FWF to collaborate with ILO Better Work

date: 19/05/2017

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.

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FWF organises human rights and garment conference

date: 18/05/2017

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 conference18may@congresbureau.nl.

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


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Welcome, van Laack!

date: 23/04/2017

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.

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French outdoor brand Picture joins FWF

date: 13/04/2017
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.

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Director Erica van Doorn leaves FWF

date: 07/04/2017

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.

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vacancy: programme coordinator

date: 24/03/2017

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 vacancy@fairwear.org 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.

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Transparency high on FWF agenda

date: 23/03/2017

Transparency in the garment industry was one of the main topics at the FWF stakeholder meetings held in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland during the past few weeks. FWF member brands are increasingly open to the idea of sharing details about their suppliers.

For the first time, a FWF stakeholder meeting was held in the Netherlands. On 22 March, members, NGOs, and business associations convened at Claudia Sträter’s headquarters. Transparency was high on the agenda, and it is worth noting that almost all brands present indicated that they were eager to take the next steps in sharing factory data.

In Freiburg, around 50 employees from German FWF member brands, NGOs and trade unions gathered to discuss human rights due diligence, implementing living wages, remediation, transparency, and sourcing from Myanmar.  Attendees emphasised the importance of cooperation, and engaged in constructive dialogue on how to tackle obstacles in the industry.

The Swiss stakeholder meeting took place one week prior to the German meeting, in Hagendorn, Switzerland. Swiss Brands and NGOs updated each other on the ongoing changes within the garment industry. The meeting closed with an in-depth topical discussion on human rights due diligence, transparency, and proper remediation.

Competitive advantage
FWF considers transparency essential for accountability and credibility. Yet it is also a challenge for garment companies, who believe their competitive advantage lies partially in their unique supply-chain decisions: where are they placing orders, the prices paid, forecasting, etc. FWF is happy to see that pioneering companies are beginning to break this mould. CSR leaders commonly report their factory lists and audit outcomes.

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FWF celebrates International Women’s Day

date: 08/03/2017
India supervisory training

Today FWF celebrates International Women’s Day, a yearly event honouring the political, economic, cultural and social achievements of women.

This year’s theme, ‘Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030’, focuses on the advancement of women and gender parity in the workforce. Equality is necessary for an economy that is sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous. International Women’s Day asks us to #BeBoldForChange—to take bold action in order to achieve the improvements we want to see in the lives of women worldwide.

How is FWF contributing to change?

Since 2014, Fair Wear Foundation, along with Indian partners SAVE and CIVIDEP, has led a training programme for factory supervisors in the garment industry. One focus of the programme is to train women to become supervisors; the other is to re-educate current supervisors on communication and management, with emphasis on anti-harassment. The aim is to reduce workplace violence and economic discrimination against women in garment factories.

Watch our video about the programme in action in India, and learn more about how we are working toward gender parity in the workplace.

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FWF publishes Research Agenda

date: 21/02/2017

FWF has published its first Research Agenda. The agenda outlines a number of questions about the garment industry that need further investigation by FWF and other organisations.

Because of the complexity of the garment industry, it is important to periodically make sure the right questions are being asked about how to improve it.  The Research Agenda is FWF’s latest tool to keep FWF’s work effective and up-to-date and to ensure that FWF’s work coming out of the Strategic Partnership for Garment Supply Chain Transformation is useful to other stakeholders.

Innovation and creativity
The agenda will hopefully foster innovative discussion and debate between FWF and others working to improve the industry. That exchange of innovation and creativity will lead to better conditions for workers, more impactful guidance for FWF’s member brands, and lessons from FWF’s experiences that can support improvements across the industry.

The main focus areas include developing a better understanding of how the different actors in supply chains interact with each other; creating a better ‘map’ of the garment industry and its component actors and considering how social dialogue systems can be designed to function within international supply chains.

Organisations who are researching similar questions, or who believe they would benefit from understanding more about the issues discussed in the agenda, please contact policy@fairwear.org.

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Welcome, SPOOM!

date: 20/02/2017

Outerwear brand SPOOM has signed the FWF Code of Labour Practices, making it the most recent brand to join FWF.

The Dutch brand is specialized in women’s coats. SPOOM was founded in 2003 in Amsterdam. Their parkas, jackets, raincoats and wool coats are sold in shops across Europe and Japan.

SPOOM is part of Cuillere BV. All coats are made in China. The first Brand Performance Check of SPOOM by Cuillere will take place after the first year of membership, and will be published on the company page.


partner: cuillere-b-v
Labour standards:

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