THIS ISSUE

Brands in this issue include: Adidas, Reebok, Patagonia, Esprit, and H&M (the leading brands in Fashion Transparency Index), Amour Vert (sustainable brand growing), Arvin Goods (cleaning our socks), Banana Republic and Old Navy (pledge sustainability goals), C&A, H&M, Zara, Mango, M&S, Next and Primark (on the ILRF’s 2-19 Crackdown list for Bangladesh garment workers), Columbia (matching in-store customer donations to support clean water), H&M (brings product transparency to scale), Kering (wants to be most influential), Levi’s (launches denim recycling program), PrettyLittleThing (launches recycled clothing range with Regain), Project Cece (the Zalando of sustainable clothing), Puma (aims for 90% of materials to be sustainable sourced by 2020), Tchibo (explains detox via its gumboots), Timberland (CSR report) and more.

Recently released reports:

In general news:

  • Widespread coverage on Fashion Revolution’s annual Fashion Transparency Index

  • The leather debate: Is vegan leather a sustainable alternative to the real thing?

  • Grace Forrest discusses hidden cost and opportunity of fighting supply chain slavery

  • Is 2019 the year fashion finally takes sustainability seriously?

  • A missed opportunity to improve working conditions

  • Are toxic chemicals going out of fashion?

  • True blue: Denim has to change to save the planet

  • The fashion industry still has a sweatshop problem. Here’s what you can do to change that

  • 5 lessons in sustainability from Fashion Open Studio

  • Fair Trade versus Fast Fashion

  • Can you do a ‘dehaul’ video this Fashion Revolution Week?

  • Corporations must be held liable for abuses

  • Five things you need to know about biobased materials

In the supply chain:

  • Bangladesh: it was the sixth anniversary of Rana Plaza on Wednesday, so there was widespread coverage (I’ve included a lot, but no means all); sad news that a volunteer rescuer at Rana Plaza committed suicide on the anniversary; new research suggesting workers get 26% less than they should after wage rise; union leaders decry weak worker rights; and an update on safety remediation from the Accord

  • Cambodia: an article on microcredit debt and how it forces the poor into jobs in the garment sector; workers protest a rent hike

  • India: bonded labour mutates & thrives in multiple industries

Manufacturers in this issue include: Archroma (signs MoU for textile research), Huntsman Textile Effects (pledges sustainable solution for textile industry), Polartec and Kraig Biocraft Laboratories (to bring first spider silk fabrics to the performance apparel market), and more.

Sustainable fashion jobs: 9 new jobs listed (at C&A Foundation, Canada Goose, Common Objective, Fair Labor Association, GMS, GoodWeave, Nakd, Nanushka, and Primark).

Quotes of the week:

  • “Suppliers have invested millions of dollars in safety upgrades to their factories, and the cost of production in Bangladesh has gone up as a result of increases in utility prices and the minimum wage [which rose 51% in December 2018]. However, international fashion brands are not willing to pay more for products.” Mostafiz Uddin, managing director of Bangladeshi manufacturer Denim Expert (24 Apr).

  • “Some common methods of getting workers to produce more include restricting workers’ toilet breaks; trimming their meal breaks; squeezing “trainings” into lunch or other rest breaks so the “production time” is not lost; disallowing drinking water breaks and other rest breaks.” From a new report by Human Rights Watch on how apparel brand purchasing practices drive labour abuses (23 Apr).

  • “There’s no financial incentive for the giants to change their supply chain for the long-term good. If you work at a publicly traded company and the numbers dip, you’re out of a job. You’ve got Squawk Box ready to take you down.” Dustin Winegardner, founder of Seattle-based Arvin Goods (22 Apr).

By Stephen Frost, CUHK Business School, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

BRANDS & RETAILERS

Kering wants to be the ‘most influential group in the luxury universe.’ What does that mean? “The company went on to burnish its progressive reputation, granting chief sustainability officer Marie-Claire Daveu 17 minutes to discuss 2019 initiatives, including a focus on animal welfare — for which a new set of standards are soon to be announced — land use and biodiversity protection” (25 Apr).

