Fair Wear Foundation and ‘Textilbündnis’ press for living wages

Victoria Gallagher | 1st November 2018

BERLIN – Fair Wear Foundation and the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (‘Textilbündnis’) have agreed to collaborate to promote the payment of living wages and fair working conditions in the global garment industry. Both initiatives have signed a new agreement, which is the latest of several initiatives to be pressing for living wages in garment hubs.

Textilbündnis and FWF will work together on access to remedy and grievance mechanisms and promoting the payment of living wages. The influence of Textilbündnis’ could be significant here, given it has the weight of the German Government behind it and that Germany is Europe’s leading importer of garments and textiles from Asia.. Both initiatives share the view that solving the existing challenges in the sector “requires a systematic approach and the cooperation of all relevant stakeholders.” A simlar approach is being taken by the ACT initiative of Industriall Global Union and it will be interesting to see how the work of these organisations dovetails.

Textilbündnis and FWF say they will conduct joint trainings on responsible business and purchasing practices for garment companies and will offer supplier trainings in productions countries. Members of both initiatives will benefit from mutual exchange of knowledge and coordination of supporting activities.

Jürgen Janssen, head of the Textiles Partnership Secretariat said he hopes to “achieve greater leverage” by cooperating with Fair Wear Foundation. FWF director Alexander Kohnstamm added: “Transforming working conditions for people in the garment industry is an ambitious goal, and we can’t achieve it alone. By combining our efforts, we can push for unified change.”

The German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development initiated the Textilbündnis in 2014. The partnership consists of companies, business associations, NGOs, trade unions, standards organisations and the Federal German Government. Together, the Partnership members strive to achieve social, ecological and economic improvements in garment supply chains.

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