2016 was a pivotal year in the movement to improve working conditions in the global garment sector; the debate, although not at the point of consensus, has seen a shift towards progressive action and 2016 saw the creation of many new multi-national initiatives. In the Netherlands, the Dutch government created the Textile Covenant, through collaboration with trade organisations and NGOs. Another crucial global instrument developed during 2016 is the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector, which was launched in early 2017.
Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) concluded 2016 by entering into a Strategic Partnership agreement with the Dutch Government and CNV Mondiaal and FNV Internationaal, two Dutch trade unions. The aim of the Partnership is to work with other initiatives in the garment and textile sector to increase impact and optimise the use of resources when addressing labour rights violations in global garment supply chains. The Strategic Partnership can develop replicable and sustainable management systems for not only the brands and the factories that are working with FWF but also for the global garment industry as a whole.
In 2016, nine new companies joined FWF, bringing the number of members to 81. FWF’s member companies represent 120 brands, based in 10 European countries. Their products are sold in over 20,000 retail outlets in more than 80 countries around the world. In 2016, FWF focused on eleven production countries: Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, India, Indonesia, Macedonia, Myanmar, Romania, Tunisia, Turkey and Vietnam
As part of the FWF stakeholder engagement activities, FWF participated in conferences and forums held by the EU, OECD, UN and ILO. FWF also organised several meetings and conferences, including the FWF Annual Conference which had the theme: Redesigning the Industry, and brought together more than 120 members, stakeholders and staff.
In combining a very practical approach with innovative ways in improving labour conditions in the garment sector, FWF will continue to play a vital role of instigating change in this industry.Download