Brands in the news this week include Gucci (with its launch of Gucci Equilibrium), H&M and Gap (over reports alleging violence and sex abuse in Asian factories, about which both companies have vowed to probe), Daniele Calcaterra (launching a new type of ethical ‘fur’), H&M (with a response to Clean Clothes Campaign allegations over living wages), Nike (for wages paid to workers making World Cup kit), A&F, Sean John and others (for failing to join 2018 Accord in Bangladesh), H&M, Kappahl, Lindex and 12 other Swedish brands (in a Swedwatch survey on social dialogue in Bangladesh), Zalando (for two per cent of its article being sustainable), Adidas, Burberry, Levi’s Patagonia, Primark and 95 other labels (cited in an analysis of brand responses to modern slavery), Forever 21 and Boohoo (for banning sales of mohair), and Skunkfunk (which launched a carbon footprint calculator for individual items of clothing).
There were more reports than usual published this week (landing at a rate of more than one per day):
- Power of the Voice: Perspectives from Workers and Buyers on Social Dialogue Within the Bangladeshi Garment Sector (of a survey of 15 Swedish garment companies’ approaches to, and experiences of, social dialogue in Bangladesh from Swedwatch)
- Gender Based Violence in the H&M Garment Supply Chain, and Gender Based Violence in the GAP Garment Supply Chain (two 50-page reports from the Asia Floor Wage Alliance to the ILO)
- Modern slavery in supply chains: a secondary data analysis of detection, remediation and disclosure (an academic article (here) of responses to the UK Modern Slavery Act by 101 firms in the clothing and textiles sector)
- OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct (a new 100-page document to help companies implement due diligence for responsible business conduct)
- When national law conflicts with international human rights standards: Recommendations for Business (a 40-page report from the British Institute of International and Comparative Law)
- Violence and Harassment against Women and Men in the Global Garment Supply Chain (a submission by Fair Wear Foundation to the ILO)
- Safer Chemistry Innovation in the Textile and Apparel Industry (60-page report by Safer Made and Fashion for Good, which evaluates harmful chemicals and five key innovation areas)
- Planetary Boundaries Assessment 2018 (by Swedish sportswear company Houdini, the first corporate sustainability report based on the planetary boundaries framework, 67 pp.)
In the news in general, the week in review includes: a survey showing 44 per cent of consumers lack awareness of microplastics in clothes, Britain’s parliament decides not to ban fur, questions over whether forced labour will play a role in Uzbekistan cotton this year, warning tags for synthetic fabrics, the problem with the term ‘ethical fashion’, and the true cost of Myanmar’s growing garment industry.
In supply chains, there were reports from Bangladesh on the Minister of Commerce explaining why the Accord and Alliance must leave in January next year, more promises and fears over payments before Eid, and the launch of an excellence award for supply chains; articles from Cambodia on continuing strikes and protests over non-payment of wages, news of yet another mass fainting, and government interventions in worker problems; an article in India on an infectious outbreak in a clothing factory; a company in Mexico accused of union busting; and a call for increased wages in the Philippines.
Quotes of the week:
- “Where is the Tesla of fashion? Where is the company with the vision to reach for the moon? To engage people and encourage curiosity.” Martine Jaarlgard (05 Jun).
- “In China, dog fur is often described as ‘Asian Wolf’, while cat fur is described as ‘rabbit fur’.” Non-profit ACTAsia on the need for truth in labelling in China (03 Jun).
- “We are a self-respecting nation, there’s no more need for the Accord-Alliance.” Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on why the Accord and Alliance will leave Bangladesh in January 2019 (31 May).
- “It’s an industry riddled with status-quo thinking.” Maiyet co-founder Kristy Caylor on the fashion industry (31 May).
- “Somehow a dream exists that there’s a techno-fix that’s somehow going to save us all. Yet the real answer is that less is the only way forward.” Professor Kate Fletcher, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London, on the dream technology can reduce the environmental impact of producing and consuming materials (31 May).
- “At that point he sells the brand to me. Organic cotton, fairly paid workers, sustainable business model trajectory. This is not rote script. He's proud AF to work there. There are free ‘lifetime’ repairs too. And a trade-in deal if I want new jeans in the future. … That’s how to do High Street retail.” Mike Hind, on venturing into a Nudie Jeans store (30 May).
