FWF at Innovation Forum in Copenhagen

date: 16/05/2019

Join us at Copenhagen Fashion Summit!

We’re happy to be one of the exhibitors at this week’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit’s Innovation Forum. Find us at our booth together with our member brands, Nudie Jeans and Suitsupply.

The Innovation Forum offers sustainable solutions, which are designed to help small and large fashion businesses speed up or embark on their first steps towards a sustainability journey. Each of the solutions presented at the Innovation Forum will address one or more of the priorities in the CEO Agenda 2019. This agenda defines the top sustainability priorities for industry executives to take action on.

This year’s edition of Copenhagen Fashion Summit will mark the event’s 10th anniversary and will take place on 15-16 May 2019 at the Copenhagen Concert Hall. The Summit is organised by Global Fashion Agenda, a forum on fashion sustainability working to mobilise the global fashion system to change the way we produce, market and consume fashion.

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

FWF welcomes elkline as a new member

date: 02/05/2019

We are happy to welcome elkline to Fair Wear Foundation!

The German fashion brand elkline aims to implement sustainable improvements and social standards through FWF membership. ‘It is our highest requirement to produce elkline products under the best possible ecological and social-human conditions’, says elkline CEO Stephan Knüppel. ‘The safety and well-being of all employees and those who produce for elkline in the most diverse production sites in the world is of particular concern to us. With the support of Fair Wear Foundation, we can work together with our suppliers to sustainably improve the working conditions in the factories.’

The first Brand Performance Checks for elkline will occur after one year of membership, and will be published on the company’s brand page.

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

We’re hiring an HR Advisor!

date: 30/04/2019

We’re searching for an HR Advisor to join our organisation.

The HR Advisor will deliver HR services contributing to organisational effectiveness by providing advice and support to FWF’s Management Team, individual supervisors and all other employees. The HR Advisor is active on a strategic, tactic and operational level. The services include the provision of coaching, training and advice regarding workload, in line with legal requirements, organisational standards and current best practices.

You can read the full details of this vacancy here. If you’re interested in applying, please send your CV with a cover letter to vacancy@fairwear.org no later than 19 May.

We will be interviewing candidates towards the end of May and beginning of June.

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

Share #ClothesWithIntention this Fashion Revolution Week

date: 23/04/2019

AMSTERDAM – During Fashion Revolution Week, FWF challenges all fashion lovers to share their #ClothesWithIntention. FWF hopes to get more people to share their sustainable fashion story.

Fashion Revolution Day (24 April) commemorates the 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh. During Fashion Revolution Week, hundreds of events take place around the world in the name of ethical clothing. By using the hashtag #ClothesWithIntention this week, everyone can participate in a social media challenge that has the potential to contribute to a bigger wave of social change for garment workers.

How can you take part?
Wear a shirt, pants or an entire outfit from your wardrobe that you’ve chosen with care and that somehow represents sustainable fashion. Take a cool photo and share it! Tell the world: why is this garment in your closet and what about it is sustainable.

Since Rana Plaza, the awareness of unfair clothing production has grown considerably among consumers. Everyone who buys clothes plays an important role in the transformation of the industry. Consumers can demand that brands be transparent about where their clothing is made and what they’re doing to improve working conditions. Brand openness can help consumers to make more informed choices. It also becomes easier to support brands that invest more in sustainability.

Date: 22nd – 28th April 2019


Fair Wear Foundation Facebook page

FWF Twitter page

FWF Instagram

Go-to text: ‘I stand with the workers who made these clothes.’

Call to action: ‘What’s your sustainable fashion story?’

Hashtags: #FairToWear #WhoMadeMyClothes #ClothesWithIntention

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

Vietnamese and Dutch prime ministers join Fair Wear brands fashion show in Hanoi

date: 09/04/2019

During a sparkling Sustainable Fashion show in Hanoi on Tuesday, the Dutch and Vietnamese prime-ministers joined FWF director Alexander Kohnstamm on stage. ‘I’m very proud that we co-organise tonight’s fair fashion show with the Fair Wear brands’, said Dutch prime-minister Mark Rutte. ‘These brands are at the forefront of fair fashion.’

