The garment industry is complex, and there are countless people involved in making any given article of clothing. It can be difficult to unravel just how the industry (and so-called ‘garment supply chains’) work. Before reporting on industry issues, it’s important to understand the nuance behind these problems. We’re here to help you set the record straight.
+31 (0)20 408 4255
Fair Wear logo
If you would like to use the Fair Wear logo, you can download it here. Please use the following tagline alongside the logo: ‘Fair Wear works to improve labour conditions for garment workers. Together with its partners, Fair Wear takes practical steps and tests new solutions to find a better, fairer way to make clothes.’
About Fair Wear Foundation
We are Fair Wear Foundation. Together with garment brands and other industry players, we work on better labour conditions for the people who make our clothes. The men and women working in clothing factories often are employed under dangerous and abusive conditions for poverty wages. That is why we’re pushing towards a new normal, where workers feel safe and respected and receive a salary that is enough to provide for their families. Fair Wear brands show that there is a better way to make clothes, a way that puts the people who make them front and centre. We’re determined to make this the new normal.
Download our brochure here.
Facts & figures
- We were founded in in 1999 when FNV, a Dutch trade union, and the Clean Clothes Campaign, an advocacy group for garment workers, got together with the goal of improving labour conditions in the garment industry.
- We are a multistakeholder organisation. Our board is 50% business associations and 50% trade unions and NGOs. We engage these partners at every level, from boardroom decisions to factory audits and training.
- We work with over 130 member brands (for the most updated number, click here) to improve workers’ lives in garment supply chains.
- We have over 75 employees across 13 countries
- We conduct hundreds of factory audits per year
- Annually, we conduct Brand Performance Checks among all our member companies
- We have complaints helplines for workers in 11 garment producing countries. Workers use these phonelines to safely voice their concerns and complaints, which we then investigate and remediate.
- We have developed innovative tools like the Labour Minute Calculator to help brands and factories push for higher workers’ wages.
- Fair Wear members really change the way they do business, to make things fairer for everyone across the supply chain.
- Fair Wear members are unusually open about the conditions and complaints received in the factories that produce their garments, and they share this information publicly. This bold measure of accountability is an important step towards a fairer fashion industry.
- We have created three training modules to raise awareness on workers’ rights on the factory floor.
- We have trained more than 5,000 factory workers on their labour rights
Watch our videos on our YouTube channel.
Subscribe to our press list
To receive press releases from Fair Wear, e-mail your name, organisation, and contact details to [email protected] with the words ‘Add to Press List’ in the subject line.
‘Covid-19 pandemic is a human rights crisis’ (31 March 2020)
Covid-19: Protecting garment workers has become even more important (23 March 2020)
PeopleFriendlyFashion Pop Up roept op tot bewust koopgedrag (in Dutch, 28 November 2019)
ILO takes historic step against violence in the workplace (21 June 2019)
Fair Wear spokespersons
- Alexander Kohnstamm: Alexander is the executive director of Fair Wear. Alexander can speak broadly on the challenges and solutions in the garment industry and the role each party plays in creating a fairer industry. He’s experienced in both radio and television interviews.
- Anne van Lakerveld: Anne is Fair Wear’s living wage expert. She can help you figure out why garment workers are still not being paid enough and what Fair Wear and its members are doing to change that for the better.
- Biljana Solakovska-Mihajlovksa: Biljana is Fair Wear’s regional coordinator for Eastern Europe. She coordinates all Fair Wear activities and country teams in three production countries.She’s happy to answer any questions you have about the Eastern European garment industry.
- Koen Oosterom: Koen is Fair Wear’s country manager for Myanmar and Bangladesh. Koen can provide you with an interesting package of topical research results combined with personal stories from the factory floors. He is also one of the founders of the Living Wage Calculator.
- Margreet Vrieling: Margreet is one of Fair Wear’s associate directors who joined the organisation in 2010 and has substantial knowledge of and experience in the garment industry. As a former trade union representative at the ILO, she knows the ILO Conventions like the back of her hand and she’d be happy to share that with you. Margreet’s focal area is the remediation of worker complaints
- Suhasini Singh: Suhasini is Fair Wear’s country manager for India. She is very experienced in conflict resolution and in partnering with relevant stakeholders to make a bigger impact.She can tell you many interesting facts about what the garment industry in India looks like.
For more questions about Fair Wear, please read our FAQ.
- In this interview in Dutch newspaper Trouw, director Alexander Kohnstamm elaborates in whether garment brands should stay in Myanmar after the coupe (3 May 2021)
- In this New Business Radio podcast director Alexander Kohnstamm and workwear brand CEO Shirley Schijvens talk for over an hour about how they are jointly working on better labour conditions (in Dutch). (10 February, 2021)
- We were pleased that Forbes Magazine very well covered the story of Fair Wear. (27 November, 2020)
- Alexander Kohnstamm and Schöffel’s CEO Peter Schöffel were interviewed by German business newspaper Handelsblatt that resulted in a positive long-read. (5 August 2020)
- Dutch magazine Vrij Nederland interviewed Living Wage Coordinator Anne van Lakerveld about how our love for sales perpetuates injustice in the fashion industry. (4 July 2020)
- Here you can find the piece from daily Dutch financial newspaper het Financieele Dagblad covering working conditions in India, based on an interview with country manager Suhasini Singh and two factory managers. (8 June 2020)
- Here you can read the interview that popular Dutch news website NU.nl conducted with Koen Oosterom about how Covid-19 magnifies the problems in the garment industry, with a focus on wages. (30 May 2020)
- The Dutch NOS shared Fair Wear’s call for solidarity during the Covid-19 crisis (11 April 2020)
- Read the interview that Dutch magazine ViceVersa had with director Alexander Kohnstamm about the impact of Covid-19 in this article (9 April 2020)
- The German Süddeutsche Zeitung covered Fair Wear’s Covid-19 dossier here (8 April 2020)
- Leading German news website and magazine Der Spiegel wrote a story about how Bangladeshi garment workers face a double threat: starvation and the risk of infection, for which Alexander Kohnstamm was interviewed. (11 May 2020)
- The New York Times interviewed Fair Wear’s Koen Oosterom on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on garment workers worldwide (31 March 2020)
- How Fair Wear deals with the pandemic? Director Alexander Kohnstamm told the story to Fibre2Fashion (Page 84- 90) (20 April, 2021)
- Schöffel CEO Peter Schöffel and Fair Wear director Alexander Kohnstamm look back and forward on 10 years of working together. Read more on ispo.com, Fashion Network and Sport Fachhandel (8 February, 2021).
- In Sport Fachhandel Press Officer Lotte Schuurman talks about the impact of Covid-19 on the garment industry. (14 August 2020)
- One of our newest members Equip (Rab and Lowe Alpine) generated good media attention in outdoor and industry media such as this in InsideOutdoor. (5 June 2020)
- Here on the website of just-style you can read more about the new consortium, STITCH, and how the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports it. (3 June 2020)
- Textile Network published a long read on working on higher wages, written by Fair Wear’s Country Manager for Bangladesh, Koen Oosterom. (9 April 2020)
- Fibre2Fashion shares Fair Wear’s statement on Covid-19 in the garment industry on its website (6 April 2020) The Dutch site Fashion United promotes the Covid-19 dossier on its website (1 April 2020)
- The German TextilWirtschaft writes about Fair Wear’s Covid-19 dossier in this article on their website (8 April 2020)
- The German Sport Fachhandel shared Fair Wear’s press release on its website (8 April 2020)