Two sustainable textile initiatives have announced a strategic cooperation that will contribute to better working conditions and increased environmental protection across global textile supply chains.
In an announcement today (19 February), the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, which is backed by the Federal Government, said they have signed a letter of intent expressing their ambition to align requirements, tools, and verification systems. In addition, joint member companies can make use of joint activities and shared information in the future.
“Working together with one of the leading global sustainability initiatives in the garment sector is an important step for the Textiles Partnership,” says Juergen Janssen, head of the secretariat of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles. “The strategic cooperation between our organisations will contribute to the harmonisation of sustainability requirements for our member companies and create a level playing field across national borders.”
Over the next four years, the SAC and the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles will collaborate based on the due diligence approach as defined by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and specified by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for the garment sector. Members of the SAC and the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles will develop and test joint verification and reporting systems and explore opportunities for a joint methodology to measure impact.
“We strongly believe that national and global initiatives are natural partners to face the immense sustainability challenges ahead,” adds SAC vice president of transparency Baptiste Carrière-Pradal. “With this strategic collaboration, we are enhancing harmonisation between our initiatives, taking a necessary step towards a leaner industry with more efficient practices and, ultimately, creating greater impact throughout the supply chains.”
The strategic cooperation will provide companies in Europe with tools and coherent guidance to successfully implement environmental and social sustainability practices along their supply chains. Members of both initiatives will benefit from reduced administrative reporting efforts.
C&A is a member of both initiatives, and Jeffrey Hogue, C&A global chief sustainability officer and board director of the C&A Foundation, notes: “We believe that this cooperation will create synergies for member companies in implementing supply chain due diligence. It is important that fashion brands and retailers collaborate to address industry-wide sustainability issues together. We are happy to see that both initiatives have made a strong commitment towards this new cooperation.”
Earlier this month, the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles teamed up with the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textiles to align their sustainability requirements in a bid to help companies increase their impact on labour rights and the environment in producer countries.