Part­ner­ship for Sus­tainable Textiles

Acci­dents such as the Rana Pla­za col­lap­se in Ban­gla­desh in 2013 have tra­gi­cal­ly brought the issue of social and eco­lo­gi­cal grie­van­ces in glo­bal tex­ti­le pro­duc­tion to the public’s atten­ti­on. The Part­ner­ship for Sus­tainable Tex­ti­les is a mul­ti-stake­hol­der part­ner­ship with the aim of achie­ving social, eco­lo­gi­cal and eco­no­mic impro­ve­ments along the enti­re tex­ti­le value chains. 

We are con­vin­ced that only the joint initia­ti­ve of all stake­hol­ders in the tex­ti­le value chain can lead to a holi­stic imple­men­ta­ti­on of sus­taina­bi­li­ty in the tex­ti­le indus­try. That is why Ket­tel­hack joi­n­ed the Part­ner­ship for Sus­tainable Tex­ti­les in 2015. This part­ner­ship is a mul­ti-stake­hol­der initia­ti­ve laun­ched by the Ger­man fede­ral govern­ment. Here, busi­ness (com­pa­nies in the tex­ti­le sec­tor and asso­cia­ti­ons), non-govern­men­tal orga­ni­sa­ti­ons, trade uni­ons, stan­dards orga­ni­sa­ti­ons and the Ger­man Fede­ral govern­ment are com­mit­ted to achie­ving social, eco­lo­gi­cal and eco­no­mic impro­ve­ments along the tex­ti­le value chain. This is done through joint pro­jects on the ground, and by each mem­ber should­e­ring their own indi­vi­du­al responsibility.

The Tex­ti­les Part­ner­ship ali­gns its work with inter­na­tio­nal agree­ments and gui­de­lines that defi­ne the prin­ci­ples of social, eco­lo­gi­cal and eco­no­mic sus­taina­bi­li­ty and set the frame­work for cor­po­ra­te respon­si­bi­li­ty. In imple­men­ting the goals, the Tex­ti­les Part­ner­ship is stron­gly gui­ded by the OECD due dili­gence gui­dance of cor­po­ra­te due dili­gence in the gar­ment and foot­wear sector.

Tex­ti­les Partnership

Exchan­ging know­ledge,
Beco­ming active …

For its mem­bers, the Tex­ti­les Part­ner­ship is a plat­form for net­wor­king, know­ledge exch­an­ge and joint action. In addi­ti­on, the pro­gress by the mem­ber com­pa­nies is che­cked and made visi­ble by means of a review pro­cess and action plans.

Our com­mit­ment to the Tex­ti­les Partnership

As part of our mem­ber­ship, we get invol­ved, for exam­p­le, by par­ti­ci­pa­ting in various working groups or through bila­te­ral exch­an­ge with other mem­bers. By par­ti­ci­pa­ting in work­shops and web­i­nars, we always get new input from experts, learn about best prac­ti­ce examp­les and exch­an­ge ide­as with other stakeholders.

Howe­ver, the core of our com­mit­ment in the Tex­ti­le Part­ner­ship is our par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in the joint initia­ti­ves of the Part­ner­ship. Tog­e­ther we can achie­ve more than alo­ne: with the purcha­sing power of the com­pa­nies, the know-how and the cont­acts of the non-govern­men­tal orga­ni­sa­ti­ons and trade uni­ons, as well as the influence of the Ger­man govern­ment, a lot can be achie­ved in the pro­duc­tion countries. 

Here is an over­view of the part­ner­ship initia­ti­ves in which Ket­telack par­ti­ci­pa­tes or has participated:

In spring 2019, Ket­tel­hack par­ti­ci­pa­ted in the Peer Lear­ning Group on effec­ti­ve sup­p­ly chain grie­van­ce mecha­nisms. In the asso­cia­ted work­shop series, the par­ti­ci­pa­ting mem­ber com­pa­nies not only recei­ved a theo­re­ti­cal intro­duc­tion to the topic, but were also sup­port­ed in ana­ly­sing exis­ting mecha­nisms in their own sup­p­ly chain. The open exch­an­ge of expe­ri­en­ces and the sup­port within the group were also very helpful.

