THIS ISSUE

Brands in this issue include: Canada Goose (revises sourcing claims on PETA report, stock drops), G-Star Raw, Diesel, Kings of Indigo, Lee, Levi's, Kik, Zara, H&M, C&A, Primark and Armedangels (rated by German consumer magazine), H&M (called out by Norway for ‘greenwashing’), Primark (responds to mass dismissals by suspending orders from affected Bangladesh factories), SMCP (appoints new sustainability director), and more.

Recently released reports:

In general news:

  • German textile seal “Green Button” to launch in September

  • It’s a summer of sparkle, but can sequins be ‘green’?

  • Ethical fashion is on the rise

  • Fast fashion lies: Will they really change their ways in a climate crisis?

  • Measuring sustainability in the fashion industry

  • Why are fashion supply chains so wasteful?

The supply chain:

  • Bangladesh: BGMEA says Accord’s new conditions taking toll; activists demand payment for garment workers by August 4; Primark responds to mass dismissals by suspending orders from affected factories

  • Cambodia: another crash injures workers

  • India: wage rise of Rs 2 per month

  • Vietnam: Most labour strikes occur at FDI enterprises, says report

Sustainable fashion jobs: 7 new job listed this issue (at Achille Pinto Spa, Asos, Good On You, John Lewis & Partners, Nike, VF Foundation, and White Stuff).

Quotes of the week:

  • “At least 25% of purchased materials went to waste, with some factories wasting nearly half of the materials brought in.” Reverse Resources, on waste in Chinese and Bangladesh factories (23 Jul).

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

BRANDS & RETAILERS

Öko-Test: The production of jeans is often catastrophic: “The German consumer magazine Öko-Test has taken a close look at jeans for women in its current issue and discovered disappointing results. According to the magazine, neither cheap nor expensive or organic brands can be relied on for transparent and fair production. According to Öko-Test, most women’s jeans also contain a substance suspected of being a carcinogen. Women’s jeans were tested from 21 textile companies including G-Star Raw, Diesel, Kings of Indigo, Lee, Levi's, Kik, Zara, H&M, C&A, Primark and Armedangels” (05 Aug).

High street brands are committing to sustainable fashion, but do their plans go far enough? “In recent years, the number of high street retailers introducing so-called “conscious” collections has soared. So when yet another clothing company announces sustainable plans, it seems only appropriate to react with a round of applause. Yet fast fashion culture persists. And what that means is that fashion brands’ current sustainable plans may not make much of an impact” (03 Aug).

H&M called out for “greenwashing” in its Conscious fashion collection: “Norway’s consumer watchdog has criticised fast-fashion chain H&M for misleading marketing of its “sustainable” Conscious collection. The Norwegian Consumer Authority (CA) has said that the Swedish clothing retailer provides “insufficient” information about the sustainable nature of its “sustainable style” collection” (02 Aug).

SMCP appoints Nathalie Malavoy as HR and sustainability director: “SMCP, parent company of the Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot brands, has announced the appointment of Nathalie Malavoy as the group’s Human Resources and Sustainability Director, also joining its executive committee” (02 Aug).

Canada Goose revises sourcing claims on PETA report, stock drops: “Canada Goose’s stock fell 4.7 percent on Thursday, following reports that the Canadian outerwear giant was stepping away from claiming that its standards “ensure” that its suppliers do not abuse animals” (01 Aug).

NEWS & REPORTS   

German textile seal “Green Button” to launch in September: “The state textile seal “Grüner Knopf” [Green Button] starts in September. As the Federal Development Ministry (BMZ) further informed on CSR NEWS request, the seal should be attached directly to the product and make sustainable fashion visible to the consumer. The government’s role in setting the criteria for the seal creates clarity and confidence” (05 Aug – in German).

It’s a summer of sparkle, but can sequins be ‘green’? “Sequins, like dogs, are not just for Christmas. The essential element of festive dressing has jumped season this year to put the sparkle into summer. But not everyone is happy to see plastic making a comeback just as the fashion industry is trying to become more sustainable” (03 Aug).

