Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Fashion watchdog groups join to improve working conditions

Fair Wear Foundation and SLCP will collaborate in three key areas: data convergence, policy advocacy and industry engagement

Update : 30 May 2024, 04:00 PM

The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) and the Social & Labor Convergence Program (SLCP) announced a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Amsterdam on Wednesday to strengthen their collaboration and achieve improved working conditions in global garment supply chains.

Fair Wear Foundation, an independent nonprofit focused on garment factory worker conditions, and SLCP, a multi-stakeholder initiative advocating for decent working conditions, will collaborate in three key areas: data convergence, policy advocacy and industry engagement.

According to a statement, the agreement will leverage SLCP's data within Fair Wear's human rights due diligence (HRDD) facilitation hub -- ending redundant audits, improving the quality of facility-level information for Fair Wear member brands and promoting effective implementation of HRDD.

Anonymous and aggregated SLCP data will inform Fair Wear Foundation's country risk scoping tool.

Recognizing the evolving regulatory landscape, the Fair Wear Foundation and the Social & Labor Convergence Program will work towards unified policy positions and increased engagement with key stakeholders, said the statement.

As leading multi-stakeholder initiatives, they see a unique opportunity to drive systemic change across the garment and textile industry, added the statement.

Janet Mensink, CEO of SLCP said: "The use of SLCP data in the Fair Wear HRDD hub is a breakthrough development in the pursuit of convergence and one that I believe can be a leading example of the way in which data can be shared effectively to reduce duplication and drive improvements to working conditions."

Calling the MoU "important step" towards industry-wide alignment on what constitutes impactful HRDD implementation, Fair Wear's executive director Alexander Kohnstamm said this is critical for ensuring that the new European legislation delivers results for garment workers.

Underpinning this new and strengthened partnership is Fair Wear and SLCP's joint recognition of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct as the leading HRDD framework, and their shared belief that there is a need for a smart mix approach on HRDD in supply chains.

Both organizations also see the urgency of converging assessments and the sharing of data to avoid duplication and focus resources on improvement programs.

"Equally, both believe in the importance of information that is locally owned, driven and actionable, in a system where workers, manufacturers, and their representatives can hold brands accountable," added the statement.

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