Our work and the Sustainable Development Goals

Were your clothes made in an ethical way? It’s a simple question that can be difficult to answer. At Fair Wear, we’re tackling this complex problem in order to improve the lives and working conditions of the people who make our clothes. In doing so, we are also contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We have 10 years left to achieve the SDGs set by the United Nations. Fair Wear’s mission is to see a world where the garment industry supports workers in realising their rights to safe, dignified, properly paid employment.Our work strongly aims to contribute to SDG 8: to achieve decent work for all and improve living standards. Especially in the garment sector, the impact of contributing to SDG 8 will have a positive influence on other, interconnected SDGs.

A partnership towards a better world

Our alignment with the SDGs is bolstered by our new collaboration with EarthToday, a for-purpose venture that seeks to raise awareness about the state of our planet and accelerate its protection. Consumers visit EarthToday.com to engage in thought-provoking content curated by individuals, organisations, charities and brands sharing their knowledge on the social and environmental issues facing our planet. Each piece of content must link to one or some of the 17 SDGs.

Showcasing how our work contributes to the SDGs is even more crucial given the current COVID-19 crisis, which has put the lives of millions of garment workers around the world at stake. Many clothing brands cancelled and postponed orders from their suppliers, exposing how vulnerable workers are in this fragmented system. Cancellations have led to factories closing and workers being turned away without an income. Conversely, some factories continued operating without enhancing hygiene measures, putting workers’ health at risk. Our COVID-19 Dossier consists of guidance and information to help mitigate the pandemic’s impact on the garment sector. It’s not only about creating decent work, but about fighting poverty (SDG 1), zero hunger (SDG 2) and advocating for safe working conditions to ensure wellbeing (SDG 3).

Nearly three-quarters of garment workers around the world are women. It’s an uncomfortable truth that many of them face discrimination, harassment and violence in the workplace. Pushing for gender equality across the supply chain is a central component of our work at Fair Wear. We therefore also see a strong link to SDG 5, gender equality, in our work. Empowering women to have safe and decent employment also trickles down to the opportunities for their families. If garment workers can earn a living wage, they are more likely to afford to send their kids to school (SDG 4).

We are excited that our partnership with EarthToday.com will expand our reach to a much wider, conscious audience. We are hopeful that with our message we can open new eyes to the importance of Fair Wear’s work in helping achieve the SDGs. Together, we can make fashion fair for everyone.

Check out what we’re publishing and follow our profile on EarthToday here.

Join our movement

Would you like to join our movement and tackle the SDGs together with Fair Wear? We are hosting an interactive workshop on 25 September where you can help solve a case to produce a T-shirt in a fair way. Explore the role you can play as either a brand, factory owner, trade union member or a government representative to improve the lives of the people who make our clothes. Secure your spot for this workshop (in Dutch).