- “[S]exual harassment cost the global garment industry an estimated $89 million per year.” CARE International, on the need for treaty a treaty to end violence and harassment in the world of work (30 May).
- “The current, chemically intensive system has failed – it has created poverty and pollution. It is time the price of cotton reflected the cost of production.” La Rhea Pepper, organic farmer and managing director of Textile Exchange (May).
By Stephen Frost, CUHK Business School, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
BRANDS & RETAILERS
Indian sportswear brand Alcis Sports has created eco-friendly T-shirts: ““[Alcis Sports is] present in 700-odd retail outlets across India. In 2018, we are looking to expand in Tier II and III towns where our total retail strength will cross the 2,000 store mark”” (06 Jun). [Ed’s note: shirts are made from recycled plastic bottles.]
Gucci furthers its commitment to sustainability with Gucci Equilibrium: “Gucci has, once again, pledged its commitment to sustainability and transparency by launching Gucci Equilibrium, an online platform “designed to connect people, planet and purpose”” (05 Jun).
H&M and Gap to probe violence and sex abuse in Asian factories: “[Thomson Reuters Foundation reports] H&M and Gap Inc vowed on Tuesday [05 May] to investigate reports that Asian garment workers who supply their high-street stores routinely face sex abuse, harassment and violence” (05 Jun). [Ed’s note: see reports here and here. See also, Abuse is daily reality for female garment workers for Gap and H&M, says report (05 Jun).]
Houdini Sportswear undertakes first ever corporate planetary boundaries assessment: “What is our entire impact on the world? In the first ever corporate sustainability report based on the planetary boundaries framework, [Houdini Sportswear] are starting to answer this question. We are proud to launch a pilot study that includes everything from environmental factors like climate change, freshwater use and biodiversity as well as social factors. (04 Jun). [Ed’s note: see also a 2:55-minute video from the company here.]
Italian designer Daniele Calcaterra launches ethical ‘fur’ fabric made with organza: “[Daniele Calcaterra] has made a name for himself with his pared-down, timeless style and 100% made-in-Italy fashion, and recently launched a new type of ethical ‘fur’, entirely made from tiny organza and silk offcuts, using a process the designer intends to patent” (04 Jun).
H&M works with IndustriALL for increased wages: [Eds note: Following Clean Clothes Campaign criticism over its failure to pay living wages, H&M have responded.] ““ACT [Action Collaboration Transformation] is something which has never been tried before. It’s a joint initiative of  major brands in the garment and textile industry together with IndustriALL with a clear objective to work together to achieve living wages for textile workers in the garment and textile producing countries” (04 Jun).
Forever 21 officially bans sale of mohair: “Popular international fashion brand, Forever 21, has ceased selling mohair in a stand against animal cruelty” (03 Jun).
G. Güldenpfennig makes underprivileged children smile in Bangladesh: [Ed’s note: a story in the RMG Times from Bangladesh about G. Güldenpfennig providing new clothing for street children in the run up to Eid. G. Güldenpfennig was a recent signatory to the 2018 Bangladesh Accord.] (03 Jun).
England’s £160 World Cup football kit ‘made in Bangladeshi factory where workers are paid as little as 21p-an-hour: “The official Nike shirt and shorts are reportedly made at a factory inside a government-controlled zone where female garment workers are paid as little as £1.68 a day” (01 Jun).
Major brands fail to join Bangladesh factory safety accord: “[Thomson Reuters Foundation reports] Swedish furniture giant IKEA and American music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs’ [Sean John] clothing were among companies sourcing from Bangladesh that had failed to sign a new accord for the safety of millions of factory workers as it took effect on Friday [01 Jun]” (01 Jun). [Ed’s note: other brands cited for failing to sing the 2018 Accord are Abercrombie & Fitch and Edinburgh Woollen Mill.]
Let’s create a fur free Britain, Stella McCartney: “[Stella McCartney is] proud to voice our support in favour of banning the sale of fur in the UK with the hope of moving closer to a cruelty free fashion industry. The issue is under discussion by Members of Parliament at Westminster Hall, London on 4th June” (01 Jun).
