Dutch Agreement for sustainable Garments and Textile, German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and Fair Wear Foundation join hands on access to remedy

The Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile, the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (PST) and the Fair Wear Foundation join hands in improving access to remedy for workers in a number of garment factories in India and Vietnam. This means that participating brands will make it easier for workers in garment factories to file their complaints.

Women working behind their sewing machines in a large factory. © Shutterstock

Two brands (HEMA and G-Star) who participate in the Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT) and three PST-brands (Seidensticker, Esprit and s.Oliver Group) will start using the Fair Wear helplines. The first phase of the cooperation consists of a pilot of 18 months. During this period the participating brands will introduce and use the helplines among a selected pool of suppliers in India and Vietnam.

By cooperating, the AGT, PST and Fair Wear aim to increase the impact of the complaint helplines and to align already existing structures. Over time the partners and the brands will evaluate the use of the Fair Wear mechanism and will discuss the feasibility of a joint system. This first phase can therefore be seen as an important step towards scaling effective complaints mechanisms through cooperation.

The AGT perceives the partnership as a great opportunity to complement the already ongoing work on providing access to remedy. ‘Our signatory brands already have channels in place and since 2017, the AGT operates a grievance and complaints mechanism used for issues which cannot be solved by involved parties themselves’, says Pierre Hupperts, Chairman of the AGT. ‘Fair Wear’s complaints helplines provide garment workers with an extra and easily accessible channel to file their concerns. This is of great added value for the involved brands.’