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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Vacancy Data Management Specialist

FWF has a job opening! To support its Information Management taskforce, FWF is looking for a Data Management Specialist (16 hrs/week).

 

FWF has a bespoke system for the management of its data on member companies and production locations. As the Data Management Specialist, you would be part of the Impact Team and would work within FWF’s Information Management Taskforce. The Data Management Specialist’s duties will include maintaining data integrity, contact with FWF member companies about their data, and serving as the support desk to assist staff and companies with inquiries related to the existing FWF systems.

We are looking for someone with experience in data management, proficient Excel skills, and an analytical, proactive attitude. The position has a workload of 16 hours per week, with flexible working hours, although preferably spread over more than two working days.

The candidate should be available to start as soon as possible. If you are interested, please send your CV and cover letter to vacancy@fairwear.org no later than 30 April 2017.

Vacancy Data specialist 2017 final

date: 14/04/2017

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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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Transparency high on FWF agenda

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.

Cooperation
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.

date: 23/03/2017

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FWF celebrates International Women’s Day

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.

date: 08/03/2017

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FWF publishes Research Agenda

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.

date: 21/02/2017

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Welcome, SPOOM!

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.

date: 20/02/2017

Related

partner: cuillere-b-v
Labour standards:

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FWF participates in launch of OECD due diligence guidance

On 8 February, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched its guidelines for due diligence for the garment and footwear industry at a roundtable event in Paris.  FWF’s Martin Curley participated in a panel discussion.

The OECD guidelines provide extensive advice on the kinds of risks multinational companies are likely to encounter in their supply chains, and steps which can be taken to identify and mitigate those risks.  While the UN Framework on Business and Human Rights explained why human rights due diligence was important, the OECD guidelines provide a baseline of what due diligence activities which should be carried out by all companies in the garment industry.

Transparency
While compliance with the OECD guidelines remains voluntary, they provide a framework for all companies to understand and respond to human rights risks in their supply chains.

At the launch, Martin shared FWF’s experiences with due diligence on sexual harassment and violence against women in the garment industry.
The OECD guidelines align closely with FWF’s own requirements for member brands.  FWF’s public reporting on the due diligence work of members, through the Brand Performance Check System provides an important layer of transparency and credibility to the due diligence efforts of its member brands.

 

date: 16/02/2017

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Roundtable Turkey: integrating Syrian refugee workers

Garment brands, factories, unions, the Turkish government, international organisations and other stakeholders gathered in Istanbul on Monday to discuss challenges and possible solutions for integrating Syrian refugee workers. The roundtable was organised by Fair Wear Foundation.

“The turnout was quite high”, said FWF’s Andriëtte Nommensen, who organised the meeting. “The participants covered the whole spectrum that is needed to address the issue of Syrian refugees in Turkish garment factories.”

Tackling child labour
In his opening speech, Dutch ambassador Cornelis van Rij praised Turkey for taking up so many refugees, and FWF  for actively trying to tackle child labour in the country. He said he hoped that the organisations that were present would be able to work together on possible solutions.

The meeting resulted in an outline of next steps that the Dutch and Turkish governments, brands and factories, and civil society organisations can take. Possible solutions mentioned include improved labour inspections and an easier way to get work permits for Syrian refugees.

Remediation
The participants also emphasised the role of European brands. They can take responsibility by getting better insight into their supply chains, including subcontractors, put less pressure on the price and play an active role in remediation  when children are found.

Fair Wear Foundation requires its members to ensure that all suppliers have a policy in place for registering Syrian refugee workers; see the FWF guidance for members sourcing in Turkey.

Read more about the difficulties of eradicating child labour in garment supply chains and possible solutions in this FWF article.
If you want to learn more about the Turkish garment industry, read FWF’s latest Turkey country study.

date: 14/02/2017

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