Swedish companies should do more to strengthen textile workers’ votes in Bangladesh: “To find out how Swedish companies manage risk, Swedwatch conducted a survey of 15 companies buying clothes and home textiles from Bangladesh. Responses show companies are aware of the risks union rights violations in the country pose and that they are primarily handled through factory controls, training in labor law and by building long-term relationships with suppliers. According to the survey, companies believe knowledge of workers’ rights has increased in factories, but several indicate at the same time there is widespread scepticism with trade unions at factory manager level” (30 May – press release in Swedish, but the report is in English). [Ed’s note: see the 50-page report (in English) here, titled Power of the Voice: Perspectives from Workers and Buyers on Social Dialogue Within the Bangladeshi Garment Sector. The “study includes the results of a survey of 15 Swedish garment companies’ approaches to, and experiences of, social dialogue in Bangladesh” conducted in 2017-18. The companies surveyed were: Fristads Kansas Group, Gekås Ullared, Gina Tricot, H&M, ICA Gruppen (ICA Sweden & Hemtex), Intersport, Kappahl Sverige, Lindex, New Wave Group, RNB Retail and Brands, Sandryds, Stadium Sverige, Ted Bernhardtz, Unibrands and Åhléns.]
Gender Based Violence in the H&M Garment Supply Chain: [Ed’s note: A report by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance and other NGOs for the 2018 ILC meeting. A 53-page report to the ILO presenting “new, in-depth profiles of gendered hiring practices in 6 H&M supplier factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and India completed between February and May 2018.”] (31 May).
Gender Based Violence in the GAP Garment Supply Chain: [Ed’s note: A report by the Asia Floor Wage Alliance and other NGOs for the 2018 ILC meeting. A 50-page report to the ILO presenting “new, in-depth profiles of 9 Gap supplier factories in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and India completed between February and May 2018.”] (31 May).
T-shirt brand could “drastically alter the future of fashion”: “For Days … puts sustainability and “closed-loop” recycling at the front, back and core of its business. The brand has consumers sign up for a membership service [then] invites buyers to send the shirts back once they are done with them. No matter how beaten up the tees get, For Days will take the material back and cut it up, pulp it, and recycle the bits into new shirts” (30 May). [Ed’s note: see here also.]
Two percent sustainability at Zalando: “[Questioned by Gisela Burckhardt, head of the Bonn-based organization Femnet] Zalando board member Robert Gentz admitted that they had “6000 articles in the sustainable range”. That’s a good two percent of all articles” (29 May – in German).
We analysed 101 clothing and textile companies’ statements on modern slavery – here’s what we found: “Only 62% of the 101 statements we looked at had been formally signed by the board of directors – despite this being a requirement of the legislation. … we [also] found … firms refer to future plans or achievements that related to other social or even environmental issues like reducing their water use, possibly as a distraction tactic – to divert attention away from how little they have done, in some cases, about modern slavery so far” (29 May). [Ed’s note: article is based on a longer academic article here (payment required to download) called “Modern slavery in supply chains: a secondary data analysis of detection, remediation and disclosure”. Brands analysed include Adidas, Puma, Burberry, New Look, Bestseller, H&M, Pentland, Levi’s, Asos, Next, Nike, Patagonia, Arcadia, Inditex, Primark, and 86 others.]
Esprit commits to more sustainable viscose production: “Esprit joins the Changing Markets foundation roadmap to promote more sustainable viscose production [and] will work with suppliers and viscose manufacturers to move to a closed loop production system by 2023-25” (29 May).
Boohoo bans mohair after shocking documentary: “As far as ethical fashion goes, Boohoo has always seemed dubious. … But now the turbo-speed fast fashion retailer is making a new step towards a more ethical offering. Boohoo is one of dozens of high street brands that has pledged to ban the use of mohair in its products, after a shocking investigation from PETA” (29 May). [Ed’s note: Topshop, Marks & Spencer, Next, Primark, Mango, Gap, H&M, and Zara are all named as also agreeing to end the use of mohair.]
Inditex partners up with Tsinghua University to set up scholarships in China: “Inditex and Tsinghua University have signed an agreement to set up a fund that will enable international students to attend the prestigious Chinese university” (28 May).
