Haglöfs and OSC win FWF Inspiration Award!

date: 21/11/2018

FWF brands Haglöfs and OSC have won this year’s FWF Inspiration Award!

The outdoor brands won the award for jointly remediating a complaint in China together with four non-FWF brands. The submission shows that collaboration drives change. The brands said that it’s important to have large brands on board to increase leverage. ‘We worked across big and small companies and across time zones and within a short period of time’ explained Haglöfs’ Eva Mullins on stage. ‘Let’s fight the fight together!’

The complaint involved unauthorised subcontracting up to ten different subcontractors, payment issues and excessive overtime. The brands shared that workers have already benefited from the joint approach. ‘Overtime has been reduced to the legal amounts, and everyone knows now how to read their pay slips’, said Mullins.

The Times they are a Changin’
Every year, during the FWF Annual Conference, an award is presented to the FWF member company which demonstrates an Inspirational Practice: something they’ve been doing to improve labour conditions that is newer, smarter, more effective and simply inspirational.

Over 200 people from around the globe attended the FWF Annual Conference on Tuesday. Representatives of FWF member brands, garment industry stakeholders, media and industry influencers came together at De Hallen Studio’s in Amsterdam.
This year’s conference theme was ‘The Times they are a Changin’, a clear call for action. FWF believes that it is time for a true revolution in the garment industry and change should start today.

Now is the moment
Sigrid Kaag, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, opened the conference. She applauded FWF for taking leadership and commended the collective power in the room. She referred to Universal Children’ Day and FWF’s theme of the day. ‘We have failed the 150 million children that are currently working. We have a shared responsibility to fix this. Now is the moment.’

Founder of People Tree, Safia Minney, also referred in her keynote speech to FWF’s theme: ‘We are running out of time, we have to make a huge shift in the next 2-3 years’, she said. Safia gave examples of how People Tree builds the bridge between the supply chain and consumers, using celebrities and influencers, and telling the real story of the products they produce. She also touched on the need for governments to enforce laws to create a level playing field.

Real FAIR WEAR
The conference also featured a CEO panel. CEOs from within and outside the garment sector reflected on what is holding us back from creating real FAIR WEAR and shared their vision on a sustainable fair garment industry. ‘Consumers are hungry for information’ said CEO Tony Tonnaer of Kings of Indigo. ‘We need to tap into this to create awareness. And brands need to be completely transparent, even if you aren’t perfect, you need to be open about everything.’

Collaboration was not only a key feature of the winning pitch for the Inspiration Award. It was also extensively discussed during the CEO panel: ‘If you’re a small brand and only have 5% share of a factory’s production, you can’t achieve that much. So we need to work together with other brands to scale up our collective impact,’ said Christian Schneidermeier from German outdoor brand ORTOVOX.

Weekend
Ortovox was also nominated for FWF’s Annual Award Show, one of the conference highlights. The German outdoor brand got nominated for breaking the six-day working week norm in Asia, giving the weekend back to their workers. They did this in close cooperation with a factory manager.
The other brand nominated was German outdoor brand Vaude for developing and implementing a consistent monitoring system throughout their whole supply chain.

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

The Times they are a Changin’: FWF’s Annual conference 2018 has kicked off

date: 15/11/2018

FWF’s Annual Conference 2018 has started. Together with over 200 people from around the globe, FWF will reflect on this year’s theme: The Times they are a Changin’.

The conference on 20 November serves as a call to action: it’s time for a true revolution in the garment industry, and change should start today. The good news is that anyone can join, through our livestream.

 

In De Hallen Studio’s FWF has brought together representatives of member brands, garment industry stakeholders, media and industry influencers, and members of FWF’s staff, Committee of Experts and Board of Directors.

Dutch minister Sigrid Kaag will deliver the opening speech and key note speaker Safia Minney will talk about creating a true fashion revolution. CEOs from within and outside the garment sector will jointly reflect on what is holding us back from creating real FAIR WEAR and share their vision on a sustainable fair garment industry.

