High turnout in Istanbul at Fair Wear stakeholder seminar

Over 80 stakeholders related to the Turkish garment industry joined the FWF seminar in Istanbul on Friday. The central theme: how to build sustainable garment supply chains.

Representatives from clothing brands, factories, trade unions, business- and manufacturer associations gathered in Istanbul. The attendees discussed the importance of partnerships between brands and their suppliers and better communication between workers and management on the factory floor.
‘The interest for the seminar was overwhelming’, says Ruth Vermeulen, responsible for Turkey within FWF. ‘For Turkey it was unique to have all these parties gathered in one room to discuss such a sensitive issue as social dialogue and creating win-win situations.’

Training programmes

The participants exchanged concrete ideas and tools on how to work together on the improvement of labour conditions. Ruth Vermeulen guided them through FWF’s training programme, Brand Performance Checks, the Living Wage Portal and the Factory Guide. Inditex and IndustriALL Global Union were interviewed on their pilot training program in Turkey, to learn from each other’s finding. Ruth: ‘Suppliers welcomed the focus on building partnerships. They were pleased to hear that brands have a role to play too.’

The seminar was part of an international mission, organised by Fair Wear Foundation and supported by Turkish stakeholders, IndustriALL Global Union, Dutch trade association Modint, and Dutch trade union FNV. Members of the mission visited several Turkish garment factories and met with interesting stakeholders during their trip.

Country Study

During the mission, Anita Normark, chair of FWF’s board, handed out the first copy of the updated Turkish country study to the Consul of the Netherlands. Turkey, as a major production location for member brands, is one of FWF’s four priority countries. The garment industry is the country’s second largest industry. The country study provides a clear picture of labour law, labour conditions and industrial relations within the textile/garment industry in Turkey.

You can read the Turkish Country Study 2015 here.