Skunkfunk launches interactive carbon impact application: “Skunkfunk, which creates eco-friendly ready-to-wear pieces, presents the first application that can measure and compare carbon emissions of products by taking into account the complete life cycle of the garment” (25 May – in Spanish). [Ed’s note: see the Skunkfunk carbon footprint calculator here, for clothing and accessories. See random example here. The company promised to “publish its individual product carbon emissions starting from 2018” in a 2016 baseline study (here – in English). You can see more on the cmopany’s journey to this point in its 2018 report here (in English).]
Kering CEO in call for ILO Convention to end gender-based violence at work: “[Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault is among signatories expressing] support for an International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on ending violence and harassment, including gender-based violence, in the world of work” (24 May).
Surf brand releases video on microplastics: “[Finisterre has] connected with [its] community of fellow sea lovers; material futurist, conservationist and activist to open up the conversation and address the issue [of microplastics in the ocean]” (18 May – 4:02-minute video).
NEWS & REPORTS
Poll finds lack of awareness over plastic pollution from clothes washing: “Some 44% of people do not realise that synthetic fabrics such as nylon, polyester or acrylic are plastics, or that plastic microfibres are released from clothing when they are washed, the poll for green charity Hubbub found” (05 Jun). [Ed’s note: see also Campaign Tackling Plastic Microfibres Prompts Consumers to Ask #WhatsInMyWash (05 Jun).]
How much of a problem are microfibres from our clothes? ““Eight million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year,” says Karla Špetić. The designer stepped up her eco-warrior game after watching the documentary A Plastic Ocean. “I’ve always been environmentally conscious,” she says. “My mum is really into recycling and saving water, but ocean plastic really got to me”” (05 Jun).
Apparel industry to adopt safer chemistry and eliminate harmful chemicals – Safer Made report: “In the next ten years, the textile and apparel industry will adopt new materials that deliver unprecedented performance and eliminate harmful chemicals from products and manufacturing processes. A new report by Safer Made, “Safer Chemistry Innovation in the Textile and Apparel Industry”, concludes that the fashion industry can emerge as a circular and regenerative sector of the economy” (05 Jun).
Britain will NOT ban fur say MPs – fur free Britain campaigners furious: “Animal rights campaigners are expressing their “immense disappointment” after the Government failed to pledge a complete fur ban during a historic Westminster debate” (05 Jun).
Can fashion be sustainable? “Executives know very well that their current business model is not future-fit. In the absence of global rules or major changes on the consumer side, the fashion industry is now carefully exploring options on how to improve its social and environmental impact while successfully operating in a highly price-competitive environment” (04 Jun).
British parliament is debating banning fur in the UK after 110,000 Brits asked it to: “Is it ever ok for people to buy and wear fur? Britain’s parliament is adding its voice to the discussion” (04 Jun).
Fur faces opposition in Chinese fashion industry: “High-end global fashion brands including Gucci, Michael Kors, and Jimmy Choo have committed to going fur-free in recent years. Now, the movement is gaining some traction in China” (03 Jun).
Industry looks to graduate fashion week for sustainable heroes: “Sustainability is intrinsic and not an afterthought for many designers taking part in this year’s event” (03 Jun).
Will there be forced labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton fields this year? “Last year was Mirziyoev’s first year as president. Will his second year bring significant change to the policy of forced labor in the cotton fields?” (03 Jun – 36:36-minute podcast).
Better Work to highlight factories with high levels of compliance, sustainable systems and advanced worker management dialogue: “Starting this month, Better Work – a joint initiative of the UN’s International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group – will begin highlighting garment factories that have demonstrated high levels of labour compliance, more advanced worker-management dialogue, effective management systems and a full commitment to staff learning” (01 Jun).
Man-made fabrics have state lawmakers vying for warning tags: “Your polyester shirt may soon come with a warning label. Lawmakers in California and New York have proposed state bills this year to raise awareness of a problem few consumers may have heard of – synthetic fabrics shedding microfibers into the water system” (01 Jun).
Seeking high-tech innovations for sustainable fashion: “In anticipation of the launch of the United Nations Partnership for Sustainable Fashion in New York in July, the Global Landscapes Forum held a Digital Summit panel discussion titled Fashion for the Sustainable Development Goals. The summit introduced current innovations expected to lead to sustainable fashion supply chains and green job opportunities for youth and women” (01 Jun).
