Romanian version of FWF Formula online

The Romanian version of the Fair Wear Formula video is released.

The short film highlights the main issues facing garment workers, why finding solutions is so complicated, and what brands and consumers can do to help make improvements.

The video will help introduce FWF to stakeholders and factory managers as well as workers in Romania. It will be used in trainings for workers, managers and supervisors.

The textile and garment industry is one of the most important sectors of Romanian industry and one of the main employers in Romania, with women being the majority of workers. FWF has been carrying out factory audits in the country since 2006.

The Fair Wear Formula is available in over ten languages. You can watch all films on FWF’s YouTube channel.


date: 24/08/2017

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Brands play large role in tackling child labour

Clothing brands can learn from their peers who dare to be honest about finding child labour in their supply chains, know the risks, try to limit them whenever possible, and take action where necessary. That is the essence of an FWF op-ed that the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre published on its website today.

On behalf of a group of FWF brands, FWF wrote a letter on how garment brands can work together on eradicating child labour. In the letter, brands of Fair Wear Foundation are unusually transparent about child labour in (their) garment supply chains. The cases of Syrian refugee children in Turkey and a garment factory in Myanmar are highlighted as examples of good practices.

Small group of brands
Child labour is still a widespread problem in many sectors, including the garment industry. Garment brands can play an important role in tackling this problem. However, that doesn’t happen enough. FWF brands are not the only ones who have found child labour in their supply chains, far from that. But still, they are part of only a small group of brands who are seriously working on it.

The letter shows that there are steps that garment brands can take towards tackling child labour, using their economic influence. FWF hopes that the letter will motivate other brands to take action too. If more brands were to also step up, FWF members and the industry in general could act more effectively when child labour is discovered.

Hamza and Osman
Child labour is a serious risk in Turkish garment factories. Although it had been on the decline in recent years, the influx of Syrians fleeing the conflict turned the tide. In 2014, FWF auditors spotted the Syrian Hamza (14) and Osman (13) at work in a Turkish textile factory. FWF members sourcing from the factory took responsibility for getting the children out of the factory and back to school for them.
Read more about this case in FWF’s long read on child labour in Turkey: How the Syrian conflict is impacting the Turkish garment sector.

date: 07/08/2017

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New FWF video on wages in Myanmar

Thet Thet Zon, a garment worker in Myanmar, works eleven hours per day, six days per week. Thet Thet talks openly about what she earns, and what she spends, in the latest FWF video. Salaries are currently a topical issue in Myanmar, where the minimum wage is up for review.

Thet Thet has been working as a sewing operator for two years. She earns 125 dollars per month. What does she have left at the end of the month? Not enough. Her low salary forces her to borrow some money, with interest. ‘At the end of the month, I have to settle debts’, she says. ‘So there’s nothing much left. The circle of debts goes on.’

Low wages
Although there are initiatives in Myanmar to improve working conditions, wages are still among the lowest in the world. When Myanmar passed its first minimum wage in September 2015, the legislation was widely perceived as an achievement for labour rights.

Currently the minimum wage is up for review. With the high inflations and rising costs of living, unions and Myanmar’s low-wage garment workers are making the case again for better wages.

Sick leave
Fair Wear Foundation has been working in Myanmar since 2015, mainly focusing on wages, freedom of association and child labour. FWF considers all wages below the legal minimum wage level as violating international labour standards. FWF brands are required to work with their suppliers on higher salaries.
FWF also acts against wage deductions and fines that factories impose to workers for a variety of reasons such as absences due to sick leave, late arrival at work or mistakes.

For more information about Myanmar, read the Myanmar country study. You can find the video about Thet Thet on FWF’s YouTube channel.

date: 29/06/2017


country: myanmar
Labour standards: No exploitation of child labour

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FWF presents Gender and Living Wage Approach at FTA Conference

During the 40th anniversary conference of the Foreign Trade Association in Brussels, FWF participated in two panels, on Living Wages and Gender Equality.

FWF’s Anne van Lakerveld elaborated on FWF’s approach of not focusing on the living wage number, but rather on how to implement higher wages.  She stressed the importance of realising that payment of a living wage starts with the pricing policy of a brand. FWF supports brands to learn this insight and help them ensure that the price they pay is at least enough to cover minimum wage.

Help brands do better
‘Brands would like to address Living Wages but find it difficult to know where to start’, says Anne. She conducted the Living Wage workshop at the FTA conference together with Martha and Richard Anker, authors of the newly published book ‘Living Wages Around the World: Manual for Measurement’.

‘We want to move factories and brands from a culture of ‘This doesn’t happen’ to ‘This is an issue and we know how to prevent and address it’


Lisa Suess presented FWF’s work on gender equality in a panel, alongside the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights, ELEVATE, ITUC, DBL Group and OECD. Lisa shared learnings from FWF’s experience in Bangladesh and India. Since 2012, FWF, together with local partners, has been implementing a gender programme in both countries, training factory management, line supervisors and workers on gender-based violence and how to establish anti-harassment committees.



Practical strategies
During the panel Lisa also shared practical strategies that companies can take to prevent  and address gender-based violence. Lisa: ‘The good news is that brands can contribute to gender equality. We often encounter brands which accept that their sourcing practices have an impact on overtime and wage levels, but gender-based violence is perceived as a cultural problem that they cannot influence. The truth is that there is a great deal brands can do.’

To learn more about gender-based violence in global supply chains, check out this resource kit. FWF’s Labour Minute Costing Report helps to calculate how much more a product will cost if living wages are paid, and Living Wages: an explorer’s notebook helps companies start the journey to realise living wages in their supply chains.


date: 22/06/2017

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FWF to collaborate with ILO Better Work

Fair Wear Foundation and ILO Better Work will enter a collaboration to offer the garment companies they work with new benefits and to ultimately enhance their ability to improve labour conditions. The collaboration will officially begin with an 18 month pilot on 1 June 2017.

