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Fair Wear and STTI state they share a common vision of fostering a garment and textile industry where brands actively engage with stakeholders from manufacturing countries to enhance working conditions.

Key to this vision is the establishment of equitable partnerships between brands and their suppliers, who possess valuable knowledge and practical insights crucial for brands’ efforts in human rights due diligence (HRDD) and responsible purchasing practices.

The organisations highlight that such practices are essential to help suppliers implement improved working conditions, such as the reduction of excessive overtime hours through collaborative production planning.

International Apparel Federation secretary general and co-initiator of STTI Matthijs Crietee comments: “The manufacturers gathered in STTI seek collaboration with brands and retailers to push real improvements in purchasing practices.

“The MoU with Fair Wear opens up the opportunity to establish a stronger link with the Fair Wear member brands. Beyond that, with Fair Wear’s expertise on human rights due diligence, the collaboration with STTI takes on a bigger dimension, helping both organisations move the needle on a global infrastructure that can help drive more responsible purchasing practices.”

STTI notes it has already provided important recommendations from its white paper on the Definition and Application of Commercial Compliance to the Common Framework of Responsible Purchasing Practices (CFRPP) in September 2021.

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The CFRPP consists of principles promoting responsible behaviour and it was developed by a group of organisations, including the IAF and Better Buying Institute.

Fair Wear associate director Margreet Vrieling adds: “Equal partnerships between brands and suppliers are crucial in realising better working conditions in the garment and textile industry. Strengthening our collaboration with STTI is essential to define further how such partnerships work in practice, especially how suppliers can help brands adapt their sourcing practices.”

EU MEPs voted on new rules to integrate human rights and environmental impact into companies’ governance under the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) proposal back in April.

The corporate due diligence law will require companies to identify, and where necessary prevent, end or mitigate the negative impact of their activities, including that of their business partners, on human rights and the environment. This includes child labour, slavery, labour exploitation, pollution, environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.