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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.
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.
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.