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BERLIN – More than 100 global organisations have published detailed roadmaps outlining how they will increase sustainability along the global textile value chain. Puma, Adidas, H&M, Hugo Boss, and Primark are among signatories in an initiative which requires members to submit and publicly list ambitious social and environmental targets.

All are among 116 members of the German-based Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, a multi-stakeholder partnership made up of companies, associations, non-governmental organisations, trade unions, standards organisations and the Federal German Government. The stakeholders formed the Partnership in 2014 with the aim of making improvements along the entire textile supply chain, and set ambitious social and environmental targets.

For the first time members of the partnership have now revealed concrete action plans intended to ensure humane working conditions, greater environmental protection and fair wages in their own companies and in their suppliers’ production facilities.

“This can be considered a major step forward, as it means that many members agree on revealing even sensible information for the first time,” said a note from the Partnership. “116 members have submitted their roadmaps for 2018, half of which have been reviewed by external experts regarding their target setting and concrete action steps. From today on these roadmaps are publicly available.

“The Textile Partnership aims at substantial improvements along the global textile supply chain. Therefore the actions of the members focus on uniform, specified targets. For example, all members have to take action to fight child labour. Furthermore, many members also set themselves additional, individual targets. The planned action steps – around 1,300 in total – are related to issues such as the risk management and the handling of complaints, the avoidance of health-threatening chemicals, the sustainable use of water resources or the implementation of living wages.

“In the field of hazardous chemicals this approach led to a gradual exclusion of 160 substances from the production line. Also, the members jointly aim to increase their use of sustainable and organic cotton to 35 per cent by 2020. All members using cotton have to contribute to this aim.”

The members will document target achievement levels in progress reports, which the Textile Partnership will publish from 2019 onwards. The roadmaps and progress reports are also examined by independent external experts.

Said ‘Jürgen Janssen, head of the partnership secretariat: “The mandatory processes and higher levels of transparency are cornerstones for building the credibility of the Partnership. Along with constructive, fair and open dealings with one another, they lay a solid foundation for making supply chains fundamentally more sustainable. We build on ambitious progress, on cooperation and on the exchange of knowledge and experience – in the future, we will also liaise more and more with our strategic partners in Europe and across the world.”

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