Timberland 2018 CSR Report shows steady progress toward 2020 sustainability goals: “Timberland today releases its 2018 corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, showing steady progress toward its 2020 sustainability goals in support of three key pillars: better product, a greener world and stronger communities” (25 Apr).

Levi Strauss launches denim recycling program: “Levi Strauss is the latest company to launch a green initiative that aims to help consumers keep their denim out of landfill and tackles the problem of textile waste in the apparel industry” (24 Apr).

Meet the Zalando of sustainable clothing, Project Cece: Dutch AI startup gets fresh funding from ASIF Ventures: “The online sustainable fashion marketplace based in Amsterdam has collaborated with the North Macedonia-based AI startup Pixyle (currently in the Rockstart-accelerator programme) that uses AI to train machines in order to identify garments in images. Project Cece is leveraging the technology so that users can simply upload an image of a product to their website and get results of similar products, which are made in a sustainable manner” (23 Apr).

Banana Republic, Old Navy pledge sustainability goals: “Gap Inc has unveiled new sustainable commitments from Banana Republic and Old Navy. Accelerating the company’s use of more sustainable materials in apparel production and reduce the environmental impacts of product manufacturing, both the brands will increase sustainable product offerings. The announcement has marked the latest step in Gap’s journey” (23 Apr).

Gumboot detox – gradual reduction of hazardous chemicals: A blog post from German retailer Tchibo presenting its work on galoshes as a case study on how it is progressing toward its Detox goals (23 Apr – in German).

Puma aims for 90% of materials to be sustainable sourced by 2020: “Puma has vowed to use even more sustainable materials to manufacture its products in the future. The German sports company has launched a new sustainability strategy, having met its 2020 targets two years ahead of schedule” (23 Apr).

How sustainable fashion brand Amour Vert is growing under new Leadership: “[Aaron] Hoey is the new CEO of Amour Vert, a San Francisco-based brand that was built on offering apparel that is, in large part, made of sustainable fibers; that wouldn’t contribute to the 5% of landfill space that is occupied by 25.5 billion pounds of reusable textiles. He took the reins from the label’s founders, Linda Balti and Christoph Frehsee, who created a company that was (by many accounts) ahead of its time.” (23 Apr).

H&M first major fashion retailer to bring product transparency to scale: “H&M launches transparency layer for all our garments on hm.com starting April 23 [sharing] details such as production country, supplier names, factory names and addresses as well as the number of workers in the factories” (23 Apr).

PrettyLittleThing launches recycled clothing range: “PrettyLittleThing launches a recycled clothing range featuring 151 products. The retailer launched a partnership with clothing-recycling app Regain last week” (23 Apr).

The $4.6 billion wedge: If Dustin Winegardner cleans our socks, can he change apparel? “It probably took about 150 gallons of water to make the pair of standard cotton/polyester socks on your feet. Seriously. For years, Dustin Winegardner, the founder of Seattle-based Arvin Goods, lived with this knowledge, of vast amounts of natural resources consumed by apparel manufacturing. Volume businesses are bad for the environment and often have poor labor standards, to boot” (22 Apr).

Columbia Sportswear to match all in-store customer donations to support clean water on Earth Day: “Columbia Sportswear … today announced a new donation program to drive support for Planet Water Foundation, a U.S. non-profit that brings clean water to some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities” (22 Apr).

ILRF 2019 Bangladesh crackdown list: “The table lists apparel brands linked to factories whose managers have filed unsubstantiated cases against workers who demonstrated for higher wages” (April 19). [Ed’s note: brands listed are C&A, H&M, Zara, Mango, M&S, Next and Primark.]

NEWS & REPORTS

Interview with Orsola de Castro of Fashion Revolution: “We sat down for a quick interview with Orsola de Castro, Founder and Creative Director of Fashion Revolution during Fashion Revolution Week 2019 to hear her thoughts on industry changes; brand transparency, her vision for the future of Fashion Revolution and why remembering that loved clothes last is just as important as asking brands, “Who made my clothes?”” (25 Apr).

