Vacancy: Director

FWF is Looking for a new director

 

The new director will be the external representative of FWF, fostering and developing the organisation’s relationships, and advocating for its goals. The ideal candidate is energised by and thrives in our dynamic team of around 38 highly skilled and highly motivated professionals, where everyone actively contributes to the organisation’s success.

FWF is a leading multi-stakeholder initiative driving change in garment supply chains. The organisation has grown significantly over the last two years. The director will be based at FWF’s Amsterdam headquarters, which is home to an international team and from where the work in eleven garment producing countries as well as eight European consumer countries is coordinated.

Please read the full vacancy posting below and send your application by e-mail only, to Anita Normark, Chair of FWF (normark@fairwear.org) and FWF’s vice-chair Mark Held (held@fairwear.org), no later than 15/09/2017. The first interviews will be scheduled for October.

Download the full vacancy text.

date: 24/07/2017

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Vacancy: Fundraising Officer

FWF is hiring!

FWF is currently looking for a fundraising officer (24-32 hrs/week). The fundraising officer will take the lead in the development of funding policy and writing proposals to major donors, in support of FWF’s operations, which take place primarily in Europe and Asia. The candidate should be able to demonstrate a successful track record in writing proposals to major European and international public and private (foundation) donors, and should be experienced with the design of large, complex, multi-year proposals (> € 1 million with multiple partners and multi-site implementation).

Please send a CV and cover letter no later than 15 August 2017, by e-mail only, to vacancy@fairwear.org, for the attention of Martin Curley, senior policy and research officer. Please clearly state the title of the vacancy in the subject line of your e-mail.

Download the full vacancy text.

date: 19/07/2017

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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

Related

country: myanmar
Labour standards: Payment of a living wage

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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 conference18may@congresbureau.nl.

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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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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