To reduce their negative impact on labour and environment a broad coalition has signed the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile.
A broad coalition of partners has signed the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile. They include industry associations, trade unions, NGOs, and the National Government of the Netherlands.
The businesses and organisations that sign the agreement commit themselves to fighting discrimination, child labour and forced labour. They also undertake to support a living wage, health and safety standards for workers, and the right of independent trade unions to negotiate. In addition, they will do everything in their power to reduce the negative impact of their activities on the environment, to prevent animal abuse, to reduce the amount of water, energy and chemicals that they use, and to produce less chemical waste and waste water.
Transparency is a critical factor when it comes to identifying risks and working together to make improvements. One of the first steps is to share their production sites, an aggregated list of which has been made available. Under the terms of the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile, an Assessment System has been developed to guide businesses through the due diligence process. The system is mandatory for the businesses that have signed the agreement.
The aim is for at least 50% of the Dutch garment and textile sector to support the agreement by 2018, and 80% by 2020.
Companies that sign the Agreement must invest some capacity and funds to carry out due diligence method. In return they are supported with:
-The due diligence tool
- A proper risk analysis
- Various workshops, training programs and factsheets;
Evidence of success
A great deal has been achieved since the Agreement was signed in 2016. The number of participating brands has risen to 92, representing nearly half of the Dutch garment and textile market. Companies deliver information to the secretariat, including:
-Due diligence questionnaire
-List of suppliers (production locations)
-List of raw materials used for production
The overall impact is annually published in a fact sheet.
Transparency is a critical factor when it comes to identifying risks and working together to make improvements. One of the first steps was for the participating companies to share their production sites, an aggregated list of which has been made available. They also agreed on the project method.
Potential for learning or transfer
A National Agreement on Sustainable Textile and Garment is a voluntary and relatively easy to implement measure by the industry to enhance transparency about material use , environmental impact and labour conditions on remote production locations. Furthermore it introduces a commonly accepted and embedded method for due diligence. Companies share responsibility and feel moral obligation to sign this agreement. It proves to be a powerful tool for branche organizations to raise awareness and commitment among their member-companies. Thus branche organizations and public authorities can learn from this best practice.
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