Sixty textile companies from the Netherlands have put their signature under a new covenant initiated by the Social Economic Council (SER). The aim of the covenant is to prevent child labour and improve working conditions in textile producing countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Turkey. Among other Bijenkorf, C&A, G-Star, Hema, and Zeeman have signed the agreement.
The covenant was initiated after the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh in 2013, which killed more than a thousand people.
The nine focus areas within the agreement are:
- Discrimination and gender
- Child labour
- Forced labour
- Freedom of association
- Living wage
- Safe and healthy workplace
- Raw materials
- Water, energy, and chemicals
- Animal welfare
Besides the protection of employees, the covenant also aims at informing consumers about the origin of their products. To achieve this, brands will need to map their supply chains beyond tier 1 suppliers. Also, key data must be recorded at various points in the supply chain, which can be used to inform customers about the impact of a product.
ChainPoint has extensive experience with creating visibility in textile & apparel supply chains. Among other the Better Cotton Initiative, Fairtrade and GoodWeave use ChainPoint’s technology to improve textile & apparel supply chains. GoodWeave for example aims at eliminating child labour in the production of rugs and other textile. Better Cotton and Fairtrade both aim to improve the livelihood of cotton farmers and the environmental impact of cotton production.
For more information on creating sustainable and responsible apparel supply chains, please visit our textile & apparel industry page.