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German-Dutch partnership for sustainable textiles

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2018-01-31 11:00:00 – Uk

The German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile announces signing a cooperation agreement supporting companies in implementing due diligence by harmonising sustainability requirements. The cooperation will increase the influence on labour rights and the environment in producing countries.

The German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is a multi-actor partnership made up of companies, unions, non-governmental organisations, and standards organisations, as well as the Federal Government.

Member organisations will work together on projects to improve working conditions in high-risk areas, facilitate the sharing of industry knowledge and encourage co-operation between producers, governments, trade unions and NGOs.

The Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile Sector is a new instrument to work on the transition to sustainable, responsible international production and supply chains. The association was announced at the OECD forum in Paris demonstrating the importance of the diligence approach of the United Nations and the OECD for both initiatives.

Dr Juergen Janssen, head of the secretariat of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles said that with the challenges in global textile supply chains in mind, the cooperation between Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile and the Textiles Partnership is the proper approach in order to achieve permanent systemic change. On the way to joint European and international action, the alignment of sustainability requirements and tools is an important milestone.

The cooperation of the two existing national multi-stakeholder initiatives in the textile sector operating on the European market is an important step towards strengthening our impact. It leads us on the path to create, at least on the European level, a level playing field. This is an important aspect in making sure that Due Diligence is not an issue of competition, but rather a common denominator, said Pierre Hupperts, chairman of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile.

Major European textile companies have pressed for alignment of national textile initiatives within the EU. The Dutch and German agreement will contribute to clear guidance for business and better results for the working conditions and lives of millions of people in the garment industry, according to Sigrid Kaag, Dutch minister of foreign tradeand development cooperation.

Aleix Busquets Gonzalez, global head of external stakeholder engagement at C&A said that C&A as a member of both initiatives, warmly welcomes the cooperation between them. We believe that this partnership will create further 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. They are happy to see that both initiatives have made strong commitment towards this new partnership.

Dr Bernhard Felmberg, German federal ministry on economic cooperation and development and moderator of the steering committee of the Textiles Partnership said that this cooperation contributes to implement due diligence that is in line with the OECD guidelines throughout the EU market. It is a continuation upon the trustful collaboration between the German and the Dutch governments that exist for years.

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