Report launch: Unmasking labor exploitation across supply chains: “We are launching this report to share the results of a survey conducted with over 200 auditors across the Asia-Pacific region that focuses on the current practices in worker screening and the potential for the role of technology to amplify the worker voice in social compliance audits” (25 Apr).

Fashion Revolution releases its annual Fashion Transparency Index: See here for links to the report and some media coverage.

The leather debate: Is vegan leather a sustainable alternative to the real thing? “More and more brands are touting vegan leather as an ethical, socially conscious alternative to real leather. But does the environmental impact of synthetic fabrics cancel out any perceived benefits? Ellie Pithers investigates” (24 Apr).

All that glitters is not gold: “Grace Forrest, founding director of the Walk Free Foundation, discusses the hidden cost – and opportunity – of fighting slavery through global supply chains” (24 Apr).

Is 2019 the year fashion finally takes sustainability seriously? “Eco-friendly, ethical and sustainable fashion is finally on the industry’s agenda - and for many brands and designers this has been a year of awakening. But, as Tamsin Blanchard argues, we all have our part to play in making fashion truly circular” (23 Apr).

Stella on sustainability: The industry must do more: “Earth Day prompted a thought about whether fashion companies can realistically balance sustainability with growth. Several conversations later, it’s clear that at least some industry leaders are passionate about trying. Long in the forefront: Stella McCartney” (23 Apr).

A missed opportunity to improve working conditions: “How well do companies with global supply chains succeed in using their leverage as customers to improve conditions in the factories from which they purchase? New research offers insights into that question” (23 Apr). [Ed’s note: you can see the paper here, published in Jan 19.]

“Paying for a Bus Ticket and Expecting to Fly”: How apparel brand purchasing practices drive labor abuses: “[A new report from Human Rights Watch is] based largely on interviews with garment suppliers, social compliance auditors, and garment industry experts, including those with at least a decade’s experience sourcing for numerous global brands; hundreds of interviews with workers; and trade export data analysis for key producing markets from Asia. The report argues that brands’ poor sourcing and purchasing practices can be a huge part of the root cause for rampant labor abuses in apparel factories, undercutting efforts to hold suppliers accountable for their abusive practices. Because brands typically have more business clout in a brand-supplier relationship, how brands do business with suppliers has a profound influence on working conditions” (23 Apr). [Ed’s note: see full report here.]

Are toxic chemicals going out of fashion? “can we expect such a change of perception in the chemical sector? Chemicals per se could of course never go out of fashion – but toxic chemicals – I’d say that the answer to that is yes. It’s already happening” (23 Apr).

True blue: Denim has to change to save the planet: “The classic American blue jean may be the world's most beloved fabric, and innovations are helping produce it more sustainably” (22 Apr). [Ed’s note: article cites Levi’s, Outerknown, Guess, Reformation, Boyish Jeans, Wrangler, H&M, Inditex and others.]

The fashion industry still has a sweatshop problem. Here’s what you can do to change that: “An informed consumer is a powerful consumer” (22 Apr).

5 lessons in sustainability from Fashion Open Studio: “This year during Fashion Revolution Week more than 40 designers will participate in the Fashion Open Studio, the Fashion Revolution initiative, where designers who engage with sustainable practices open up their studios to reveal the processes behind the collections. Fashion Open Studio’s mission is to celebrate the designers who are mindfully answering the question, ‘who made my clothes?’”(22 Apr).

Fair Trade versus Fast Fashion: “Despite the United Nations and the International Labor Organization recognizing fair wages and safe working conditions as a fundamental human right, big fashion corporations often exploit workers, especially those in underdeveloped countries, as cheap labor. This is mostly to the credit of the ever-growing “fast fashion” mindset that has taken over the modern fashion industry” (22 Apr).

Who made my clothes? Stand up for workers’ rights with Fashion Revolution week: “Exploited garment workers in Bangladesh are facing arrest and violent attacks for demanding more pay. A campaign uniting customers and workers gives you the power to help, says Tamsin Blanchard” (22 Apr).

Can you do a ‘dehaul’ video this Fashion Revolution Week? “Forget the ‘haul’, this Fashion Revolution Week, it’s all about the ‘dehaul’. This is how you can get involved in #LoveNotLandfill's latest campaign to recycle our clothes” (22 Apr).