The group of models wearing Fair Wear brands took to the runway in the middle of the city of Hanoi. The Sustainable Fashion Show was part of the Dutch trade mission in Vietnam this week. The show was organised by the Dutch embassy in Vietnam, Fair Wear Foundation and FWF partner in Vietnam, CNV Internationaal. Both FWF fashion, outdoor and workwear brands walked the catwalk. They were joined by responsible fashion brands from Vietnam.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in his opening speech that ‘we need to make sure that all women and men who produce our clothes have a safe workplace and get wages that cover the actual cost of living.’ Rutte also spoke about a ‘clear business case for investments in social and environmental sustainability’. ‘A happy workforce results in higher productivity’, he said. ‘For Dutch brands that source in Vietnam there is a clear stimulus to take action. Bottom line is to be aware of what happens in the entire supply chain: from the factory in Ho Chi Minh City to the store in Amsterdam or The Hague.’

Finally, he applauded the attending Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for his contribution to making the industry more sustainable as well.


country: vietnam
Labour standards:

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

FWF brands take the catwalk in Hanoi

date: 09/04/2019

On Tuesday, a group of models wearing Fair Wear brands took to the runway in the middle of the city of Hanoi. The show was part of the Dutch trade mission in Vietnam this week.

The Fair Wear brands shared their designs in the Sustainable Fashion Show organised by the Dutch embassy in Vietnam, Fair Wear Foundation and FWF partner in Vietnam, CNV Internationaal. Both FWF fashion, outdoor and workwear brands walked the catwalk. They were joined by responsible fashion brands from Vietnam.

Check out the pictures. More to come!!

Model at the Sustainable Fashion Show in Hanoi, wearing FWF brand Anchor

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

Jack Wolfskin acts to support workers at Jaba Garmindo Factory

date: 03/04/2019

The latest FWF video illustrates steps that were taken in a complaint related to Jack Wolfskin and a factory in Indonesia that went bankrupt. It shows a positive example of how brands are acknowledging the responsibility they have towards garment workers and should work to ensure that workers receive their wages and severance payments following a factory closure. 

The video does not intend to suggest that the workers received full remedy. The workers continue to seek $5.5 million they are owed in lost wages and unpaid severance. Clean Clothes Campaign is supporting the workers ongoing campaign for justice, for more info: https://cleanclothes.org/jaba-garmindo


country: indonesia
partner: jack-wolfskin-ausrstung-fr-draussen-gmbh
Labour standards:

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

Companies learn more about labour condition risks in Turkey and responsible sourcing

date: 14/03/2019

Today Fair Wear Foundation in cooperation with the Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile hosted a learning seminar ‘Sourcing responsibly in Turkey. How to due diligence?’ for garment brands sourcing from Turkey. More than 70 participants from brands learned about specific risks in the garment industry in Turkey. During this seminar, brands learned from experts and experienced brands about how to do their due diligence in this country.

Doing business in Turkey
The purpose of this seminar was to help companies gain more insights into risks in Turkey and to include these insights into their own purchasing practices and sourcing dialogue. Issues addressed were, for example, risks concerning freedom of association, Syrian refugees, wages and subcontracting.

Turkey is an important sourcing country for Dutch garments and textile companies. 61% of all signatories to the Dutch agreement source from Turkey in 561 production locations. After China, Turkey has the second largest number of production sites in a specific country on the production location list of all agreement signatories together.

Learn from experts
FWF’s country representatives for Turkey contributed to the programme as well as experts from Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), Fair Labor Association (FLA) and brands. Round table sessions and workshops on due diligence risks helped companies to implement the knowledge into practice. Best practices on living wages were shared by FWF brand Mini Rodini and their supplier as well as a ‘brand panel’ consisting of Esprit, Adidas and C&A.

An important piece of this programme focused on the brands’ own responsibility through sustainable purchasing practices and sourcing dialogue. The agreement of the signatory brands is mandatory from them to do their due diligence, and are expected to turn their new insights of Turkey into concrete goals and actions for improvement in their action plan.

More companies
More than 27 representatives participated in the seminar. Among them were FWF brands, signatories of the AGT, the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles as well as ETI and FLA member brands. This seminar and its goals has shown a growing awareness and intent to do due diligence in Turkey.


country: turkey
Labour standards:

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

‘Let’s give a voice to the women who make our clothes’

date: 07/03/2019

‘We need to support women workers in garment factories to raise their voices, so the industry can detect and tackle harassment’, says our associate director Margreet Vrieling on the eve of International Women’s Day.

More and more consumers are becoming aware of unfair working conditions in the fashion industry, like child labour and low wages. But there are other, less-known negative working practices that have become normalised, such as gender-based harassment and violence in garment factories. ‘Harassment and discrimination can be hard to spot on the factory floor’, shares Margreet. ‘But that doesn’t mean they don’t occur. We need to become more aware of this and address it as proactively as possible.’