We pas­sed on the know­ledge gai­ned from this Part­ner­ship initia­ti­ve to our part­ners in raw fabric pro­cu­re­ment during a Sup­pli­ers’ Day and also sen­si­ti­sed them to the need for grie­van­ce mechanisms.

The Part­ner­ship Initia­ti­ve to streng­then inter­nal com­plaints mecha­nisms in Paki­stan star­ted at the begin­ning of 2022. The aim of this coope­ra­ti­on pro­ject bet­ween Fair­trade Ger­ma­ny, the Deut­sche Gesell­schaft für Inter­na­tio­na­le Zusam­men­ar­beit (GIZ) and mem­ber com­pa­nies of the Tex­ti­le Part­ner­ship is to impro­ve inter­nal com­plaints struc­tures at Paki­sta­ni sup­pli­ers. Along with Ket­tel­hack, Hugo Boss, Tak­ko, Pri­mark and tex idea are par­ti­ci­pa­ting in the initiative.

The pro­ject is imple­men­ted by Fair­trade Ger­ma­ny with a local team. The fol­lo­wing mea­su­res are planned:

> Awa­re­ness-rai­sing of the manage­ment for the needs of the workers and trai­ning in deal­ing with inco­ming complaints.

> Trai­ning for workers to inform them about their rights and the use of grie­van­ce mechanisms.

> Trai­ning on the func­tion and estab­lish­ment of grie­van­ce mecha­nisms for workers and management.

Fur­ther infor­ma­ti­on on the Part­ner­ship Initia­ti­ve can be found here:

> Web­site Part­ner­ship for Sus­tainable Textiles

The basic modu­le Purcha­sing Prac­ti­ces of the Living Wage Initia­ti­ve star­ted in mid-2019. The core of the basic modu­le was the self-assess­ment of the purcha­sing prac­ti­ces in the com­pa­ny. The ACT (Action Col­la­bo­ra­ti­on Trans­for­ma­ti­on) initia­ti­ve deve­lo­ped the Purcha­sing Prac­ti­ces Self-Assess­ment Tool (PPSA) — an online check that enables com­pa­nies to ana­ly­se the strengths and weak­ne­s­ses of their own purcha­sing prac­ti­ces. Ket­tel­hack also used this tool to eva­lua­te its own purcha­sing prac­ti­ces. Tog­e­ther with the other par­ti­ci­pa­ting mem­ber com­pa­nies, the results of the self-assess­ment were dis­cus­sed and pos­si­ble mea­su­res for impro­ve­ment were identified.

Based on the PPSA results, various impro­ve­ment mea­su­res were imple­men­ted at Ket­tel­hack, for example:

> Con­duc­ting inter­nal trai­ning,
> Deve­lo­p­ment of a set of indi­ca­tors for the annu­al assess­ment of purcha­sing prac­ti­ces and
> Impro­ve­ment of inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on structures.

With the onset of the COVID 19 pan­de­mic at the begin­ning of 2020, a spe­cial focus aro­se in the Peer Lear­ning Group. Tog­e­ther, a gui­de with recom­men­da­ti­ons for short-term mea­su­res during the pan­de­mic was deve­lo­ped and published. The gui­de can be down­loa­ded => here.

The Living Wage Lab star­ted in Sep­tem­ber 2021 with the aim of sup­port­ing Part­ner­ship mem­bers in deve­lo­ping and imple­men­ting indi­vi­du­al living wage stra­te­gies and deve­lo­ping sca­lable solu­ti­ons tog­e­ther with sup­pli­ers. The Lab is ano­ther modu­le of the Living Wage Part­ner­ship, which alre­a­dy included the basic modu­le on purcha­sing practices.

A total of 17 Part­ner­ship mem­bers are par­ti­ci­pa­ting in the Living Wage Lab, inclu­ding repre­sen­ta­ti­ves from com­pa­nies and trade uni­ons, civil socie­ty and the Ger­man govern­ment. The aim is to exch­an­ge expe­ri­en­ces on pre­vious pro­jects to rai­se wages. On the other hand, it is about how pilot pro­jects on wage increa­ses can be imple­men­ted tog­e­ther with sup­pli­ers and how trans­pa­ren­cy and purcha­sing prac­ti­ces can be impro­ved. Fur­ther infor­ma­ti­on on the pro­ject can be found => here.