Do Epic Good’s debut documentary explores sustainable fashion: “Directed and produced by award-winning duo Charney Magri and Ramzi Moutran, and showing for the first-time throughout Fashion Revolution Week, the docu-series follows the reverse journey of transparent sustainable fashion collaborating with people, companies and brands who have decided to make a difference, and to design with sustainability and the environment in mind, showing that sustainability is not only possible but beautiful” (22 Apr) [Ed’s note: you can view documentary here.]

Corporations must be held liable for abuses: “Our companies are rarely held accountable for abuses in their supply chains … If our companies were liable for abuses, they would have an incentive to source more judiciously. To avoid costly litigation, they would try to reduce the risks of human rights abuses and environmental degradation” (18 Apr).

Here are 5 things you need to know about biobased materials: “Biobased materials may seem as a great solution – and to certain extent they truly are – but it’s a bit more complicated than you might think. There are pitfalls and aspects worth considering that shouldn’t be forgotten” (09 Apr).

THE SUPPLY CHAIN

Bangladesh  

Bangladesh Safety Accord must be extended: “The Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety needs to be extended, but the government is stalling. An interview with IndustriALL’s Assistant General Secretary, Jenny Holdcroft” (25 Apr – 7:30-minute podcast).

Rana Plaza rescuer commits suicide: “Himaloy Himu, a volunteer rescuer of Rana Plaza disaster back in 2013, has committed suicide. His friends say, he set himself on fire and died last night (25 Apr).

6th anniversary of Rana Plaza (24 Apr): there were numerous stories in the media. Here’s a selection.

  • Six years on from Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza tragedy, one in five survivors’ health is deteriorating: “Despite the international outcry following the building collapse at Rana Plaza, which killed 1,134 mainly female garment workers, more than half of survivors remain unemployed due to the physical injuries and psychological impact of the disaster. The unemployment rate among the survivors has increased almost 10% in the last two years, according to an annual survey of survivors’ health, wellbeing and economic security, published by ActionAid today” (24 Apr).

  • Comment: Safety in Bangladesh is a joint responsibility: “Today marks six years since the Rana Plaza tragedy. Mostafiz Uddin, managing director of Bangladeshi manufacturer Denim Expert, examines the progress that has been made” (24 Apr).

  • Why transparency is key to transforming the fashion industry: “Six years after Rana Plaza, the deadliest disaster in the garment industry, independent and transparent fire and building inspections by the Bangladesh Accord have transformed the safety of thousands of garment factories in the country, writes Jenny Holdcroft, assistant general secretary, IndustriALL Global Union” (24 Apr).

  • Businesses of all sizes are complicit in modern slavery and must do more to confront this evil: “Modern slavery is not just a developing world problem. It is a problem largely driven and largely sustained by us in the west. And modern slavery is not just a problem created by multinationals that are seeking to maximise their profits, whatever the cost. They do it because we, as customers, want them to keep up with our insatiable appetites. In the retail world, “fast fashion” means demand for more and more clothes that get discarded quicker than ever which in turn means that factory owners have to find ever newer ways of keeping up” (24 Apr).

  • Six years after Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza disaster, fashion brands urged to pay more: “Garment workers in Bangladesh face lower wages and exploitation as fashion brands have failed to compensate factories for safety improvements backed by big labels, labour leaders said on Wednesday, six years after the deadly Rana Plaza disaster” (24 Apr).

  • Six years after Bangladesh factory disaster, rights groups issue ‘grim’ warning: “Laura Gutierrez of the US-based Worker Rights Consortium, a labour group, warned that ending the international oversight “will have grim consequences for workers and factory owners”” (24 Apr).

  • ·RMG notably safer now: ILO: “Bangladesh has made impressive strides in making workplace safe in the garment sector in recent years as factory owners strengthened safety as per proposals of international brands and retailers, said union leaders, analysts, the ILO, and entrepreneurs” (24 Apr).

