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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