Partnership Members got together at the Working Meeting in Cologne

On the 11th and 12th of July about 160 Partnership members got together for a working meeting in the converted industrial building “Bauwerk” in Cologne Kalk. In eight different workshops, the members discussed the structural development and further content of the Textile Partnership.


In the group „Supply Chain Transparency” with approximately 50 participants, members presented their own case studies. The diverse possibilities in digital innovations were demonstrated in reports about block chain solutions as an information tool in the supply chain or in the idea of barcodes, which provides immediately details about the production country on your smartphone.

“Living Wages” as an annual theme of 2018 was presented in an own Workshop. A specialist presentation showed how challenges in implementing living wages could be handled. Further, the participants discussed how the Textile Partnership could strengthen their cooperation with other initiatives to use synergies more effectively.

In the workshop “Sustainable man-made Fibres”, more than 40 participants concentrated on topics like regenerated fibres, synthetic chemical fibres and biobased plastics. Thereby they identified challenges of using socially and environmentally sustainable chemical fibres. In the “Chemicals” workshop, the focus was on relevant tools and practical objective of the deeper supply chain.

For further stronger consideration of “Preventing Corruption” as a topic in the Textile Partnership, the group of experts made a proposal how to integrate it in the Partnerships question grid. Benchmarking was the focus of the discussion in the “Impact Assessment” workshop. The participants disputed possibilities to measure the impact in the production countries. A concrete proposal for topics regarding “Living Wages” and “Chemical and Environmental Management” should be elaborated this year.

The participants of the workshops “Internationalisation” and “Communication” discussed more structural questions, like the possibilities of a stronger international focus of the Textile Partnership and strategies of recruiting new Partnership member.




Partnership welcomes NABU as a new member

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and its members are pleased to welcome the Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. as a new member in the category non-governmental organizations.

The Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. (NABU) is a German environmental association which aims to improve nature protection in Germany and abroad, as for example the protection for rivers, forests and different species of animals. Uniting 660.000 members and sponsors, the NABU is one of the biggest associations in Germany.

Members of the Steering Committee support higher minimum wages in Bangladesh

Right before the next National Wage Board’s meeting in Bangladesh, members of the Steering Committee appealed to the Government in Bangladesh to support higher minimum wages in the Bangladeshi garment and textile sector. In a joint letter, they emphasized the importance of living wages, the respect for workers’ rights and the significance of freedom of […]

Exclusion of seven members from the Partnership

The steering commitee of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles decided yesterday to exclude seven members with immediate effect. They had not fulfilled their reporting obligations and had not submitted any roadmaps and progress reports, which are required in the review process. Some other members have left the Textiles Partnership since the beginning of the year, so the Textiles Partnership currently consists of 130 members. The common market coverage of the members remains almost untouched at 49.4%.

At the same time, the Textiles Partnership could welcome new members. For example, the steering committee has included Germany’s NABU (association for nature conversation) and the first associate member Alsico NV.

The steering committee regrets the leavings/exclusions and hopes to welcome these organizations as members again. As a learning organization, the partnership is evolving and is going to provide a platform for improvements in supply chains to all players in the textile industry. The publication of progress reports of 2017 and the roadmaps of 2018 is planned for August.

Thus, the following members have not been in the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles since the beginning of 2018:

AB Lindex

Brands TeamTex GmbH

Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel Deutschland e.V. (bevh)


Carson Company

Corporate Textiles Kolling GmbH

Cotonea – Gebr. Elmer & Zweifel GmbH & Co. KG

Ethnic Styles

Galatea Ziss – Atelier für Bekleidung

Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform gGmbH/GITI

Image Druck & Strick GmbH & Co. KG

Jako-o Möbel und Spielmittel für die junge Familie GmbH

Kleiderei Hamburg GmbH

Lillika Eden GmbH

Maas Naturwaren GmbH

MIP Europe GmbH

Natascha von Hirschhausen


Ortlieb Sportartikel GmbH

Oxfam Deutschland e.V.

Schweikardt-Moden GmbH

Textildruck Europa GmbH

The Fair Fashion Network

Vier Pfoten – Stiftung für Tierschutz

YKK Europe LTD

High-level Panel on Due Diligence in the EU Textile and Garment Sector

The panellists included Katarzyna Kuske (Policy Officer at DG GROW, Unit Tourism, Emerging and Creative Industries, EU Commission), Agnes Jongerius (Vice-Chair of the Committee on Employ-ment and Social Affairs of the European Parliament), Pascale Moreau (Public Affairs Manager, Sustainable Apparel Coalition), Aleix Gonzalez Busquets (Head of External Stakeholder Engage-ment, C&A) and Luc Triangle (Secretary General, IndustriALL Europe).