  • No justice yet for Rana Plaza tragedy: “No trial of collapsed Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana took place in six years since the disaster killed 1,138 people, mostly female apparel workers, and injured over 2,400 at Savar on April 24, 2013. The families of the deceased, injured people and workers who suffered from the worst industrial accident of the world were still waiting for justice as hardly any progress was made in the trial of 14 cases filed in this connection” (24 Apr).

  • Rana Plaza workers help launch T-shirt that fights sweatshops: “Survivors of the Rana Plaza disaster, among them seasoned Bangladeshi trade unionists, have formed a co-operative called Oporajeo — which means “invincible” in Bengali — and have teamed up with British anti-sweatshop campaign, No Sweat, to produce ethical T-shirts for the British market. More than just another ethical fashion accessory, these T-shirts actively fight sweatshops” (24 Apr).

  • Bangladesh unions call for Accord to continue on 6th anniversary of Rana Plaza: “The IndustriALL Bangladesh Council called for the continuation of the Accord in Bangladesh in a demonstration today to mark the sixth anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster” (23 Apr).

  • Six years after the Rana Plaza collapse – what happened to the goodwill of the garment industry giants? “Despite promises of change following the tragedy, the garment industry has returned to business as usual” (24 Apr). [Ed’s note: article by Kalpona Akter is head of Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity (BCWS) and a former child garment worker.]

  • Investors call for agreement to allow the Accord on Fire & Building Safety to continue its work of mitigating risks in Bangladeshi garment sector: “The Bangladesh Investor Initiative, a group of 190 global investors representing over $US 3 trillion in assets under management, released a statement today calling on the government of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to negotiate an agreement allowing the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (Accord) to continue its work in the garment sector. The Accord’s record of identifying and remediating safety issues assures global brands and their investors that risks to workers and brand reputation are being mitigated” (23 Apr).

  • Six years after Rana Plaza: Remembering what was lost and protecting the progress that has been made: ““The future of the Bangladesh Accord is hanging by a thread. And yet, thanks to the Accord, millions of garment workers can do their jobs in safety and without fear for their lives. Now is not the time to go backwards. Bangladesh has made great strides, but factory safety must still be maintained and improved and this requires ongoing training of workers and managers as well as an effective complaints mechanism,” said IndustriALL Global Union assistant general secretary, Jenny Holdcroft” (24 Apr).

  • Amidst wave of deadly fires, Bangladesh government threatens to expel the only credible building safety programme in the country and further suppress workers’ rights: “On the sixth anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse, labour rights groups are calling on the government of Bangladesh to cease attempts to expel the Accord on Fire and Building Safety from Bangladesh and to urgently increase safety efforts for the buildings currently under the government’s oversight, which include tens of thousands of factories across all industries” (23 Apr).

  • Bangladesh garment workers safer after fire trainings: “Six years ago, the preventable Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh killed 1,134 garment workers in the world’s worst garment industry disaster. Corporate greed, inadequate labor and building code enforcement, and worker exploitation all contributed to the April 24, 2013, tragedy, which spurred efforts to improve factory safety and support workers seeking a voice on the job” (23 Apr).

  • Goethe-Institut to screen Ekti Sutar Jabanbandi: “Goethe-Institut Bangladesh will screen a special show of Kamar Ahmad Simon’s documentary Ekti Sutar Jabanbandi on Thursday marking the sixth anniversary of Rana Plaza Tragedy, which killed over 1100 garments workers in 2013” (23 Apr).

Workers get 26pc less than they should: TIB: “Garment workers are getting 26 percent less in basic pay than what they should have under the new salary structure, according to the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB). This happened as the minimum wage board that recommended the new salary structure for the garment workers did not take into consideration the 5 percent annual automatic increment while fixing the pay” (24 Apr).

  • Big deception in new wage structure for RMG workers: ““Apparel owners have deceived their workers in the name of wage increment. They actually reduced the wages by 26 percent in the new wage structure,” TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said while addressing a press conference at its Dhanmondi office” (23 Apr).

  • BGMEA opposes TIB statement on RMG workers’ wage: “The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has opposed a recent statement of Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) over implementation of wage structure for readymade garment workers” (24 Apr).

