Sector programme: Sustainability in Textiles Supply Chains


The German contribution to make global textile supply chains more sustainable is to be reinforced and recognised at international level.

One important element of this is the work of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together actors from the realms of politics, business and civil society to work together for social, environmental and economic improvements along the entire textile supply chain. This work is based on three pillars: individual responsibility, joint commitment and mutual support. Each member thus accepts individual responsibility in the form of a roadmap that has to be submitted. At the same time they can cooperate with other members to support local partner initiatives in partner countries, while benefiting from the expertise of all actors in the partnership.

Short description

The sector programme embraces two fields of activity. In the first field, it is working to achieve improved national and international positioning of German development cooperation in the field of sustainable textile supply chains, by delivering direct advice and support to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The second field of activity involves providing support for the work of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, through the Partnership Secretariat. It is responsible for putting in place the conditions needed to ensure good cooperation among the different groups of actors, thus forging ahead with the realisation of the Partnership’s ambitious goals.

The sector programme’s initiatives can achieve direct impacts for end consumers and in producer countries within the global textile and clothing industry. There are no regional restrictions.


  • The members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles today cover about half of the German textiles market; the aim is for this figure to rise up to 75% by the end of 2018.
  • Pillar 1 – Individual responsibility: 129 members submitted an individual roadmap for the 2017 review process. In this document, members use a question grid to specify their targets for the year ahead. Seven advisory members also lay out their contribution in a brief report. Twelve members who joined the partnership after November 2016 will be producing their first roadmap this year (2018).
  • Pillar 2 – Joint commitment: three partnership initiatives have been established, each consisting of several members who together address challenges identified in producer countries: chemical and environmental management, improving labour standards in Tamil Nadu and water management in Pakistan.
  • Pillar 3 – Mutual support: a specialist dialogue has been conducted among members and an exchange of views and experience organised with the research sector in the form of topic-specific webinars, corporate coaching and workshops.

Sector programme: Sustainability in Textiles Supply Chains

Country / Region:

Project running time:
January 2016 – December 2019

Project partners:
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

Dr. Jürgen Janssen:

Topic on BMZ website

Training in Bangladesh
© GIZ / Ranak Martin

Training in Bangladesh
© GIZ / Ranak Martin

As of: March 2018