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Joining the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles was founded in October 2014 and is a multi-stakeholder partnership with around 120 members from business, politics, civil society, trade unions, and standard organizations.

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles has set itself the goal of achieving social, ecological and economic improvements along the textile supply chain.

In the mandatory review process, members pursue determined and voluntary individual goals to improve the situation in their supply chains.

Success in implementing the action plans is evaluated and communicated. This is to make it clear how the members fulfill their corporate due diligence and responsibility.

Why was the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles created?

Nowadays it is crucial to take action to improve the social and environmental conditions within global textile production.

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is one great initiative from the German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Gerd Müller.

It was created just after the catastrophic events in the garment factories in Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Who are the members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles?

Members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles are various.

Members of the apparel and textile industry (companies and associations) participate actively.

Also, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles.

The German Federal Government is, of course, a prominent member of the alliance, together with trade unions and standards organizations.

Some well-known members of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles are:

  • Adidas
  • C&A
  • Esprit
  • H&M
  • Hessnatur
  • Otto
  • Primark
  • Puma
  • s.Oliver
  • Takko
  • Tchibo
  • Trigema
  • Vaude


What does the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles work on?

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles has a vision and one very important mission for the future of the apparel and textile industry.

It is working hard on improving conditions in all parts of every supply chain.

Its goal is to better the processes from production up to the end of life-cycle and waste management.

Every member of the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles is encouraged to participate actively.

Every member is also held accountable for its individual responsibility.

In addition, the Partnership is used as a platform to learn and discuss the different issues in the apparel and textile production.

Why is the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles important?

The principles of social, environmental, and economic sustainability should be key guidelines in every business.

The Partnership for Sustainable Textiles helps improves corporate responsibility for its members and sets an example worldwide for objectives concerning social and human rights issues.

The objectives are based on OECD guidelines, UN principles and ILO conventions.

The fashion industry is responsible for a huge amount of pollution, wastewater, and energy consumption.

It is now an urgent matter that needs to be addressed very seriously. All actions toward improving social, economic and environmental sustainability should be encouraged.

More on the arguments in favor of sustainable fashion in our article here.


Joining the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles chemicals

What are some urgent topics in the industry?

Together with relevant partners, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles works on:

  • wastewater standards
  • chemical management
  • sustainable fibers
  • supply chain transparency
  • living wages

Members are asked to pursue mandatory and voluntary targets. They also have to report on how much progress is being made toward their sustainability goals.

Unfortunately, it is not enough. Ecological, social, and economic improvements need to happen faster to make significant changes in textile and garment production.

Learn about the different standards for eco-friendly textiles in my other article.


How to join the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles

Joining the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles involves a review process.

You can get involved directly with the Partnership on their official website here.

Members are required to pledge their commitment to sustainability. They have to implement a year to year action plan to improve their own supply chain. Then report their progress.

Some social and environmental objectives are set by the Partnership and are mandatory.

Companies have to deal with hazardous chemicals and pay living wages.

There is currently a common goal of using at least 20% organic cotton by 2025. Needless to say, this is a very low target.

What other important targets can you think of?


About the Author: Alex Assoune

Alex Assoune Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks four languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.


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