Blog: Leonie BarrieUN sets new Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action

Leonie Barrie | 18 December 2018

43 leading fashion brands, retailers and suppliers – including Adidas, Burberry, Gap Inc, H&M Group, Inditex, Kering, Levi Strauss & Co, and PVH Corp – are backing the UN’s new Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action with an initial goal of reducing aggregate greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030.

However, major clothing and footwear companies have also been criticised for failing to tackle the exploitation of workers in their supply chains, according to a new benchmark report that measures efforts to address forced labour.

And British apparel brands and retailers including Asos, Boohoo and Missguided have spoken of the challenges they face in trying to become more sustainable, including the lack of availability of recycled fibres they can integrate into their collections.

But Japan's Fast Retailing has published a list of the core fabric mills used by its Uniqlo casual clothing brand in a bid to boost transparency and sustainability efforts across its supply chain.

While friction over the ban of used clothing exports from the US to East Africa seems to have come to an end, some fundamental issues still remain, according to an analysis published on just-style. It throws up complex economic, social, legal and political factors linked with the trade in second-hand clothes – and questions the effectiveness of preference programmes such as AGOA as a tool for economic development.

And with just a few words from President Trump's twitter feed, global markets start falling. Given his love for the Christmas season, his love for Brexit, his love for figgy pudding, it's not surprising that he reached for a Beatles song to express his views on trade when he grabbed "I Am The Walrus," writes Rick Helfenbein, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA).

Sourcing decision making depends on a whole range of cost and non-cost factors, with different regions having different skills in providing garments. We offer advice on how to build your own Balanced Scorecard, for your own business circumstances, and your own product categories.

Garment production in as many as 50 factories in Bangladesh has been suspended as workers embark on a strike over wages.

And the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety has released its fifth and final annual report on factory safety improvements during its tenure – claiming a 93% remediation rate across factories affiliated with the programme and close to 1.6m workers trained to protect themselves in case of a fire emergency.

But the Bangladesh Accord continues to hang in the balance after the country’s government was granted a further delay on a decision regarding the agreement's future.

And the EU and Jordan are to extend and widen the trade scheme that makes it easier for Jordanian companies employing Syrian refugees to export products such as clothing to the EU.

Meanwhile in other news, the latest third-quarter filings from US apparel and footwear brands and retailers continue to come in; retailer Superdry is to shake up its supply chain as H1 profits plunge; and the EU-Japan trade agreement is set to come into force in February 2019.

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