Mitgliederversammlung 2018.

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (Textiles Partnership)

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is a multi-stakeholder initiative with currently 122 members (May 2019) from five stakeholder groups. Industry, the German Federal Government, civil society, trade unions and the so-called standard organisations are working together to improve working conditions in global textile production - from the production of raw materials to the disposal of textiles.

The Textiles Partnership was founded in October 2014 by German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Gerd Müller, in response to fatal accidents in textile factories in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

FEMNET as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has been a member of the Textiles Partnership from the very beginning and represents the civil society - 18 NGOs - in its highest body, the steering group, together with colleagues from two other organisations. In addition to this, we work intensively in expert groups on topics such as the review process, complaint system’ and transparency to ensure that measures planned within the framework of the Textiles Partnership are implemented and show results.


Multi-Stakeholder-Initiativen (MSI)

MSI is defined as "voluntary associations between public, civil society and private actors. MSIs are designed to solve complex social problems in a cooperative manner. In particular, they serve to anchor CSR in markets and to promote sustainable development. (Definition according to Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon)

Is our cooperation in the Textiles Partnership worthwhile? A critical assessment.

On an on-going basis, we (also in the circle of the Clean Clothes Campaign) critically assess our intensive cooperation in the Textiles Partnership. The efforts are high and the progress seems to be slow. This is what has been achieved so far:

  • The members must publish an annual plan based on specified objectives (roadmaps) and report on its implementation. The binding time and quantity targets are not far-reaching enough in our view, but they are at least a first step.
  • The payment of living wages is considered an important goal by all.
  • The Tamil Nadu Alliance Initiative was launched.

On the other hand, there are also points of criticism, such as the refusal of some companies to publish a list of their suppliers. Too few companies are willing to participate in an alliance initiative in a country on the issue of living wages in order to pay higher wages as an exemplary manner. We reserve the right to end our involvement as soon as we realise that the Textiles Partnership is not developing the credibility and effectiveness we expect in the medium to long term. At the moment, we still see benefits and continue our cooperation.