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ILO & H&M ink pact on sustainable garment supply chains
Sep '14
One of the biggest global garment retailer and Sweden-based H&M and International Labour Organization (ILO) inked a one-of-its-kind collaboration, which will promote sustainable global supply chains in the apparel sector.

Under the terms of the agreement, both will jointly work on industrial relations and wages, training and skills development in factories from which H&M sources, as well as strengthening employers’ and workers’ organizations in the worldwide clothing industry.

The cooperation between the ILO and H&M dates back to 2001, when H&M joined the ILO Better Factories programme in Cambodia. In 2013, the cooperation was expanded to specifically address industrial relations and wages in the country, including actions at the governance level.

Another collaboration started in 2013 with a training and skills development project in Bangladesh, which aimed to improve quality of work and productivity in factories and enable workers to document and have their skills formally recognized.

The new agreement entails a more comprehensive and strategic partnership which will promote a wide range of activities at the global, national and enterprise level in a larger number of countries, until the end of 2018.

The partnership is intended to establish a positive and innovative model for other brands and create a global alliance to promote the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda in the supply chain of the global garment industry.

“Issues in the garment industry are systemic and require action that helps develop effective industrial relations. That is why there is an urgent need to establish strategic collaborations with companies that have experience in these fields, such as H&M,” says ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

“We see the cooperation as a great opportunity to further strengthen our work towards the establishment of well-functioning industrial relations. ILO is the perfect partner for addressing issues such as wages and training and skills development,” says Karl-Johan Persson, CEO at H&M.

H&M operates 3,300 stores in 54 markets and has more than 116,000 employees. It works with around 900 suppliers representing 1,900 factories that produce for H&M. H&M has launched a roadmap for a fair living wage. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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