FWF and Better Work—a flagship programme of the UN’s International Labour Organisation—will join forces to fulfil three primary objectives: 1. coordinating factory assessments to reduce the duplication of audits, 2. streamlining improvement processes so more brands can collaborate on remediation and 3. making a wider range of training opportunities available to tackle priority workplace issues such as sexual harassment, health and safety.

Same objectives
‘Together we are capable of better facilitating cooperation between garment brands on improved working conditions’, says FWF Associate Director Margreet Vrieling. ‘Collaborating with Better Work provides a great opportunity to learn from one other. After all, we have the same objectives, just different approaches.’

The collaboration will also enable both parties to expand their work in strategic new areas. Engaging new European brands and smaller garment companies will bring benefits for Better Work, while Fair Wear Foundation will gain access to data gathered as part of Better Work’s research agenda, for example.

Vietnam & Bangladesh
Chief of Better Work Dan Rees came to the Hague on 18 May to sign the agreement. ‘In an industry with more than 60 million workers and much still to be done to improve adherence to international and national labour standards, we welcome this partnership as a step towards creating decent work for all’ he said during the Human Rights and Garment conference.

The first trial project will start in Vietnam and Bangladesh in factories from which FWF members and Better Work business partners source.

date: 19/05/2017

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FWF organises human rights and garment conference

In cooperation with Mondiaal FNV and CNV Internationaal, FWF organises the Human Rights and Garment conference on the 18th of May. The conference will connect important stakeholders in the garment industry.

The conference takes place in The Hague and will focus on sharing best practices and working together to move towards a more sustainable garment industry. It will connect trade unions, NGOs, governments, garment brands, international organisations and other important influencers who play a role in instigating change.

Christiaan Rebergen, Director General for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will open the conference. Other speakers include Jennifer Schappert from the OECD and Jef Wintermans, coordinator of the Dutch clothing covenant.

Key topics

  • Living wage
  • Social dialogue
  • Gender-based violence

programme includes

  • Expert panels on:
    – Who is needed to create change in the industry?
    – The importance of proper due diligence in garment supply chains
  • Sharing inspiring best practices regarding effective ways to improve working conditions.
  • Interactive workshops on establishing living wages, constructive social dialogue and reducing gender-based violence

Registration is open to the above mentioned categories of stakeholders. If you wish to register or if you wish to receive more information please contact us at

The Strategic Partnership for Garment Supply Chain Transformation is an innovative programme aimed at improving labour conditions in the garment industry. 


date: 18/05/2017

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Welcome, van Laack!

FWF welcomes the German fashion company van Laack as a new member.

Van Laack was founded in 1881. Since then it has been the company’s ambition to tailor the best shirt in the world. Van Laack sells women’s and men’s clothing.

The first Brand Performance Check for van Laack will take place following the company’s initial year of membership, and will be published on the company page.

date: 23/04/2017

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French outdoor brand Picture joins FWF

Picture banner hi-res

FWF is happy to welcome Picture Organic Clothing as a new member brand.

Three childhood friends from Clermont-Ferrand founded Picture in 2008. This French sportswear company strives to be an ‘environmental action outdoor brand’, with a focus on boardsports: snowboarding, skiing, surfing, and skateboarding.

Recycling snowboarding jackets

The Picture Recycle Program is an important part of the brand’s efforts to limit the carbon footprint of its products.  The programme includes collecting and recycling ski and snowboarding jackets.

The first Brand Performance Check for Picture will take place following the company’s initial year of membership, and will be published on the company page.

date: 13/04/2017

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Director Erica van Doorn leaves FWF

After nine years as Director of Fair Wear Foundation, Erica van Doorn has decided to step down. Under her leadership, FWF has grown into an innovative and comprehensive labour rights organisation.

In 2008, Erica began as one of seven FWF employees.  In the past nine years, FWF membership has grown from 35 to 85 member brands.  ‘Most FWF member were Dutch brands’, Erica remembers. Now, FWF has member brands in nine European countries.

Measure and report
Erica considers the annual Brand Performance Checks as one of the most important developments of the past nine years. ‘When FWF started, our supply chain approach mainly focused on supporting brands in their efforts to improve labour conditions. Over the past years we have developed a rigorous methodology through which to measure and report on their results as well. It was unlike anything else from similar organisations,’ she says.

As a multi-stakeholder initiative, stakeholders have always played a central part in FWF’s policies. Erica: ‘From the beginning onwards FWF has tried to work together with companies and other actors in the garment industry. We have built bridges and acted collaboratively wherever possible, always with a positive view.’ In 2016 FWF became part of the Strategic Partnership for Garment Supply Chain Transformation.

Here at FWF, Erica’s enthusiastic ambassadorship, open mind, and hands-on mentality will be missed. We wish her the best of luck in this next phase of her professional life.
In the process of finding a new director, an interim group will be taking over Erica’s tasks.

date: 07/04/2017

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vacancy: programme coordinator

FWF has a job opening! To coordinate our Strategic Partnership programme, we are looking for an experienced programme coordinator.

The Strategic Partnership for Garment Supply Chain Transformation is currently FWF’s largest programme, which we implement together with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and trade unions FNV and CNV.

The Programme Coordinator will be part of FWF’s impact team and will act as a spider in the web, linking up the programme goals and activities both internally and towards our partners. We’re looking for an independent, results-oriented colleague with excellent communications skills.

If you are interested, please submit your cv and cover letter through no later than 6 April 2017. We are hoping the new programme coordinator will be able to start in 1 May.

Download the full vacancy text here.

date: 24/03/2017

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