The Annual Conference will wrap up with the FWF’s Annual Award Show, where we will present the 2018 FWF Inspiration Award. Stay tuned on Twitter (#FWF18) and Facebook to follow the action and find out who wins this year’s Inspiration Award!

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

Textilbündnis and FWF join forces

date: 31/10/2018

Fair Wear Foundation and the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles are joining forces to promote the payment of living wages and fair working conditions in the garment industry. Both initiatives signed an agreement on Wednesday in Berlin.

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (‘Textilbündnis’) and FWF will work together on access to remedy and grievance mechanisms and promoting the payment of living wages. Both initiatives share the view that solving the existing challenges in the sector requires a systematic approach and the cooperation of all relevant stakeholders.

The organisations will conduct joint trainings on responsible business and purchasing practices for garment companies and will offer supplier trainings in productions countries. Members of both initiatives shall benefit from mutual exchange of knowledge and coordination of supporting activities.

Jürgen Janssen, Head of the Textiles Partnership Secretariat said he hopes to ‘achieve greater leverage’ by cooperating with Fair Wear Foundation. FWF director Alexander Kohnstamm adds: ‘Transforming working conditions for people in the garment industry is an ambitious goal, and we can’t achieve it alone. By combining our efforts, we can push for unified change.’

The German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development initiated the Textilbündnis in 2014. The partnership consists of companies, business associations, NGOs, trade unions, standards organisations and the Federal German Government. Together, the Partnership members strive to achieve social, ecological and economic improvements in garment supply chains.

 

 Mark Held, Interim Chair of the FWF Board of Directors, representing FWF at Textilbündnis member day, 30 October 2018.

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

British fashion icon promotes better labour conditions

date: 29/10/2018

Fair Wear Foundation is very happy to welcome Katharine Hamnett London as a new member brand!

As a FWF member, Katharine Hamnett London will use its influence to work towards better labour conditions for garment workers – together with the factories that produce their clothes. FWF annually checks how well the brand is doing that.

‘As the whistleblower and long-term fanatic and campaigner about sustainable fashion I look forward to working with FWF whose aims match mine’, says Hamnett about joining Fair Wear Foundation.

 

‘Choose Life’
Katharine Hamnett is an icon of modern British fashion, but she is also a long-time activist fighting for a better garment industry. Katharine pioneered the much-copied slogan T-shirt – one of the most famous being CHOOSE LIFE, as worn by George Michael. The iconic ‘No more fashion victims’ T-shirt was one of the first eye-opening campaigns to raise awareness about how the fashion industry impacts people’s lives.

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

 

 

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

New Data Management Vacancy

date: 22/10/2018

We’re looking for a Helpdesk Support Technician to work with our customised system of data management of member companies and production locations.

As the Helpdesk Support Technician, you would be a part of the Impact Team and would be responsible for:

  • Maintaining data integrity and quality
  • Uploading member-specific data to the system
  • Contacting FWF member companies about their data
  • Assisting staff and companies with inquiries related to the existing FWF systems, both technical and content related
  • Training users of the information system
  • Proactively signalling possible issues and any need for improvements of the system

We are looking for someone with the following qualifications and skills:

  • Technical or professional education (MBO or HBO) on data or information system management or similar
  • Excellent command of written and spoken English
  • 2-3 years of similiar work experience
  • Ability to work independently
  • Experience with data management
  • Extensive experience in data handling with Microsoft Excel
  • Analytical, proactive attitude, accurate, and result oriented
  • Experience with programming languages such as R or Python or similar would be an an advantage.
  • Experience with product ownership would be an advantage

The position has a workload of 16-20 hours per week, with flexible working hours, although preferably spread over three working days. Scheduling is negotiable.

The contract will start as soon as possible and will initially be for one year. Please send your CV and cover letter to vacancy@fairwear.org no later than 11 November 2018. We hope to interview applicants in the week starting 19 November.

Please visit www.fairwear.org for more information about our organisation. For further details about this vacancy, please call Hector Chavez (+31 (0)20 408 4255).