The German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile facilitate debate about opportunities for cooperation around the topic of due diligence in the garment sector at the EU level.

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (Textiles Partnership) and the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT) organised a panel debate on Monday, June 4th 2018 in Brussels at the margins of the European Development Days. The aim of the event was to discuss the potential for cooperation on the issue of due diligence in the garment sector at the EU level and debate possibilities for scaling up existing national efforts.

Dr. Jürgen Janssen, Head of the Textiles Partnership Secretariat, and Jef Wintermans, Coordinator of the AGT, introduced the approaches of the two initiatives and presented first results as well as lessons learned. In addition, they explained that their strategic cooperation aimed at stronger alignment based on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector. Afterwards, a high-level panel discussed how responsible business conduct and due diligence in the EU textile and garment sector can be promoted. In particular, the panel debated the need and potential for cooperation around the issue of due diligence at the EU level.

The panel agreed that scaling up the implementation of due diligence by EU textile and garment companies was crucial for achieving systemic and continuous improvements of environmental and working conditions in production countries. The panellists, however, had different opinions on how this should be achieved. While some called for binding due diligence requirements at the EU level, others advocated for stronger alignment of exiting national efforts and requested the EU Commission to provide the necessary support and coordination.

Other topics addressed in the discussion included EU trade policy as an instrument for enhancing compliance with labour and environmental standards, the role of governments in production countries and garment production in Eastern Europe and EU candidate states. Overall, the event facilitated a fruitful discussion among the participants, which included representatives of EU member state governments, the European Commission, the European Parliament, international brands, business associations, trade unions as well as NGOs.




At a Glance – The worldwide Commitment of our Members

Worldwide there are more than 60 million people working in the textile and clothing sector.

The members and cooperation partners of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles are highly committed to improve the social, ecological and economic conditions alongside the entire textile supply chain.

Our interactive world map provides you a detailed insight into this dedication. Beside information about every single initiative, you will find details about every relevant country.

About 40 initiatives of our members and the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) regarding the textile and garment sector are located in the respective country on our world map. The currently ongoing Partnership Initiatives, cooperatively planned and implemented by our members, are also visualised on the word map.

The initiators give an overview of their general project information and provide detailed information on the objectives and achievements of their engagement.

The interactive “Textile Partnership world map” ensures a detailed overview of the different fields of action in the global textile production. They involve measures like a sustainable environmental management in the cotton production countries as well as projects for the improvement of the social standards in sewing factories and spinning mills.

Read on here and learn more about the wide-ranging involvement of the different actor groups of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and about the different production countries in the textile and clothing industry.



Sustainable Apparel Coalition and German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles cooperate to align on Supply Chain Due Diligence

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles today announced a strategic cooperation that will contribute to better working conditions and increased environmental protection across global textile supply chains. Both parties have signed a letter of intent expressing their ambition to align requirements, tools, and verification systems. In addition, joint member companies can make use of joint activities and shared information in the future.

“Working together with one of the leading global sustainability initiatives in the garment sector is an important step for the Textiles Partnership,” Juergen Janssen, Head of the Secretariat of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, said. “The strategic cooperation between our organizations will contribute to the harmonization of sustainability requirements for our member companies and create a level play-ing field across national borders.”

Over the next four years, the SAC and the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles will collaborate based on the due diligence approach as defined by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and specified by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for the garment sector. Members of the SAC and the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles intent to further align verification and reporting systems and explore opportunities for a joint methodology to measure impact.

“We strongly believe that national and global initiatives are natural partners to face the immense sustainability challenges ahead,” Baptiste Carrière-Pradal, Sustainable Apparel Coalition Vice President of Transparency, said. “With this strategic collaboration, we are enhancing harmonization between our initiatives, taking a necessary step towards a leaner industry with more efficient practices and, ultimately, creating greater impact throughout the supply chains.”

This strategic cooperation will provide companies in Europe with tools and coherent guidance to successfully implement environmental and social sustainability practices along their supply chains. Another goal is that members of both initiatives can benefit from reduced administrative reporting ef-forts.

