Following the announcement of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Fashioning Accountability and Building Real Institutional Change (FABRIC) Act, Just Style revealed the three ways it could benefit the wider sector. It is designed to reinvigorate the US garment industry and strengthen workers’ rights and wages and Gillibrand believes it’s time for the US, which was once home to a booming apparel manufacturing industry, to re-examine how the industry has evolved and change how it treats workers. 

Across the pond, fashion businesses are being told to prepare for the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act. Next year, Germany plans to introduce a legal requirement for large businesses operating in the country to manage social and environmental (ESG) issues in their supply chains. It will include fines of up to 2% of global turnover for non-compliance, so the German Government appears to be taking ESG seriously.  

Gender-based violence is known to be a long-standing problem within the global apparel industry. Julia Bakutis, from H&M Group who has joined a call to brands from labour groups supporting Indian garment workers pushing for the elimination of gender-based violence in supply chains told Just Style: “Gender-based violence is one of the most notable human rights violations in society and we want to do our utmost to contribute to systemic and positive change in the industry.” Let’s hope the newly announced Dindigul Agreement to Eliminate Gender-Based Violence and Harassment, a set of accords that jointly commit all parties to work together to eradicate gender-based violence and all forms of discrimination, will help.  

The positive news continues as Cambodia is making headway on being able to give apparel workers’ social protection. Current challenges, which are said to be more critical for female contract workers, include the lack of access to information about social protection schemes and benefits. Oxfam and the Laudes Foundation have joined forces with the Royal Government of Cambodia to strengthen inclusive social protection for workers in the country’s apparel sector with the ‘Inclusive National Social Protection Initiatives that Response to the Needs of Apparel Industry Employees’ (INSPIRE) project.  

Audit and standard fatigue are ongoing issues within the apparel sector due to there being a large number of proprietary standards in play. The Standard Convergence Initiative (SCI) aims to tackle the problem by having third-party and brand/retailer proprietary standards align across key areas, streamlining the process, which is called ‘symphonisation’ and it is something we expect to hear more about in the coming months.  

In the UK, the news is currently being dominated by the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, so Just Style will be taking a short break on 2-3 June to join the Royal festivities and will be back to business as usual on Monday 6 June.  

Three reasons why the US apparel industry needs the FABRIC Act 

The three campaign organisations that helped to develop the FABRIC Act reveal why the US garment manufacturing sector urgently needs this new legislation. 

How fashion businesses can prepare for German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act  

Guest author Jessica McGoverne, outlines how fashion brands and retailers can ready themselves for the incoming German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act. 

H&M Group urges collaborative action on gender-based violence 

H&M Group has joined a call to brands from labour groups supporting Indian garment workers pushing for the elimination of gender-based violence in supply chains. 

Project to boost social protection for Cambodia garment workers 

Oxfam and the Laudes Foundation are collaborating with four NGO and trade unions on a new project aimed at strengthening inclusive social protection for apparel workers in Cambodia. 

Why apparel brands should align standards to avoid audit fatigue 

The first status report of an initiative launched to tackle audit and standard fatigue in the apparel sector says brands and retailers should consider dropping their proprietary standards in favour of more streamlined third-party standards. 

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