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Partnership for Sustainable Textiles

  • Published on February 5, 2018
The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is a multi-stakeholder initiative with members from the fields of business, politics and the civil society with the objective of achieving social, environmental and economic improvements all along the textile supply chain.
The Textile Partnership pools the strength and expertise of its members in order to bring about social, environmental and economic improvements all along the textile supply chain. The following four strategic elements that are laid out in the Textile Partnership’s Plan of Action support the achievement of this objective: - Joint definition of Partnership goals, implementation requirements and indicators for continuous improvement, such as living wages and the avoidance of toxic chemicals. - Improvement of framework conditions in the producer countries and recommendations for a coordinated policy in Germany and the EU. - Transparent communication of the Partnership’s progress and that of its members in order to provide orientation to consumers. - A Partnership platform to review and support progress and the feasibility of implementation, share experience and learn from each other. Over the last two years, almost 200 experts have jointly developed implementation requirements for the members. These contain specific measures for achieving the Partnership goals in the three areas of chemicals and environmental management, natural fibres, and social standards and living wages. Each Partnership member commits to prepare a roadmap with specific goals each year and to report on its implementation. The contribution to achieving the Partnership goals can vary among the members. It may include the promotion of development policy dialogue at government level, engaging in international trade union work, or running global information campaigns as a non-governmental organisation. Independent experts review the progress made by the Partnership members to enable each member and the Partnership as a whole to trace the results achieved. From 2017, all partnership members should, from 2018 they must publish their annual roadmaps. Failure to do so will lead to sanctions which, in the worst case, may include exclusion from the Partnership. Joining forces with businesses, civil society, standards organisations and trade unions has provided a broad basis for the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. Within two years, membership has grown from 30 to around 150 organisations (as at May 2017). The Partnership thus covers around 50 per cent of German textile and garment retail turnover. The Partnership members have started the journey to gradually improve production conditions along the entire textile supply chain. To achieve this, they have developed requirements and specific measures in working groups. These include training for garment workers, supporting local trade unions in producer countries, increasing the use of sustainably produced cotton, and eliminating the use of toxic chemicals. This forms the framework for implementing the Partnership’s goals in the areas of chemicals, natural fibres and social standards. Each member of the Partnership must commit to preparing an individual roadmap each year on the basis of the Partnership’s requirements and must report on its implementation. The Partnership makes it easier for the public to identify concrete steps that individual members are taking to improve environmental and social standards in textile supply chains. Publication of all Partnership members’ annual roadmaps is recommended from 2017 and compulsory from 2018. Who can become a member of the Textiles Partnership? Organisations from the following groups working in the area of sustainable textiles: Companies in the textile and clothing industry and the retail sector; Associations representing the textile and clothing industry and the retail sector; Non-governmental organisations; Trade unions; Standards organisations setting non-commercial standards. If you are interested in joining the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, you are asked to complete the membership application and send it to the Partnership Secretariat. You can find the membership application form here:
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