“We believe that this cooperation will create synergies for member companies in implementing supply chain due diligence,” C&A Global Chief Sustainability Officer and Board Director of the C&A Foundation Jeffrey Hogue said: “It is important that fashion brands and retailers collaborate to address industry-wide sustainability issues together. We are happy to see that both initiatives have made a strong com-mitment towards this new cooperation.”

Additional Quotes from Members:

H&M Germany Sustainability Manager Hendrik Heuermann: “We have been committed to joining forces in the textile industry for a long time on both the local and the global level. We see the strategic collaboration as a logical next step to pool resources and boost leverage for a more sustainable textile industry.”

Dr. Bernhard Felmberg from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, moderator of the Steering Committee of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, welcomes the cooperation: “The collaboration of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition will help anchor sustainability in textile supply chains and help companies to implement due diligence practically. This is indeed a big task, which calls for a broad international effort. I view this cooperation as groundbreaking. ”

Stefan Genth, Secretary General of the German Retail Federation (HDE) and member of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, emphasizes the bigger picture: “Not only joint members of both initiatives will benefit. This cooperation works towards a global level playing field. The now-accelerated internationalization of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is an important step in ensuring that companies do not face competitive disadvantages through their commitments towards more sustainability.”

About the Sustainable Apparel Coalition

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) is an industry-wide group of more than 200 leading apparel, footwear, and textile, brands, retailers, suppliers, service providers, trade associations, nonprof-its/NGOs, and academic institutions working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of products around the world. Through multi-stakeholder engagement, the SAC seeks to lead the industry toward a shared vision of sustainability built upon a common approach for measuring and evaluating apparel, footwear, and textile product sustainability performance that spotlights priorities for action and opportunities for technological innovation. The SAC was incorporated as a 501c(6) nonprofit organization and launched the groundbreaking Higg Index suite of tools in 2011. For more information, visit

About the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is a multi-actor partnership of companies, unions, non-governmental organizations, standards organizations as well as the Federal German Government. The ac-tors have united in 2014 with the aim to jointly work towards improvements alongside the entire textile supply chain. In order to achieve this, they agreed on ambitious social and environmental goals. The actors are pursuing these targets in practice by means of individual measures of members and joint Partnership initiatives in production countries. For more information, visit


Partnership for Sustainable Textiles

+49 228 4460-3560

Sustainable Apparel Coalition


As already communicated in the press release dated 24th of November 2017, the Partnership Steering Committee agreed at its 16th meeting on specific binding deadlines targets for all members. These deadlines, together with the recommended targets, form the requirements for the forthcoming Review Process.

Under these requirements, the Textiles Partnership will distinguish as of 2018 between

  • binding targets that must be pursued by all members by a specified point in time
  • recommended targets that should be pursued by all members, and
  • freely definable targets based on the content and structure of the indicator grid. These targets can largely be set by members as they see fit.

You can find an Overview of the agreed deadline and volume targets for 2018 to 2020 here.



You can download the full indicator grid, with separate versions for each of the seven Stakeholder Groups within the Textiles Partnership, below.

In the course of drawing up a Roadmap and taking part in the resulting Review Process, members answer selected questions on topics such as business practices and supply chain management, risk analysis, complaints mechanisms and communication within the company.

In the interests of the ongoing achievement of targets, concrete targets have been specified for 2018, 2019 and 2020, and individually tailored to the Stakeholder Groups. In this way, all members contribute to the shared vision of making the textile supply chain socially and environmentally sustainable.


Brands        Manufactures       Trade unions      Non-governmental organisations  

Standard organisations        Federal Government        Business associations   



Partnership for Sustainable Textiles enters a new phase in 2018: binding targets for all members and greater internationalisation

Decision in the Textiles Partnership: Implementation of Partnership Goals Starts in 2017

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is entering a new phase on the path towards better working conditions, more environmental protection, and fair wages in textile supply chains. Its ambitious targets are now underpinned by specific individual goals for all members in the period from 2018 to 2020. In addition, the Partnership will become more international and step up its cooperation with partners.

At its meeting on the 22 and 23 November 2017, the Steering Committee of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles set the first-ever binding deadlines for all members. The deadlines build on individual planned measures and apply for the period from 2018 to 2020. This means, for example, that members have to conduct a risk analysis, systematically document their business partners and producers, undertake specific measures to ensure that their suppliers do not use any toxic chemicals, and introduce processes to prevent child labour and forced labour. There are also targets for living wages. The Partnership plans to make this topic a major focus in the coming year.