Ethical fashion is on the rise: “Startup fashion brands focus on sustainability and ethical sourcing. The fashion industry has historically relied on exploitative, unsustainable and unethical labor practices in order to sell clothes — but if recent trends are any indication, it won’t for much longer. Over the last several years, the industry has entered a remarkable period of upheaval, with major and small fashion brands alike ditching traditional methods of production in favor of eco-friendly and cruelty-free alternatives. It’s a welcome, long-overdue development, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down” (03 Aug).

Fast fashion lies: Will they really change their ways in a climate crisis? “Apparel consumption is projected to to rise by 63 per cent in the next 10 years. And less than one per cent of all clothing produced globally is recycled” (02 Aug).

Measuring sustainability in the fashion industry: “Where should we concentrate our focus to drive a real-step change in performance over the next five years? Do we continue to push the giants to move faster, or encourage and accelerate change within the small-to-mid size companies (with 50 percent of the industry revenue) who are taking steps to improve their business practices, or is the answer to target the newcomers and support them with the basics in delivering speed sustainably?” (01 Aug).

Why are fashion supply chains so wasteful? “Consumer textile waste may be the larger problem, but the pre-consumer supply chain has its own wasteful practices built in to the way garments are designed and produced” (23 Jul).

THE SUPPLY CHAIN

Bangladesh 

Accord’s new conditions taking toll on apparel: “New fire safety related conditions being imposed by Accord are harming the apparel industry, BGMEA President Rubana Huq said yesterday. “Accord takes many decisions without discussing with us. The new conditions are slowing down our pace,” the chief of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) said at the ‘Workshop on fire safety issues and technical guideline’ at a hotel in the capital” (04 Aug).

Activists demand payment for garment workers by August 4: “Leaders of Garment Sramik Trade Union Kendra on Friday demanded providing workers’ wage and Eid allowance, equivalent to the basic salaries, by August 4. They threatened to launch a movement at factory level in case of negligence by the garment owners to pay the wages and allowance” (03 Aug).

Primark responds to mass dismissals by suspending orders from affected factories: “After more than 400 workers from Primark suppliers in Bangladesh lost their jobs after partaking in peaceful protests which disputed sub-poverty minimum wages, the fashion brand says it has now suspended new orders from all factories affected and will ensure compensation is paid to those dismissed” (02 Aug – from Ecotextile News – subscription required to read full article).

Cambodia

Workers critical after second major Svay Rieng crash: “At least 43 garment workers were injured – four critically – on Wednesday in the second serious road accident involving workers from the same factory [You Li International Factory] in Svay Rieng province in as many days” (01 Aug).

India

Minuscule hike in minimum labour wages: “The expert committee appointed by the Labour Ministry recommended a hike in the minimum wage from Rs 176 a day in July 2017 to Rs 375 per day as of July 2018. But keeping in mind the industry’s point of view and overlooking the recommendations of the committee and the Economic Survey, the Cabinet has approved a hike of only Rs 2 per month” (03 Aug).

Vietnam

Most labour strikes occur at FDI enterprises: report: “More than 80 per cent of strikes in the first half of the year occurred at FDI enterprises, the Vietnam News Agency has reported. According to a report from the Ministry of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs (MoLISA), as many as 67 strikes occurred in the past six months, a drop of one compared to the same period last year. FDI enterprises from South Korea and Taiwan (China) accounted for 16 protests each, while the number at companies from mainland China totalled 10” (01 Aug).

 MANUFACTURERS   

Eminent speakers at Denim Talks to discuss “circularity”: “As part of the Denim Show, the organisers have incorporated a detailed conference under the name “Denim Talks” with the theme “Denim Industry In Line With Circular Fashion” with an aim to draw attention towards the need for being environmentally-conscious in this ever-expanding industry. The technological advancements in this industry should be sustainable, and keeping this in mind, the theme for current edition has been chosen so as to enable stakeholders highlight the importance of this often neglected aspect” (04 Aug).