Violence and Harassment against Women and Men in the Global Garment Supply Chain: [Ed’s note: a submission by Fair Wear Foundation to the ILO.] “According to FWF’s survey of 658 women in 35 Indian and Bangladeshi factories, 75 per cent said that regular verbal abuse occurred in their factory, most of which was sexually explicit” (01 Jun).
Issues cast shadow on Myanmar: “Myanmar’s garment sector may be booming, but the Rohingya humanitarian crisis in northern Rakhine State and issues over the minimum wage threaten to derail the industry” (01 Jun). [Ed’s note: comments in the article from H&M and Gap.]
Usership: fashion beyond consumerism: “Fashion, sustainability and ethics researcher, Kate Fletcher sees choosing to want what we already have as a radical act which can create a more sustainable future with less stuff” (31 May – 12:12-minute video).
Rwanda refuses to remove tariffs on imports of used clothing: “The Trump administration wants the African nation to remain open to imports of clothing donated to charities in rich countries” (31 May).
OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct: “The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct provides practical support to enterprises on the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by providing plain language explanations of its due diligence recommendations and associated provisions” (31 May). [Ed’s note: a new 100-page document released last week to help companies implement due diligence for responsible business conduct.]
GBV assessment tool validation workshop held in Dhaka: [Ed’s note: a gender-based violence (GBV) assessment tool to be used in garment factories was rolled out last week. The tool is based on national and international laws and regulations.] (31 May).
Training program helps female RMG workers break the ‘cloth ceiling’ in Bangladesh: “According to a University of Oxford evaluation of a training program by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), training for female line workers in the Bangladesh Ready-made Garment (RMG) sector, has increased their participation in supervisory roles in addition to increasing productivity” (30 May). [Ed’s note: titled “Cutting through the Cloth Ceiling,” the report examined the impact of IFC’s Work-Progression and Productivity Toolkit. See also here.]
When national law conflicts with international human rights standards: Recommendations for Business: [Ed’s note: 40 pp. report from the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL).] “The general principle that companies should adhere to national law, whilst seeking to respect [international human rights] standards, is echoed in [various] international standards and guidance, without much clarity on how to achieve both when they are opposed. This paper aims to assist companies by setting out recommendations as to how companies could address such conflicts” (30 May).
Cotton Campaign presents recommendations to end forced labor to government officials in Uzbekistan: “While the President and Prime Minister have made clear public commitments to end forced and child labor, immense challenges remain. Those challenges include implementing the upcoming 2018 cotton harvest without reliance on forced labor; developing structural changes to reform the cotton sector and overall agricultural production to rely on free and fairly compensated labor; and establishing a culture of accountability and prevention for past and potential further abuses” (30 May).
Social dialogue is key to decent work – new report dissected: “[Ethical Trading Initiative’s] Industrial Relations Advisor, Beverley Hall, has just read the Global Deal’s first report highlighting the critical role of social dialogue – workers, their representatives and managers talking respectfully with each other – in creating decent work. She’s particularly interested in the report’s thinking on freedom of association and collective bargaining and is highly recommending it to brands and their suppliers” (30 May). [Ed’s note: the Global Deal report – “Building trust in a changing world of work” – was released on 18 May, and can be found here.]
The true cost of Myanmar's growing garment industry: “Myanmar’s garment industry is set to rival China, but research shows that sexual harassment and violence in the workplace is hindering women’s opportunities and the industry itself” (29 May).
The problem with the term “ethical fashion”: “What comes to mind when you hear the words “ethical fashion”? For most people it conjures up images of overpriced hemp harem trousers at worst, and, at best, absolutely nothing in particular at all. Now consider what comes to mind when you hear buzz phrases used by other consumer movements such as “craft beer” or “clean beauty”?” (29 May).
Mushroom-made fashion authority Aniela Hoitink talks global change-sparked innovation: “Four years ago [Aniela] Hoinik started working with mycelium — mushroom roots, but it took two years to figure out a way to create a flexible material. The trick was to figure out how to avoid the brittleness that is a result of drying it. The second step was how to make materials from it without having a standard supply chain” (29 May).
THE SUPPLY CHAIN
Bangladesh Alliance factories completing upgrades 30 May to 06 Jun: Kattali Textile, Eusebio Sporting, Panmark Apparels, Everbright Sweaters, Kwutong Apparels, Sterling Designs (06 Jun). [Ed’s note: this list is based on the Bangladesh Alliance Twitter feed.]