Alongside the individual requirements, common binding targets have also been specified that include the common target of using at least 35% sustainable cotton by 2020. Here 10% of the total quantity must be organic cotton. By 2025, the overall proportion of sustainable cotton should rise to a total of 70%, and the share of organic cotton to 20%.

‘The members have agreed specific deadlines and target quantities. That is a huge step for the Textile Partnership and a major lever for making genuine improvement in the producer countries,’ said Dr Jürgen Janssen, Head of the Partnership Secretariat.

Businesses, non-governmental organisations, policy-makers, trade unions and standards organisations want to implement the targets through individual responsibility, shared commitment in producer countries, and mutual support.

The Steering Committee has also decided to continue expanding the Textile Partnership’s international cooperation with strategic partners in order to achieve an even broader impact, coordinate approaches, and establish internationally aligned requirements.

Textile Partnership: Cooperation with ACT initiative kicks off internationalisation – partnership initiative for chemicals management starts implementation in producer countries

On the path to improve the conditions in global textile supply chains, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles has now taken key steps towards a stronger internationalisation. Strategic cooperation with the Action, Collaboration, Transformation (ACT) initiative will exploit synergies in order to encourage payment of living wages in the textile and clothing industry. That for members of both initiatives plan to share their experience of purchasing practices and to cooperate on implementation in producer countries. In Asia, the partnership initiative on chemicals management is advancing common commitment and concrete implementation in the producer countries. 15 members of the partnership have now enshrined their cooperation in a formal agreement.

Back in November, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles decided to place a stronger focus on the topic of a living wage. This decision will now be underpinned by the new cooperation with ACT. Yesterday the two partners signed a joint declaration to promote the payment of a living wage in the producer countries of the textile and clothing industry via industry-wide collective agreements, and by adapting purchasing practices. The parties share the view that a solution to the existing challenges in the sector requires a systematic approach.

Dr Jürgen Janssen, head of the Secretariat of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, stressed the relevance of the new focus in the partnership: ‘Until now living wages have generally been the exception rather than the rule, especially in the textile industry. A large number of players must come together and facilitate systemic change for being successfully implemented everywhere. For this reason, our cooperation with the ACT initiative is such an important lever.’

The ACT initiative consists of 17 brands and trading companies, along with the IndustriALL international trade union federation. Dr Frank Hoffer, Executive Director of ACT, emphasised the importance of sector-wide collective bargaining combined with adapting the purchasing practices, saying ‘It has to be possible to negotiate wages under the same conditions right across a country – irrespective of the individual factory and the client it is supplying. This should also be made possible under the terms of appropriate agreements with global brands and retailers. ’He added that this would need a broad-based partnership. ‘We are therefore delighted to have found such a committed and ambitious partner in the German Textile Partnership.’

The cooperation enshrined in the new agreement is a key element in tackling the topic within the partnership, and at the same time marks the beginning of efforts to strengthen the internationalisation of the partnership.

Furthermore, the newly enshrined partnership initiative for chemicals and environmental management should greatly reduce the use of problematic chemicals in wet processing in the textile production. The initial focus is on China and Bangladesh. Additional regions are expected to follow, and negotiations have already commenced with Myanmar, Ethiopia and Pakistan. This week 15 partnership members signed a memorandum of understanding. This represents a commitment on the part of ALDI Nord, ALDI SÜD, BEPI, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, BSI, Brands Fashion, Deuter, Hej Support, KiK, the Otto Group, the Rewe Group, Sympatex, Tchibo, the German Environment Agency and ZDHC to work on a broad-based training programme and give financially support. By the end of 2019, not only will workshops, training courses and dialogue events have raised awareness of sustainable chemicals and environmental management in production facilities. Supported with extensive training materials, courses in factories with wet processing operations will lead to a significant increase in knowledge and help in the gradual substitution of harmful chemicals. In addition, the creation of structures for cooperation with universities, research facilities and the chemical industry will consolidate the processes further and ensure broad-scale impacts.

The formal agreement now takes the partnership initiative out of the planning stage to the implementation phase. Other partnership initiatives will follow next year with systematic and specific impacts that generate further improvement in the producer countries.