Swedish clothing brands, NGOs, and other stakeholders were welcomed by Fair Wear Foundation and host Acne Studios on 12 November 2015, for a productive discussion on the challenges faced by all actors when it comes to improving working conditions at garment factories.
During the meeting participants shared their experiences and knowledge. Particularly the discussion on structural improvements for reducing overtime provided insight into root causes of overtime and, more importantly, possible solutions.
Through annual stakeholder meetings, Fair Wear Foundation seeks to support cooperation between all actors, and this year’s Swedish meeting showed the benefits of the approach. “It really provides necessary shades to all the black and white that is so easy to fall into,” according to an NGO representative.
All actors were able to openly discuss and exchange information on the main challenges that they face, and how they go about them. The most positive note was the interaction between brands and stakeholders, and the understanding this created about their respective positions.
For example, NGOs have more insight into the difficulties experienced by brands when implementing changes to their complex supply chains. Meanwhile, brands are better aware of the challenging position of trade unions as they negotiate for better working conditions.