Nine out of ten textile companies well on the way to meeting sustainability targets

15 April 2019
Nine out of ten textile companies well on the way to meeting sustainability targets

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An assessment shows that 86% of brands participating in the Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile (AGT) are well on the way to meeting the AGT targets. This is a conclusion of the annual report published by the parties to the AGT today. By gaining a clearer picture of conditions at a larger number of production sites and of the materials used by companies, and by analysing their own supply chain, companies took specific action in 2018 to change their operational management in a way that makes them better able to tackle abuses in their supply chain.

This year, the Agreement also increased its impact: by the end of 2018, 92 garment and textile brands had signed up, representing around 48% of turnover in the Dutch market. With this, we nearly meet the target of having 50% of the Dutch market participate in 2018. International cooperation with other initiatives also grew. Working together, companies and other parties have more power to make the international garment industry more sustainable.

Cooperation continues to improve

In 2018, companies and other parties to the agreement, such as trade unions, civil-society organisations and government, worked together intensively on projects relating to a living wage and child labour. They also developed tools to support companies in areas such as freedom of association and animal welfare. Read more about this topic here.

Long road to responsible production

Non-corporate parties to the agreement are pleased with the progress and commitment demonstrated by companies, while being aware that there is still a long way to go to achieve a fully responsible supply chain. Activities planned for 2019, for example the fact that starting this summer, companies will themselves communicate regarding any abuses in their chains and how they plan to deal with them, constitute a good step forward.

Increasing transparency

The extensive list of production sites worldwide, currently totalling 4268, demonstrated its value in 2018. In a number of cases, companies and other parties were together able to tackle problems concerning trade union freedom, child labour and working conditions.

Voluntary, but not without commitments

Companies sign up to the Agreement voluntarily, but participation is not without commitments. In 2018, the efforts of participating companies were assessed for the first time based on an assessment framework, which parties drew up together. The AGT Secretariat carries out the assessment and is provided by the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER).

Pierre Hupperts, independent chair of the AGT:

“With the assessment, we can now better evaluate the quality of companies’ efforts. For example, we can see that 86% of the companies are well on the way to fulfilling the agreements. There will be discussions with the other 14% on how they need to improve. If they fail to improve, the independent complaints and disputes committee can be called upon.”

Read more about this in the annual report.

About the Agreement

The Dutch Agreement on Sustainable Garments and Textile was signed on 4 July 2016 and runs for five years. With their signatures, sector organisations, civil-society organisations, trade unions, and government committed themselves to the provisions of the Agreement. With their influence and knowledge, they help companies to fulfil their obligations under the Agreement, which involve working on a transparent supply chain and risk management in order to tackle the problems that exist in the chain. In this way, companies and other parties take joint responsibility under this Agreement for a sustainable supply chain in the garment and textile sector.

Involved in the IRBC agreement

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