European deal on textile industry sustainability

05 Jul '16
2 min read

The Foreign Trade Association (FTA), the leading business association of European and international commerce promoting the values of international trade and sustainable supply chains, signed the Statement of Support for the Dutch Garment and Textiles agreement on Monday.

Simultaneously, 55 companies signed the Agreement on Sustainable Garment and Textile, including over 20 participants of FTA's Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), teh FTA said in a press release.

With the signing of the Statement of Support, FTA commits to endorsing the goals and the activities that the parties to the agreement wish to pursue, by continuing to support members through its Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) and Business Environmental Performance Initiative (BEPI) towards improving working conditions and environmental performance in factories and farms worldwide.

Under the agreement, a broad coalition of industry organisations including VGT, Modint and Inretail, trade unions FNV and CNV, the Dutch government and NGOs - Solidaridad, UNICEF Nederland, India Committee of the Netherlands, the Dutch Stop Child Labour Coalition and Four Paws Netherlands – will work together on improving both working and environmental conditions in the garment and textile supply chain in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Turkey.

The priority areas of focus are protection from discrimination, protection from child labour, protection from forced labour and meaningful dialogue with independent employee representatives, the release said.

The agreement will also focus on achieving a living wage, safe conditions and a healthier environment for employees, reducing adverse environmental impact by saving on raw materials and creating a circular economy, reducing the amount of water, energy and chemicals used; reducing chemical waste and waste water and prevention of animal suffering.

“The agreement is an important example of how multisector collaboration between business and stakeholders can lead to even more effective and committed improvements in global supply chains. However, while FTA welcomes such national projects, we believe that these initiatives should not lose sight of the broader EU goal of creating a global approach that provides a common framework and avoids duplication of standards and fragmentation,” FTA Director General Christian Ewert said. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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