Environment concern ignored in apparel, textile industries: “participants in a seminar that ActionAid, the University of Liberation Arts, Bangladesh and UK-based non-profit organisation Fashion Revolution organised rightly put out the call for the adoption of an environmentally-friendly production system. The issues that the participants raised call out the entrepreneurs and the government on shoring up issues in time before they together turn into a disaster” (23 Apr).

Trade union leaders decry weak workers’ rights: “Safety standards in the country’s apparel sector improved significantly in the last six years after the horrific Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, so did the trade union registration but workers’ rights are yet to see any functional improvements” (23 Apr).

Safety Remediation Progress: “Progress & completion rates of safety remediation at Accord-covered factories” (23 Apr).

Bangladesh Fashionology Summit in Dhaka on May 2: “Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE), an organisation to promote Bangladesh’s apparel sector, is organizing the summit at International Convention City Bashundhara, Dhaka. The second edition of the Bangladesh Fashionology Summit will be held in Dhaka on May 2, to popularize the latest technology and features of smart clothing. Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE), an organisation to promote Bangladesh’s apparel sector, is organizing the summit at International Convention City Bashundhara, Dhaka” (18 Apr). [Ed’s note: see below in Conferences and Seminars for more details.]

Cambodia

Trade Union Law amendments to be discussed today: “Unionist Ath Thorn yesterday announced that labour rights organisations will hold an advocacy meeting with the government today to discuss the amendment of articles in the Trade Union Law deemed restrictive to union freedom. The Trade Union Law took effect in 2016, but unions have decried some articles” (25 Apr).

Descending into debt in Cambodia: “Indebted to microcredit institutions, increasing numbers of Cambodia’s poor population have been forced to accept exploitative labour conditions in the garment and construction industry” (24 Apr).

Phnom Penh garment workers protest hike in rent: “More than 100 garment workers living within Canadia Industrial Park took to the streets in protest on Sunday night after learning that their landlords had increased the price of rent by $10” (23 Apr).

India

Bonded labour mutates & thrives in multiple industries: “Socially and economically weaker sections are traditionally employed as bonded labourers in the farming sector. However, the system is now assuming newer forms. While it continues in agriculture and horticulture, it has also extended to small and medium manufacturing units involved in stone quarrying, brick making, handloom weaving, and textile, agarbatti and fireworks production” (21 Apr).

It took just one acre to grow faith in organic farming: “An innovative project aimed at promoting cotton cultivation the organic way, by replacing chemical pesticides and fertilisers with environment-friendly manures and sprays, is bringing rich dividends for cotton farmers of Madhya Pradesh” (19 Apr).

Uzbekistan

In Namangan, hundreds of hectares sown with vegetables were destroyed to increase cotton production: “local authorities had ordered the destruction of their crop of vegetables and melons, in order to free the land for cotton planting. According to the farmers, several of them who had spent all their money on planting vegetables on their land was left without a means of income” (24 Apr).

Vietnam

Toward fair compensation in Vietnam: Insights on reaching a living wage: “An analysis by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) finds that factory workers in Vietnam work excessive overtime, beyond what is acceptable by international standards, to close the significant gap between what they earn and what they need to provide for themselves and their families” (10 Apr).

MANUFACTURERS

Archroma & Pakistan’s NTU sign MoU for textile research: “Specialty chemicals company, Archroma, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a five-year partnership with the National Textile University (NTU) in Pakistan. The partnership will explore innovations in textile research with futuristic visualisation to help the textile industry to align with the fast pace of global requirements and evolutions” (25 Apr).

Huntsman pledges sustainable solution for textile industry: “American chemical manufacturer Huntsman Textile Effects has pledged sustainable solution for Bangladesh’s growing textile sector, the backward linkage for its US $30 billion plus export industry” (24 Apr).

Water Innovation Prize goes to startups targeting textile wastewater: “SiPure has developed and patented a silicon membrane that it says makes the process of purifying textile wastewater dramatically simpler and cheaper. Billions of tiny nanopores within the membrane allow water to flow through while molecular dyes get stuck” (23 Apr).

The modern Renaissance of Tuscan textile recyclers: “of the nearly 100 million tonnes of textiles produced worldwide every year, a staggeringly small one percent, or 980,000 tonnes, is all that gets recycled. In 2018, roughly 143,000 tonnes – 15 percent of the global total – were recycled in the Italian city of Prato” (19 Apr).