Recruitment agencies are asked to refrain from approaching Fair Wear Foundation about this or any other vacancy.

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

Top Tips for Creating Your Sustainable Wardrobe

date: 10/10/2018

Today in the Netherlands it’s ‘Dag van de Duurzaamheid’ – Day of Sustainability. Here are six top tips from Fair Wear Foundation to help you shop more sustainably for your clothes.

 

 Educate yourself


Things move fast in the fashion world, it can be hard to keep up. There are many fashion blogs you can read (such as True Fashion Collective website or Inhabitat) and documentaries you can watch to learn more about sustainability. True cost is a must-see documentary, shedding light on the people who make our clothes and the impact the fashion industry is having on our world.

 

 Check the working conditions


Have a look on the website of your favourite brand to check what they are doing to improve labour conditions for the garment workers who made their clothes. Usually you can find the information under the ‘About’ or ‘Sustainability’ pages. Fair Wear Foundation member brands are open about how their clothes are made and take substantial steps towards making a positive impact in the garment industry. We report about the brands efforts on each brand page on our website. If your favourite brand is not mentioning anything about working conditions (and is not a FWF member), ask them about it! Tweet, email, or call them up!

 

 Choose eco-friendly materials


The environmental impact of the clothing industry is largely determined by the production of chemicals. Choose natural (and therefore biodegradable) materials such as organic cotton, linen, hemp, Tencel, bamboo and wool. For material information, always check the clothing label, or the information on the product page of the brand’s website.

 

 Use the FWF Shopping List


While thrift stores and clothing swaps are brilliant ways to expand your wardrobe sustainably, it might be challenging to fill your entire wardrobe in this way. That’s where sustainable brands like FWF member brands come in. They are dedicated to supporting garment workers’ rights to safe, dignified and properly paid employment, and making fashion fair for everyone. Use them to fill the gaps in your wardrobe without sacrificing your principles! View the FWF shopping list here.

 

 Aim for quality over quantity


It’s much more satisfying to buy one beautiful 150 euro dress you can wear often for years, rather than five cheap dresses that fall apart by the end of the first day. Do as the French do: build a wardrobe of classic staples that will last for years!

 

 Get thrifty!


If you’re both eco-conscious and budget conscious, used clothes are the best option. Second-hand clothes require no new materials to produce: no extra energy, water, or toxic chemicals are added when they change hands from their previous owner. Also, keeping used clothing out of the waste stream means there’s less need for new landfills. And best of all, used clothes are generally cheaper than new (quality) clothes.

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

Making progress: Tackling gender-based violence

date: 05/10/2018

Today Fair Wear Foundation launches a new publication charting the progress on tackling gender-based violence in the garment industry.

From the submission of a draft law on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace in Bangladesh to participatory research on gender-based violence in Vietnamese garment factories: these and other examples are compiled in the new publication, Gender Forum: One Year Later.

FWF and its partners have had a busy year implementing country-specific action plans to prevent and address sexual harassment and gender-based violence in the garment industry. The action plans were formulated one year ago at the Gender Forum 2017 in Vietnam (view photo gallery). The event was the first of its kind in Asia. Over the course of three days, participants gained knowledge and shared their experiences with gender-based violence in the world of work. ‘Working together’ was a principal theme. While there are many underlying causes of violence and harassment in the workplace, the Gender Forum’s goal was to not only discuss its reality, but to create specific action plans. The plans and their results have been compiled into the publication.

The Forum was organised by FWF, in collaboration with the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation (ITCILO) and Dutch trade unions CNV Internationaal and Mondiaal FNV.  Participants hailed from six garment producing countries—Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam—representing non-governmental organisations, trade unions, private sector companies and government.

Download the publication here to learn more about tackling gender-based violence in the garment industry.

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

Bangladesh raises minimum wages – is it enough?

date: 28/09/2018

The government of Bangladesh recently announced that the minimum wage for Bangladeshi garment workers will rise by 51 percent from December. FWF’s country manager for Bangladesh, Koen Oosterom, responds to the news from Dhaka, where he recently conducted a workshop on labour minute costing for factory managers and unions.

