been achieved. In the roadmaps for 2019, the members define more than 1,000 further concrete measures on the way to achieving the Partnership's goals.

Independent external experts have reviewed the roadmaps and progress reports for plausibility and the degree of target achievement. All the reports reviewed so far meet the current requirements of the Partnership and are published link .

Living Wages
In 2019, companies in the Partnership will for the first time have to take binding measures aimed at ensuring that workers can be paid living wages. However, brand and retail companies often have only an indirect influence on the wage structure in the supply chains, as the workers are employed by independent production companies. This means that, as a first step, Partnership members can influence wages by adjusting their purchasing behaviour. This includes above all their own pricing policy, the planning of order volumes and the specifications for production times.

Against this background, 34 companies have planned to analyse and improve their purchasing practices in 2019. Other member companies support initiatives that strengthen trade unions in producing countries and their position in collective bargaining. Others are cooperating with non-governmental organisations working to pay higher wages.

The sporting goods manufacturer Ortovox, for example, is implementing a pilot project with a supplier from Eastern Europe to promote better wages and working conditions. And Takko Fashion, in cooperation with one of its producers in India, is levying regional living costs in order to derive a basis for calculating living wages.

On the way ahead - socially and ecologically
Of the more than 1,000 measures defined in the current roadmaps, almost 200 relate to the gradual elimination of 160 hazardous chemicals from production, safe and good handling of chemicals and a uniform commitment to a wastewater standard.

REWE Group, for example, has set itself the goal of conducting training courses on chemicals management at ten production sites in India, Pakistan and Turkey. EDEKA wants to finance access to a platform with practical assistance for 25 production plants in order to improve internal environmental protection in production.

In 2019, companies must also demonstrate how they promote access to remedy and complaint mechanisms in their supply chains. In addition, members undertake to continuously monitor their own sustainability activities in the supply chain, select suppliers according to sustainability criteria and combat corruption.

2020 volume target for sustainable cotton almost reached
An important success was achieved with sustainable cotton: Of the total volume of cotton processed by members, around 10 percent now comes from organic cultivation and 22 percent from sources other than those recognised as sustainable. This means that the goal of using at least 35 percent sustainable and organic cotton together by 2020 has almost been achieved.

"If all alliance members - after all half of the German textile market - strive for binding targets, we can achieve a lot, for example in wages and workers' rights, in the substitution of chemicals, in environmental and resource protection and in the promotion of sustainable fibres", said Jürgen Janssen, head of the Partnership Secretariat: "In this way, the members contribute to the implementation of the Federal Government's National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights and make their actions transparent to society and politics."

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