EU lauds factory upgrades: “The EU, where about 62 percent of Bangladesh’s apparel shipments go to, is impressed with the progress made in enhancing workplace safety in garment factories in the wake of the Rana Plaza collapse, said its ambassador to the country” (05 Jun).
Errant factory owners must face action: “According to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association, some 1,200 factories across the country are at risk of facing ‘problem’ over the payment of wages and festival allowances to workers before Eid. The police fear that about 200 factories might default on paying workers their wages and allowances before Eid” (03 Jun).
Accord, Alliance to leave Bangladesh in January: Commerce Minister: “[Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed] stated that “There is no Accord-Alliance in any country in the world. Cannot go to Vietnam, cannot suggest that the Accord-Alliance will come. Not in China, not in Pakistan, even not in India, so only in Bangladesh” (02 Jun).
Supply chain excellence award to be given July 21: “IPDC Finance Ltd and Bangladesh Supply Chain Management Society (BSCMS) jointly announced the first Bangladesh supply chain excellence Award (BSCEA) 2018 will be given on July 21” (01 Jun).
Government orders worker pay by Jun 14: ““Salary for May should ideally be provided by the 10th of the month. Workers in the garment sector will get holidays in phases, but they should be paid salary with festival bonuses before holidays or by Jun 14,” said State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque” (29 May).
Jobless garment workers to get paid: “Former workers at [Kae Vy and Everise textile factories] whose bosses fled without paying their wages have been called to check lists of those being recompensated by the government” (05 Jun).
Trade Union Law effective: Labour Ministry: “The Labour Ministry and the Arbitration Council Foundation yesterday [31 May] attributed a sharp decline in labour dispute cases last year to a Trade Union Law enacted in 2016” (01 Jun).
Solve problem for workers: PM says: “Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday [30 May] ordered Labour Minister Ith Samheng to find a solution for workers in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district after they have protested for months to demand their unpaid wage [at First Gawon Apparel]” (30 May). [Ed’s note: see also PM demands answers why Gawon workers not compensated (31 May).]
Workers take pay dispute to embassy: “More than 100 workers from the First Gawon Apparel factory in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district travelled to the South Korean embassy yesterday [29 May] seeking help in their long-running pay dispute with their Korean employer” (30 May).
Gawon strike continues: “A Phnom Penh district authority supplied trucks for more than 100 workers from the First Gawon Apparel factory on Tuesday morning [29 May] after they attempted to walk from the factory to the Ministry of Labour” (30 May).
Workers again fight for unpaid factory wages: “Workers of the Dai Young factory in Russey Keo district are keeping up their weeks-long protests to demand wages and benefits from the company which says it is bankrupt” (29 May).
Calls for the ministry of labour to inspect working conditions following mass fainting at Starite (Cambodia): “Starite is a relatively new factory, having only been registered with the Garment Manufacturers’ Association in Cambodia on 9 February 2018. The factory forms part of a larger company, Starite International Ltd., based in Hong Kong. … Shipping data indicates [it] has shipped bags and backpacks from Vietnam to brands including Under Armour, 5.11 Inc., All-Star Sports, Gear for Sports (a subsidiary of Hanesbrands Inc.), Ju-Ju-Be, Osprey and Victorinox” (28 May).
Over 150 garment factory workers take ill after outbreak of infection: “Employees of Silver Crest Clothing Limited [in Bengaluru] complained of stomachache, nausea, vomiting and weakness” (29 May). [Ed’s note: see more here and here.]
Mexican clothing company tries to crush workers seeking to exercise the right of association: “Mexican garment company Rintex fired more than fifty workers in an attempt to crush their efforts to collectively defend their rights” (30 May – in Spanish). [Ed’s note: article from IndustriALL Global Union.]
Statements of 11 cops recorded in Baldia factory fire case: “As many as 11 cops recorded their statements on May 31 before an anti-terrorism court that heard the Baldia factory fire case against Abdul Rehman alias Rehman Bhola, Zubair alias Charia and other accused” (01 Jun).