How much more will garment workers in Bangladesh receive?
The new minimum wage for grade 7 (which is the lowest grade level) has been set at 8,000 taka (82 euros) a month, up from 5,300 takas (54 euros). The minimum wage levels for the other grades have not been announced thus far.

What would you have hoped for?
Although we are happy that the minimum wage will go up, we had hoped for more. According to various living wage benchmarks, 8,000 taka is not enough for garment workers to meet their basic needs, such as food, housing, utilities, medicine, or sending their children to school.

Did you try to influence the wage negotiations?
We sent a letter to the prime minister of Bangladesh, together with the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile. We urged the Bangladesh government to show leadership and ensure a fair and negotiated increase of the minimum wage and take the collective demand of workers and unions into account.

How will the increase affect workers?
We are a bit concerned that this raise has the same negative consequences as the minimum wage raise in 2013. After that raise, we encountered problems like job losses (especially for helpers), reduction in bonusses, higher targets and production pressure and workers who got downgraded. The underlying cause was that factories were often not able to negotiate an increase in the FOB prices that takes the wage rise into account properly.

What are FWF’s next steps?
We will continue working on higher wages in Bangladesh. The FWF team in Bangladesh has just conducted seminars with factory managers and unions on labour minute costing and price negotiations. At FWF we want brands to take responsibility for raising wages in factories and it was good to see that the participating factory managers wanted to learn more about what that looks like in practice.

FWF Supplier Seminar, Bangladesh, September 2018


 Did you know that the garment export industry is the biggest earner for Bangladesh, accounting for 81% of total export earnings? And it is estimated that over 7,000 factories are linked to the export market. Read more about the garment industry in Bangladesh here.

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

Mammut and ODLO celebrate 10-year anniversary at FWF

date: 18/09/2018

FWF brands Mammut and ODLO are celebrating their 10 year membership at Fair Wear Foundation. Both companies adopted the FWF Code of Labour Practices early on in 2008. They had the same goal: to improve workplace conditions in the garment industry.

As one of the first FWF outdoor companies, Mammut was and still is dedicated to applying stringent standards for fair working conditions. ‘For Mammut, it is a top strategic goal to ensure that our products are manufactured in an environmentally and socially sound manner’, said Peter Hollenstein, Corporate Responsibility Manager of Mammut Sports Group AG.  ‘FWF unites committed brands under a single roof. This is essential for Mammut to cooperate with other brands and combine strengths for improving workplace conditions in global supply chains.’

Julia Krämer, ODLO’s Sustainability Manager, commented: ‘Social and environmental responsibility has been at the heart of Odlo since the company was founded over 70 years ago and we are proud of our achievements towards a more sustainable future together with our partners. FWF membership especially helps us to improve our processes and the labour conditions thanks to exchange and a great deal of teamwork with FWF and other member brands like Mammut.’

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

FWF and FNV partners submit draft law on prevention sexual harassment Bangladesh

date: 12/09/2018

On 12 September 2018, FWF and FNV partner organisations joined together in Bangladesh to submit a draft law on the Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace to the Honorable Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Anisul Haque and to the Honorable Minister of Labor and Employment, Mr. Md. Mujibul Haque, for their approval.

This draft law was created in response to a ground-breaking 2009 Supreme Court decision requiring the prevention of sexual harassment in the worplace. Based on the court’s decision, FWF’s Workplace Education Program has been providing training to factories to effectively address and prevent gender-based violence, which includes the establishment and strengthening of internal workplace harassment committees.

The draft was developed through the efforts of the Gender Platform, which involves seven partner-organisations of FNV and FWF—Awaj Foundation, OSHE, Karmojibi Nari, BILS, BLF, BNWLA and IndustriAll/IBC and in consultation with a broadrange of stakeholders.

The prevention of gender-based violence is a key focus of Fair Wear Foundation in Bangladesh and one of the priority areas under the Strategic Partnership, implemented together with Dutch trade unions CNV and FNV.

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link