SUSTAINABLE FASHION JOBS

[New listings or updated information marked with *]

* Achille Pinto Spa: Sustainability Manager (Como)

Adidas: Manager Sea Program Operations (Portland, OR)

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

* Asos: Ethical Trade Assistant (Hong Kong)

BSR: HERproject Associate (Hong Kong)

BSR: Manager, Supply Chain Sustainability (New York)

C&A Foundation: Data Analyst (Gurgaon)

Calvin Klein: Director, Corporate Social Responsibility (New York)

Canada Goose: Sr. Materials Developer, Fabric Research, Development & Sustainability (Toronto)

Canada Goose: Corporate Citizenship Department Coordinator (Toronto)

Canada Goose: Manager, Sustainability and Social Compliance Programs (Toronto)

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

Centric Brands: Global Sourcing & Compliance Analyst (New York)

Decathlon China: Supplier Quality Engineer (Shenzhen)

Disney: Director, Environmental Science And Policy Analysis (Glendale, CA)

Disney: Manager, Audit Analysis, ILS (Glendale, CA)

Fjällräven: Brand Experience Coordinator (Stockholm)

Fur Europe: EU Policy and Environment Intern (Belgium)

Global Brands Group: Social & Environmental Affairs Officer (London)

Good Business Lab: Marketing and Partnerships Associate (Bengaluru/Delhi)

Good Business Lab: Data Associate (Bengaluru/Delhi)

Good Business Lab: Data Intern (Bengaluru/Delhi)

Good Business Lab: Research Associate (Bengaluru/Delhi)

* Good On You: Ethical Brand Ratings Analyst (England – remote work an option)

Good Weave: Director, Apparel and Fashion Jewelry (Washington DC)

GoodWeave: Program Officer (Washington DC)

Groupe ETAM: Sustainability Manager (Hong Kong)

Gymshark: Sustainability Manager (Solihull)

H&M: Sustainability Developer (Yangon)

Hugo Boss: Corporate Sustainability Manager (Metzingen)

Hugo Boss: Sustainability & Innovation Manager (Metzingen)

ÏDKIDS: CSR Internship (Supplier Social Audits) (Pas-en-Artois)

Impactt: Senior Consultant – Social Auditing (London)

* John Lewis & Partners: Assistant Compliance Manager (London)

Kenneth Cole: Fall Internship Program – CSR (New York)

Kmart Australia: Human Rights Manager (Melbourne)

Kmart Australia: Sustainable Materials Manager (Melbourne)

Lululemon: Community Programs Lead AU/NZ (Melbourne)

Marc Fisher Footwear: Compliance Coordinator (Greenwich, CT)

Nakd: Corporate Social Responsibility Internship (Gothenburg)

* Nike: Ethics & Compliance Manager, Greater China (Shanghai)

Nike: Environmental Health & Safety Manager - Air MI (Phoenix, AZ)

Nike: Project Manager, Social Community Impact APAC (Tokyo)

Nike: Community Impact Director Latam (Mexico City)

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

PVH: Manager, Environmental Sustainability & Product Stewardship (New York)

Ralph Lauren: Manager, Sustainability (New York)

Ralph Lauren: Associate, Global Employee Communications & Philanthropy (New York)

QuizRR: Internal Sales Representative (Stockholm)

REI: Director, Communications and Public Affairs (Kent WA)

Reset Carbon: Senior Consultant – Corporate Sustainability (Hong Kong)

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

Solidarity Center: Senior Specialist for Organizing – Trade Union Strengthening Department (Phnom Penh)

Solidarity Center: Deputy Country Program Director (Phnom Penh)

Superdry: Energy and Environment Manager (Cheltenham)

Sustainable Apparel coalition: Operations Coordinator, Europe (Amsterdam)

TAL Apparel: Environmental Sustainability Executive (Hong Kong)

Tommy Hilfiger: Corporate Responsibility Coordinator (Amsterdam)

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

* VF Foundation: Director (Denver, CO)

VF: Sustainability Trainee (Stabio)

VF: Sustainable Operations Assistant Manager (Shanghai)

VF: Manager, Worker Rights (Hong Kong)

VF: Specialist, Supply Chain Sustainability (Shanghai)

Wearable Collections: Drivers, Route Helpers and Market Coordinators (New York)

Welspun: Head - Group Sustainability (Mumbai)

* White Stuff: Foundation Manager (London)

WSR: Director of Outreach and Communications (New York)

CONFERENCES & SEMINARS                                        

[New listings or updated information marked with *]

04 September, Northampton: 1 Day Sustainability in the Leather Supply Chain Training Course: “An introductory one-day leather sustainability course covering supply chain management, traceability and materials sources, the leather making process, chemical management risks, environmental impacts and stewardship, NGO activity and the leather life cycle.”