Labor group urges gov’t to set P800 minimum wage: “A labor group is demanding a national minimum wage of P800 daily [US$15.24] to help workers cope with the surging prices that workers blame on the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act” (28 May). [Ed’s note: daily wages currently range from P255 to P512.]
ZDHC signs up three new companies: “ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme welcomes three new companies as ZDHC Contributors and by doing so, brings the total number to 98. [The new signatories are FITI Testing and Research Institute, Fórmula Surfactantes, and Rossari Biotech]” (04 Jun).
‘Automation biggest need for apparel industry’: ““We have invested heavily in RFID production technology and nanotech and foam dyeing for our wet processing. Some of these efforts have brought about as much as 98 per cent savings in water and huge savings in energy and chemicals that are used in the production of our garments, said [Sanjay Mahtani, owner, Must Garment Corporation]” (02 Jun).
Grasim bags gold certification for Birla Spunshades VSF: “Grasim Industries Limited, a flagship company of $43 billion Aditya Birla Group, has earned a gold level material health certificate from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute for their product Birla Spunshades Viscose Staple Fibre (VSF)” (02 Jun).
Cone Denim introducing sustainable denim: “As consumers are requesting more-sustainable options in their clothing, Cone Denim announced it is introducing a new denim fabric that will be made of Tencel and Refibra-branded lyocell fibers, which are among the most sustainable fibers available” (31 May).
Sustainability, fashion the focus at Denim Première Vision: “Sustainability … is consistently the number-one priority for denim buyers today, exhibitors said” (31 May). [Ed’s note: companies mentioned include Kilim Denim, Copen, Soorty, Rajby Industries, and Advance Denim.]
Faisalabad textile mills share blame for salty household water: “[H]ouseholds in Faisalabad are receiving salty water through main water pipelines. This water originally comes from rivers and lakes. Unfortunately, the government has failed to install water processing plants that can help clean water. Industrial waste from textile and sugar mills in Faisalabad is drained into lake and river water” (31 May).
Vietnam seeks to balance growth with environment safety: “Reports from Vietnam’s textile producing regions have highlighted an increased reluctance from local authorities to support new textile and dyeing facilities as concern about the impacts of subsequent pollution grows” (30 May – subscription required to read full article).
CHT Group sets new standard in denim manufacturing: “As a holistic sustainable approach CHT Group’s Low Impact Denim covers the complete manufacturing process. Energy and water savings as well as environmentally friendly bleaching, dyeing and washing methods make the LID concept of Jack & Jones a pioneer on the denim market” (24 May).
ColorZen: Winner at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2018: [Ed’s note: watch ColorZen CEO Michael Hirari’s 10 min pitch and Q&A following winning the Copenhagen Fashion Summit’s Innovation Competition this year. ColorZen applies a patented treatment to raw cotton to make the dyeing process more sustainable.] (May – 12:21-minute video).
CONFERENCES & SEMINARS
[New listings or updated information marked with *]
* 07 June, Bristol, UK: The Nature of Fashion: “Professor Dilys Williams [will chair] a panel discussion exploring fashion and nature: how designers, brands, producers and everyone else involved in the supply chain can work with, not against nature.”
* 11 – 14 June, The Hague: Holland Circular Economy Week 2018: Includes a stream on textiles specifically, including examples of best practice.
12 June, London: FashMash Pioneers: Sustainability applied to fast fashion with H&M: “[A] deep dive on what exactly this means with Anna Gedda, head of sustainability at [H&M].”
12 – 13 June, New York: How business can tackle modern slavery and forced labor: “This conference is designed to inform business delegates how to comply with emerging legislation and mitigate supply chain risk to tackle slavery throughout supply chains and operations.”
12 – 13 June, Amsterdam: Unleash Opportunity, by Amfori: “[A]n award-winning and internationally-recognised conference. Bringing together 400+ participants the conference stands at the largest platform dedicated to sustainable trade.”
13 June, London: How to make better material choices: sustainable sourcing for designers: “Learn about Sourcing Materials from a sustainable angle and the choices you need to make as a designer to have sustainability at the heart of what you do.”
12 – 15 June, Florence, Italy: 303 Tuscans Ethical Fashion: A conference about ethical fashion during Pitti Uomo 94.
15 June, London: Bioresponsive E-Textiles and 3D Printing in Fashion: “A group exhibition of Bioresponsive E-Textiles and 3D Printing in Fashion.”
