The Partnership: foundation and goals

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is a multi-stakeholder initiative with about 150 members from the fields of economy, politics and the civil society. Together they are striving to improve the conditions in the global textile production – from the production of raw goods for textile production to the disposal of textiles. 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. Today, members of the Textiles Partnership already cover more than half of the German textile market. Until 2018 they are expected to cover 75 percent of it.

In line with their competences, professional focus points and the goals of their organization, members participate in Working Groups or are part of concrete measurements for certain supply stages. In order to enable small and medium-sized companies from the textile sector to be part of the Partnership, members’ possibilities and their limits are also taken into account when it comes to reaching the Partnership’s goals. Every year, during the so-called review process each member examines their status, sets goals in accordance with the Partnership’s requirements and gives an account of their individual progress. In a common progress report, all members communicate the overarching Textiles Partnership’s achievements.

Besides the constant, larger progress on the process and target levels of the member organizations, there are Partnership Initiatives in selected countries of production.

Goals, measurements and the framework of the cooperation have been put down in a jointly devised plan of action. Parallel to the foundation of the Partnership the Plan of Action 1.0 has been formulated. Based on this, in the following years, the current Plan of Action 2.0 – which is still valid today – has been developed.

Dr. Johannes Merck, Otto GmbH & Co. KG, (C) Otto Pressebild

Dr. Johannes Merck, Otto GmbH & Co. KG

„The biggest opportunity the Textiles Partnership offers is to jointly drive developments that couldn’t be advanced single-handedly.“


Claudia Kersten, GOTS, (C) Otto Kersten

Claudia Kersten, GOTS

“Every company that orders sustainable products here, is putting a pull-effect on its entire supply chain. But this doesn’t come for free. The Textiles Partnership gives us the chance to apply the really big lever.“

Frank Zach, DGB-Bundesvorstand, Abteilung Internationale und Europäische Gewerkschaftspolitik, (C) Ralf Steinle

Frank Zach, Head of Section, Department for International and European Trade Union Policy, German Trade Union Confederation (DGB)

The Partnership is supposed to seriously bring transparency into the textile chain and topics such as living wages or participation in decision-making can finally be dealt with on a broad basis.“

Daniel Hopp, Hopp KG, (C) Daniel Hopp

Daniel Hopp, Hopp KG

I am convinced that we are on the right path. On their own, no one can improve the production conditions in the supplier countries in a sustainable manner. But together we are capable of achieving continuous improvements and set ever more ambitious goals.“