Eight agreement-companies take extra step in transparency
Several companies participating in the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile have signed a Transparency Pledge. In doing so, companies commit to disclose the locations of their production sites, what type of garments are manufactured there, and how many people work at these sites.
Although there already is an aggregate list of production sites that all companies participating in the Agreement update every year, the Agreement also commends this additional disclosure by companies.
Eight companies signed the Transparency Pledge at an Agreement stakeholder meeting on 12 November. They are Okimono, Alchemist, Marlies Dekkers, Kings of Indigo, Kuyichi, WE Fashion, Schijvens Corporate Fashion and HEMA. G-Star Raw, C&A, Zeeman and Esprit had already signed the pledge.
Pierre Hupperts, independent chairman of the Steering Committee:
“Transparency is an important means to achieving a sustainable production chain in the garment and textile sector. Thanks to our aggregate list of production sites, everyone can see at a glance where all our participating companies operate their production units. That individual companies are also publishing information on their production sites themselves is bold and admirable."
The Clean Clothes Campaign congratulates companies within the Agreement that are making this extra effort.
Suzan Cornelissen, Clean Clothes Campaign:
"We can only contact clothing brands about abuses at their factories when we know the location of their production units. That knowledge is therefore critical to our ability to work with them and our partner organisations in production countries on identifying solutions."
A growing number of companies now publish their own list of their production sites in addition to the aggregate list. The Agreement encourages participating companies to be as transparent as possible. Such additional effort on their part is voluntary.
The disclosure of production sites is an important means of tackling malpractices and crucial to improving circumstances at production sites. It allows parties (local and otherwise) to raise the subject of malpractice in factories directly with the relevant companies so that they can take action.
Under the Agreement, all participating companies already disclose their production sites on an aggregate list, making it possible to report malpractices to the Agreement's secretariat. The secretariat then puts the companies in touch with the party who reported the malpractice and checks whether companies are doing everything in their power to address the issue.
The Transparency Pledge was introduced in 2017 by nine trade union federations and human rights organisations, including the Clean Clothes Campaign. By signing the pledge, companies commit to publishing the names of their authorised production units and processing facilities, the site addresses, the parent company of the business at the site, the type of products made there, and the worker numbers at each site. They also commit to updating this information regularly, i.e. twice a year.