15 June, New York: FashionistaCon NYC: How to Make it In Fashion (2018): A day-long conference tackling topics such as racial inclusivity and how to make your fashion line more sustainable.
19 – 20 June, London: How business can measure the impact - and ROI - of corporate sustainability: “Tools, techniques and strategies for understanding, measuring and communicating impact.”
21 June, Zeist, the Netherlands: Workshop ‘Due Diligence in your purchasing practices’: “How do companies improve their purchasing practices? In a short session Modint and Solidaridad will help companies further in how to embed due diligence in your purchasing practices.”
21 June, London: Ellen MacArthur Foundation 2108 Summit: “This year, we ask; How do we reinvent the systems of today so that they are fit for tomorrow?”
* 22 June, Amsterdam: Circular Certification: “Join the Circle Economy Textiles Team and industry experts for a Deep Dive on the topic, where we will unpack the core limitations, opportunities and with an eye on the future, the role blockchain can play in what's to come for circular certifications.”
25 June, online course: Who Made My Clothes? The University of Exeter and Fashion Revolution deliver a three-week course where participants will discover who made their clothes, share their stories, and influence global change.
* 25 June, Brussels: Five Years after the Launch of the Sustainability Compact: Taking Stock and Staying Engaged: “The fourth high-level follow-up meeting of the [Bangladesh] Sustainability Compact.”
* 26 – 28 June, Brussels: Scaling Impact through Collaboration: “The BCI 2018 Global Cotton Conference will bring the entire sector together … to collaborate on a more sustainable future for cotton.”
27 June, London: Sustainable Supply Chains 2018: “Aligning procurement & supplier engagement practices with sustainability strategy.”
3 – 5 July, Berlin: Ethical Fashion Show Berlin: “The Ethical Fashion Show Berlin stands for urban zeitgeist, sustainable lifestyle and fashion.”
3 – 5 July, Berlin: Greenshowroom: “Like no other fashion event in Europe, the Greenshowroom stands for elegant designs and sustainable high-grade materials.”
18 – 19 July, London: The London Textile Fair: With a new section completely dedicated to sustainable fabrics.
25 -26 July, London: Jacket Required: Spotlighting the growing emphasis and importance placed on sustainability; see, for example, the sustainable brands showing (Fjällräven, Re:Sustain, Tretorn, Sandqvist, Ohmme, et. al.).
28 – 30 July, Hofheim-Wallau, Germany: Innatex (Sustainable Textiles): “Innatex stresses the importance not only of ecological factors in the supply chain, but also social aspects.”
01 August, São Paulo, Brazil: SAC & ZDHC Manufacturer Forum: The first such forum in Brazil.
* 12 – 14 August, Las Vegas: Sourcing at Magic: “The show will mainly emphasise on helping the fashion industry reduce its impact on the environment with new design opportunities that meet market demand for sustainable fabric and fibres.”
16 August, London: Bare Fashion, London’s first vegan fashion show: “[W]ill feature autumn clothing lines from vegan, sustainable and ethical brands from the UK and beyond.”
* 05 September, Hong Kong: Manufacturer Forum: The first SAC & ZDHC Manufacturer Forum in Hong Kong.
22 – 24 October, Milan: 2018 Textile Sustainability Conference: United by Action: Accelerating Sustainability in Textiles & Fashion: Textile Exchange’s 2018 Textile Sustainability Conference. (See agenda update here.)
31 October – 01 November, London: ‘What’s Going On? A Discourse on Fashion, Design and Sustainability’: “The Global Fashion Conference is a bi-annual international conference, which aims to contribute to a multidisciplinary approach to fashion studies and brings together academia and industry, promoting a more sustainable model of development.”
13 – 14 November, Los Angeles: Remode: The premier event for disruptive and sustainable fashion: “[H]ear from fashion’s leading innovators, gain access to a collaborative network of relevant people and resources, and leave with an actionable plan for innovation and growth.”
Disclaimer: The Fashion Sustainability Week in Review (FSWIR) is a weekly roundup of sustainability news items relevant to the fashion, apparel, textile and related industries. The views and opinions expressed in the FSWIR by individual authors and/or media outlets cited do not necessarily reflect the position of GoBlu or any individual associated with the company.