Sexual harassment and violence against women are widespread problems in the garment industry, where women make up about 80 percent of the workforce. In many garment factories, production pressure is high, and yelling—often sexually explicit—is common practice. Women garment workers are often young, poor and living in a society dominated by strong gender hierarchies.  A disturbingly high percentage of garment workers report verbal and physical abuse as well as sexual harassment, including assault and rape.

Preventing and solving cases of harassment in garment factories requires a joint approach. Vrieling: ‘Factory managers, garment brands and NGOs such as ours all need to take responsibility to ensure that workplaces are free from harassment. Brands need to know that this is happening and act on it; our auditors need to be able to spot it; everyone who buys clothes should be aware of it.’

Gender stereotypes
For sustainable solutions, women workers need to be supported in voicing their complaints. ‘Women need to feel safe enough to talk about harassment and feel supported by factory management’, explains Vrieling. ‘By lending our voices and platforms to their fight, these workers can speak out against the injustices they face every day. Brands and factories must be held accountable for responding to these injustices.’

As a way of addressing gender-based violence, FWF and its member brands have established anti-harassment committees in factories in Bangladesh and India. Workers in these factories are slowly starting to speak out and work towards solutions. Also in India, FWF ran a supervisor training programme. By training women workers to become supervisors, the programme aimed to reduce economic discrimination and change gender stereotypes. Male supervisors were trained to become more aware of gender matters and violence-free conflict solving methods.

8 March celebration
On 8 March, FWF together with Dutch garment brands, the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garment and Textiles, Plan Nederland, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs will celebrate International Women’s Day in The Hague. Dutch designer Monique Collignon, UN Youth Ambassador Hajar Yagkoubi and SER representative Jef Wintermans will speak during the event.

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link

The Guardian underscores high risk of problems in Bangladeshi garment factories

date: 01/03/2019

On Friday, The Guardian published an article about garment workers who claim they were fired after striking about their low wages at a Bangladeshi garment factory where FWF brand Stanley/Stella sources. In high-risk countries like Bangladesh, serious problems will inevitably be found in most supply chains. When issues arise, FWF requires that its member brands address these problems head-on.

The Guardian describes a case in which over 100 workers were fired in January after going on strike over low wages. The brand that was portrayed in this article, Stanley/Stella, is very active in improving the working conditions for people who make our clothes. Just like any other FWF member, they continue sourcing from Bangladesh because they believe they can make a positive contribution to the lives of the workers there.

No cut-and-run
Unlike most other garment brands, FWF brands do not walk away when problems occur. At the core of FWF membership is the idea that brands should try to tackle human rights violations together with the factory. Leaving a factory when problems are found does nothing to improve the situation of workers. Terminating a business relationship with a factory can be harmful to workers because it leaves room for the problems to continue unaddressed.

Both FWF and the factory are investigating this case after hearing about it. FWF met with the factory and Stanley/Stella. There were some discrepancies between what FWF heard from the factory management and the complainants’ stories and their personal files.  Of course, as always, FWF will publish the complaint when all facts are clear. What can be shared is that the factory is in the process of paying legal entitlements, such as due salaries, provident fund and severance pay to all the workers concerned. FWF and Stanley/Stella will keep a close eye on this progress.

It’s very unusual for garment brands to be transparent about complaints, if they work with a complaints system at all. It takes courage for brands to put their activities out under the public eye, and Stanley/Stella has been making great efforts to help improve the working conditions in this specific factory.

Everyone on board
Unlike what the article in The Guardian suggests, FWF does not certify brands or factories. That’s not realistic at this stage. FWF brands are investing in trying to make a concrete, lasting difference in the lives of garment workers. They act and achieve results. Even brands like Stanley/ Stella that are very active in reducing risks in their supply chain and are highly rated in their last Brand Performance Check, cannot guarantee that their supply chain is 100% fair. They cannot resolve the issues on their own. We need all brands on board.

And not just the brands either, but everyone else. The garment industry is complex, global, fragmented and rarely transparent. In most cases, you can only do so much before it comes down to a need for systemic change in the industry. Therefore we also need governments, NGOs, factories, garment workers, trade unions, and consumers to contribute their strengths.

Voice complaints
Stanley/Stella is keeping a close watch on the situation in the factory. In the past year, they have been working with FWF to implement an anti-harassment committee there, which gives workers an opportunity to voice their complaints and resolve issues internally.
At FWF, we strongly believe that garment companies must assume responsibility and work together with factories on improving conditions. This is an essential step towards lasting change and fairer conditions for the people who make our clothes.


country: bangladesh
Labour standards:

Share this on

FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmailCopy link