FWF works with brands that want to use that influence to make life better for the people who make their clothes. By becoming a member of Fair Wear Foundation, a company commits itself to implementing the Code of Labour Practices throughout its supply chain.
Companies can join FWF 4 times a year, at the beginning of every quarter.
Companies do not have to be already very advanced in topics of CSR to join. FWF’s process approach meets companies where they are. Some have years of experience in CSR; some are just entering the CSR field. Each company uses FWF guidance to identify areas where the changes they make can have the greatest impact. And they build from there. This step-by-step process leads to real and lasting improvements in workplaces throughout garment supply chains.
WHO CAN JOIN?
FWF Membership is open to garment companies:
- That produce their own sewn goods – clothing, bags, footwear, home textiles
- With a minimum annual turnover of €2.5m
- Who complete a supplier register including all production location data
- Who have an approved work plan
Once the work plan is approved and the FWF Code of Labour Practices is signed by both parties the FWF member is required to adjust its management systems in order to allow effective implementation. The requirements are related to sourcing policy, coherent system for monitoring and remediation, complaints procedure, improved labour conditions, training and capacity building, information management, transparency, management system evaluation and improvement.
STEPS WITHIN FWF MEMBERShip
- Draft a work plan + complete production location data list
- Set up a coherent system to monitor your supply chain
- Work with factory managers on concrete improvements on the work floor
- Annual Performance Check done by FWF and published on www.fairwear.org
- Report on your progress in your annual social report and make a work plan for the next year
-Draft a work plan + complete production location data list
FWF members develop a work plan each year, and must submit it to FWF at least two months before the start of their new financial year. This plan should reflect how brands commit adequate time and resources towards implementing the FWF Code of Labour Practices (CoLP).
These work plans are confidential, and include:
- How members plan to work towards CoLP implementation, including audit and factory training planning
- How members plan to address different issues that have been pointed out
- Whether there are major changes in sourcing strategy and new production countries
Members should also prepare a data list with all their projected production sites. Member companies are expected to update their list of production locations by indicating current and new production locations, using FWF´s highly secured web-based information system. FWF encourages members to keep production location information as updated as possible throughout the year. This lowers the risk of unexpected issues and helps FWF to offer guidance on possible risks, and plan audits
-Set up a coherent system to monitor your supply chain
To be able to monitor coherently in your supply chain a critical first step is to know where products are made. Establishing a system to monitor conditions and remediate problems when they are found, include efforts to work directly with factories to improve conditions. But it also means developing internal management systems that support good workplace conditions.
Member companies are required to monitor all their production locations in incremental steps, year on year: the monitoring threshold. At the factory level the most important step to do baseline assessment; this can be done by auditing a factory. The purpose of auditing is to determine the degree to which factories comply with the labour standards. For any non-compliance with the FWF Code of Labour Practices, the FWF auditor recommends steps for improvement, which are discussed with the management of the factory. The requirements and recommendations of the audit team are the basis for a corrective action plan (CAP).
Another level of monitoring and remediation is creating awareness among factory workers. When factory workers feel that their rights are being violated, or when others see this happen, they can report their complaint. FWF immediately launches an investigation and requires the brand to work with the supplier to remedy the problem. FWF publically reports on the progress of resolving complaints.
After the first year of membership, the required monitoring percentage is 40% or more of your total purchasing volume.
-Annual Brand Performance Check by FWF
Each year, FWF visits the headquarters of its members to audit the progress in upholding their FWF obligations. During these brand performance checks FWF staff reviews company documentation and databases, interviews staff, and, where possible, tests company systems. FWF’s approach evaluates brand performance against a set of performance indicators. The indicators, address aspects of brand practices that impact working conditions in a garment factory. The system is designed to be flexible enough to accommodate the variety of business models and clothing markets represented by FWF’s memberships. Based on its final score, each member company is assigned into a performance benchmarking category; leader, good, needs improvement, suspended.
FWF publishes the outcomes of these brand performance checks, so stakeholders and the public can keep track of how companies are doing. FWF approaches the implementation of the Code of Labour Practices as a step-by-step process. The brand performance check focuses on a limited number of aspects of the management system, so companies can improve these first.
-Report on your progress in an Annual Social report and make a work plan for the next year
Each FWF member annually reports progress in implementing the Code of Labour Practices. The member is obliged to submit a “social report” in which it describes how it has implemented the previous year’s work plan.
As social reports are an important tool in communicating FWF members’ efforts towards fair labour conditions, they are annually published by both FWF and the member.
Young Designer programme
The Young Designer programme is created for small fashion companies who are passionate about sustainability and dedicated to improving the lives of factory workers. The focus of the Young Designer programme is to guide small or start-up brands to set up a responsible sourcing practice and to help them reach their fair and sustainable goals. The Young Designer programme is mainly focused on learning. FWF Young Designers will be guided in setting up their sourcing practices, advised when production expands and informed about how the way they run a business can influence the people who make their products.
Designers who join the programme are taking first steps in setting up a monitoring system. Even though smaller brands have less influence on labour conditions at their suppliers, Young Designer participants should establish a continuing dialogue on social compliance in their communications with factories.
During Young Designer seminars, participants come together to work on ethical goals, to learn from each other and share best practices. They can make use of all FWF resources and take part in the Young designer mentoring programme, designed for an FWF member and a Young Designer to team up for learning (and sourcing) purposes.
For more information on how to join the Young Designer programme contact email@example.com.
what you get as a member
FWF members pay an annual membership fee based on their turnover levels, which pays for a percentage of FWF’s work. This work can include:
- Verification: brand performance check,factory audits, complaints procedure,
- Formats for letters, work plans, social reports, questionnaires,
- Access to FWF’s expertise & research
- Communication opportunities (labels, tags/ FWF website, newsletter, press releases, fairs etc.)
- Annual members’ day share experience and knowledge with other companies
Interested? want to know more?
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or join one of FWF’s bi-annual seminars. During the training, designed for staff who works on implementing the FWF Code of Labour Practices, the FWF team will talk about effective ways to work with the FWF Code, and will showcase its wide range of implementation tools.