05 September, Shanghai: How to assess a factory on Social, Health & Safety and Quality issues: “Be able to grasp the overall vision of an efficient quality process and avoid the critical non conformities in terms of social and health & safety performance.”

08 September, Dhaka, Bangladesh: GOTS Bangladesh Seminar 2019: “The theme of this year´s seminar is ‘Connecting for Success’. In 2018, Bangladesh reached second position (after India) in terms of GOTS certified facilities in the country. This growth trend showcases the commitment of the Bangladeshi textile industry to not only use organic fibres, but also to environmental and social compliances. Fire and Building Safety are included in GOTS criteria and the country has made significant progress in all these areas.” Speaking opportunities available: contacts at link. Click here to register.

10 September, Webinar: See What’s New – C2C Certified Version 4 Draft Standard: “introduce the Cradle to Cradle Certified Version 4 draft standard … free webinar.”

12 September, Shanghai: Environmental Awareness Training: “Know the requirements to control & reduce the environmental risks in the textile wet processing units, and understand how to better address critical topics such as Chemical Management and Wastewater Management in the factory with Effluent Treatment Plant.”

17 September, Hong Kong: Environmental Awareness Training: “Know the requirements to control & reduce the environmental risks in the textile wet processing units, and understand how to better address critical topics such as Chemical Management and Wastewater Management in the factory with Effluent Treatment Plant.”

19 September, Hong Kong: Chemical Management Training: “What are the key requirements in terms of proper chemical management in a textile factory to reduce the environmental & social risks?”

20 – 21 September, Dhaka, Bangladesh: Global Textile Forum – Gearing up for New Generation Textiles: “Global Textile Forum is an initiative, a platform to promote region’s textile and garment industry through Collaborative efforts.”

20 – 21 September: Sacramento: WB/Camp on Water-Based Printing: “first-of-its-kind summit on water-based ink printing, powered by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association’s (SGIA) THREADX conference. Hosted by Motion Textile.”

09 – 10 October, San Diego: The Responsible Business Summit West 2019: “The Responsible Business Summit West focuses on what business needs to do to show leadership on key social and environmental challenges and opportunities.”

15 – 18 October: Vancouver: Textile Exchange Sustainability Conference: Driving impact through integrity and preferred fiber & materials.

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.”

29 – 30 October: Washington DC: “Brands Taking Stands – What’s next?”: “bringing corporate leaders together on a fast-paced main stage, keenly focused on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind their thinking.”

01 November: Hong Kong: Crisis Management & Modern Slavery: “[The Mekong Club’s] intensive 3.5-hour workshop will equip you with the right tools to anticipate and prepare for a crisis, and teach you how to use crisis management principles effectively. A realistic modern slavery crisis scenario will be used so participants can practice these principles.”

04 – 05 November: Stockholm: Transforming Products for the Circular Economy: “This two-day forum will feature leading innovators, product designers, manufacturers and brands using Cradle to Cradle Certified to design and make safe, healthy materials and products for the circular economy.”

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

07 November, Chennai: 1 Day Chemical Compliance & Product Safety in the Supply Chain: “Manufacturers and suppliers who attend this one-day course can understand the importance of RSL and MRSL obligations for their business, key restricted substances and topical global legislation, as well as best practice guidance for implementation of MRSL compliance to satisfy the leather, footwear and apparel industries.”

12 – 14 November, San Jose, California: BSR Conference: “The 27th annual BSR Conference, one of the longest-running and most prestigious sustainable business events. This year, we will explore the transformations that are creating a new climate for business and help to pave the way for companies, people, and planet to thrive in this era of rapid change.”

20 November, Hong Kong: Half Day Sustainability in the Leather Supply Chain Training Course: This half-day leather sustainability course covers key aspects of traceability and material sourcing, chemical management risks, environmental impacts and stewardship, NGO activity and the leather life cycle.”

11 – 12 February, Cologne: 1st International Conference on Cellulose Fibres: “New International Conference on Cellulose Fibres, the fastest growing fibre group in textiles, the largest investment sector in the bio-based economy and the solution for avoiding microplastics.”

11 March, London: Drapers Sustainable Fashion 2020: “[With a] focus on collaborating for change within the fashion retail industry.”

(Photo by Jörg Peter, 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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