Polartec and Kraig Biocraft Laboratories to bring first spider silk fabrics to the performance apparel market: “Polartec, the premium provider of innovative and sustainable textile solutions, and Kraig Biocraft Laboratories (Kraig) (OTC:KBLB), the biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of spider silk, announce plans to bring to market the first fabrics made from spider silk” (17 Apr).

SUSTAINABLE FASHION JOBS

[New listings or updated information marked with *]

Adidas: Manager Sustainability Materials FW (Ho Chi Minh City)

Amazon: Fashion Sustainability Program Manager (London)

Amazon: Social Responsibility, Senior Program Manager (Shenzhen, China)

Amazon: Japan Environmental Manager (Tokyo)

Blackberrys Menswear: Sr. HR Executive-Employee Engagement & CSR (Gurgoan)

BSR: Manager, Supply Chain Sustainability (New York)

* C&A Foundation: Programme Manager, Circular Fashion (Amsterdam)

* Canada Goose: Sr. Manager, Corporate Sustainability (Toronto)

Center for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR CSR): Social Worker (Shenzhen)

Chanel: Group Director, US Corporate Social Responsibility (Piscataway, New Jersey or New York)

Columbia: Corporate Responsibility Manager (Jakarta)

Columbia: Corporate Responsibility Specialist, Japan Direct Sources (Zhuhai)

* Common Objective: Global Community Manager

Cotton made in Africa: Project Manager for Verification Management (Hamburg)

END.: Head of Facilities and Health & Safety (Washington, England)

* Fair Labor Association: Social Compliance Program Manager (Washington DC)

Fair Wear Foundation: Brand Liaison and Member Community Officer (Amsterdam)

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): GOTS Public Procurement Specialist (EU) (Stuttgart)

* GMS: Manager/Associate Manager, CSR (Hong Kong)

* GoodWeave: Director of Communications (Washington DC)

GoodWeave: Senior Program Officer (Washington DC)

Gucci: Corporate Social Responsibility Internship (Scandicci)

Gymshark: Sustainability Manager (Solihull)

Hop Lun: Sustainability Manager (Hong Kong)

H&M: Internal Communications and Sustainability Responsible (Sydney)

H&M: Sustainability Project Intern (Jakarta)

Herschel Supply Company: Product Quality & Compliance Manager (Vancouver)

Institut Français de la Mode: Professor/Kering Chair on Fashion sustainability & Social responsibility (Paris)

Levi Strauss: Sr. Analyst, Global Product Sustainability (San Francisco)

Lululemon: Director, Product and Materials Sustainability (Vancouver)

Macy’s: Facility Management Energy Manager (Woodbridge, NJ)

Macy’s: Environmental Services Intern/Co-op (Cincinnati, OH)

Macy’s: Manager, Corporate Giving (New York)

Moncler: Sustainability Project Specialist (Milan)

* Nakd: CSR Coordinator (Gothenburg)

Nakd: Corporate Social Responsibility Internship (Gothenburg)

* Nanushka: Sustainability Manager (Budapest)

Nike: Director of Supplier Relationship Management – Supply Chain (Beaverton, OR)

Nike: Senior Director Labor, Health & Safety, Sustainable Manufacturing & Sourcing (Beaverton, OR)

Nike: Environmental Deployment Director (Singapore)

Nike: Sustainability Professional II (Jakarta)

One Jeanswear Group: Social Compliance Specialist (New York)

Patagonia: Head of Supply Chain Environmental Responsibility (Ventura, California)

* Primark: Product Compliance Coordinator (Dublin)

PVH: Corporate Responsibility Specialist, Programs & Operations (New York)

PVH: Sr Manager, Corporate Responsibility (Transparency & Engagement) (New York)

s.Oliver: Senior Global Sustainability Manager Environment & Chemical Compliance (Rottendorf)

Sustainable Apparel Coalition: Senior Manager, Public Affairs (Amsterdam)

Sustainable Apparel Coalition: Senior Manager of Verification (San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam, or Hong Kong)