Purcha­sing practices

Respon­si­ble Purcha­sing Practices

The cur­rent Coro­na pan­de­mic shows that an effec­ti­ve part­ner­ship bet­ween purcha­sing com­pa­nies and sup­pli­ers is cru­cial to pro­tect workers’ rights in the sup­p­ly chain. But what exact­ly do we mean by “respon­si­ble purcha­sing prac­ti­ces”?
The basic trai­ning ans­wers exact­ly this ques­ti­on! The video was pro­du­ced by the Part­ner­ship Secre­ta­ri­at with the sup­port of Part­ner­ship mem­ber ALDI Süd and is now available to all inte­res­ted parties.

Review Pro­cess

With the review pro­cess, the Part­ner­ship for Sus­tainable Tex­ti­les has deve­lo­ped its own imple­men­ta­ti­on stan­dard and report­ing for­mat for due dili­gence. It repres­ents the indi­vi­du­al respon­si­bi­li­ty of com­pa­nies to ful­fil their due dili­gence obli­ga­ti­ons in the sup­p­ly chain. It focu­ses on con­ti­nuous impro­ve­ment in line with the due dili­gence requi­re­ments of the OECD. Through an ambi­tious imple­men­ta­ti­on of due dili­gence, the Tex­ti­le Part­ner­ship mem­bers also want to impro­ve the living and working con­di­ti­ons of peo­p­le in the count­ries whe­re tex­ti­les are produced.

The last review pro­cess in 2021 was based on an indi­vi­du­al risk ana­ly­sis, which is ori­en­ted towards ele­ven sec­tor risks. Sec­tor risks include, for exam­p­le, wages and working hours, green­house gas emis­si­ons and che­mi­cal use. Each com­pa­ny set tar­gets for the most serious risks and defi­ned mea­su­res to miti­ga­te the risks. In an eva­lua­ti­on mee­ting, a tan­dem of the Part­ner­ship secre­ta­ri­at and an exter­nal ser­vice pro­vi­der asses­sed the company’s indi­vi­du­al pro­gress sin­ce the last review pro­cess. The tan­dem che­cked, among other things, whe­ther the goals were sen­si­bly and com­pre­hen­si­bly deri­ved from the risk ana­ly­sis and whe­ther the goals were ambi­tious. The pro­cess is con­cluded with the publi­ca­ti­on of the pro­gress reports and the action plans:

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Fur­ther artic­les on the topic


The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) is an international organisation with 37 member states committed to the pillars of democracy and market economy. The organisation was founded in 1961 as the successor to the OEEC and the Marshall Plan for the reconstruction of Europe. Today, the OECD sees itself as a forum in which governments exchange their experiences and work out solutions to common problems. (Source: Wikipedia)

Due Diligence

Due diligence is the process that companies should undertake, according to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, to identify, avoid and mitigate the actual (and potential) negative effects arising from their operations, supply chains and other business relationships, and to account for how they address these effects. (Source: 2018, OECD, OECD Due Diligence Guide for Responsible Business)


Review process

The review process represents the individual commitment of companies in the Textile Partnership to take responsibility for sustainability in their supply chain. The aim of the review process is to effectively prevent and mitigate the most serious social, environmental and compliance risks in the value chain. (Source: Partnership for Sustainable Textiles)

Due Diligence

Due Diligence ist der Prozess der Sorgfaltspflicht, den Unternehmen nach den OECD-Leitsätzen für Multinationale Unternehmen durchführen sollten, um die von ihren Geschäftstätigkeiten, Lieferketten und anderen Geschäftsbeziehungen ausgehenden tatsächlichen und potenziellen negativen Effekte zu ermitteln, zu vermeiden und zu mindern sowie Rechenschaft darüber abzulegen, wie sie diesen Effekten begegnen. (Quelle: 2018, OECD, OECD-Leitfaden für die Erfüllung der Sorgfaltspflicht für verantwortungsvolles unternehmerisches Handeln)


Development of water consumption in m3

The high level of water consumption in production brings with it a corresponding volume of waste water. Compliance with the limit values from the Waste Water Ordinance is ensured by the indirect discharge permit. The daily control of the mixing and equalisation basin by our employees, as well as through the regular inspections by the responsible monitoring authorities, give us the necessary security. 

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