Sustainable Apparel Coalition: Senior Manager of Higg Facility Tools (San Francisco, New York, Amsterdam, or Hong Kong)

Ted Baker: Sustainability Coordinator (London)

Ted Baker: Ethical and Sustainability Assistant (London)

Ted Baker: Ethical Specialist (London)

The North Face: Director, Global Sustainability (Denver, CO)

Tommy Hilfiger: Communications Manager Sustainability (Amsterdam)

Under Armour: Environmental Sustainability Analyst (Baltimore, MD)

University of Leeds: Research Fellow in Sustainable Materials and Renewable Fibres (Leeds)

Vantage Apparel: QA/Compliance Specialist (Avenel, NJ)

VF: Manager, Sustainable Products Data (Denver, Colorado)

Whistles: CSR and Sustainability Assistant (London)

Wolverine: Product Sustainability Manager (Rockford, Michigan)

CONFERENCES & SEMINARS                                          

[New listings or updated information marked with *]

27 April, Melbourne: A.BCH X Fashion Revolution 2019 Natural Workshop: “In this two-part workshop intensive, learn the art of embroidery and natural dye techniques like shibori and resist stitching.”

02 May, Dhaka: Bangladesh Fashionology Summit: Transparency through technology, technology for decent work and environment, future skills development.

08 May, Manchester, UK: Time for Change – Facing up to fashion’s sustainability and ethical challenges: ASBCI’s 2019 Spring Conference.

* 08 May, Hong Kong: Sourcing Summit: Hong Kong: Accelerating Change: What's New, Now & Next: “Sourcing Journal’s Sourcing Summit: Hong Kong is a unique forum that invites supply chain executives to challenge the status quo and welcome new ideas.”

13 – 17 May, Iceland: Textile Academy Bootcamp 2019: “An amazing week full of Workshops + Guided tours + Social events”

15 – 16 May, Copenhagen: Copenhagen Fashion Summit: “Join us this May when fashion’s most visionary and innovative minds gather to discuss the most critical issues facing our industry and planet.”

03 – 06 June: Detroit: SB’19 Detroit: “Navigate your brand’s sustainability journey to deliver business success,” by Sustainable Brands.

10 – 12 June, London: Ethical Corporation’s 18th Responsible Business Summit Europe: “It’s time to Lead: Innovate, Engage and Collaborate.”

12 June, Northampton, UK: 1 Day Chemical Compliance and Product Safety Training Course: “On this chemical course, our in-house chemical expert will guide you through the various legislations and chemicals in a simple step-by-step process, ensuring that you are aware of your obligation and how to comply.” (For the leather industry.)

* 13 – 13 June, Bangkok: Responsible Business & Human Rights Forum 2019: “[A] multi-stakeholder event addressing an array of priority issues under the Responsible Business Conduct and Business and Human Rights Agendas.”

18 – 20 June, Minneapolis, USA: Circularity 19: “Circularity 19 will bring together more than 500 thought leaders and practitioners to define and accelerate the circular economy.”

22 June, Barcelona: Planet Textiles 2019: “The 10th edition of Planet Textiles will be a seminal event on sustainability in the textile manufacturing sector and will see an unrivalled gathering of experts from the entire fashion value chain.”

08 September, Dhaka, Bangladesh: GOTS Bangladesh Seminar 2019: For sponsorship or speaking opportunities Sumit Gupta at the link.

15 – 18 October: Vancouver: Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference: Textile Exchange call for breakout presentations.

* 23 – 24 October: Amsterdam: European Textile Polyester Summit 2019: “an insight into the European polyester market and its drivers and developments, as well as focus on feedstock availability and sustainability challenges.”

05 November: Dhaka, Bangladesh: Sustainable Apparel Forum: 2nd edition of a forum facilitated by the Bangladesh Apparel Exchange.

12 – 14 November, San Jose, California: BSR Conference: Note: this link is only to sign up for updates; registration will begin in May.

(Photo kimura2, CCO)

Disclaimer: The Fashion Sustainability Week in Review (FSWIR) is a twice-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 International or any individual associated with the company.

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