Change needs more than simple certification
Since the 80’s there is a growing awareness of the sometimes poor conditions under which –western- consumer goods are produced. Pressure groups, press and consumers showed growing concern and asked companies to take their responsibility on topics like child labour, forced labour and pollution. These concerns lead to the set-up of codes-of-conducts and standards in many cases combined with third party certifications and product labels.
Specifically the fashion supply chain is under high risk cotton cultivation as well as textile processing is mostly taking place in developing countries. The recent case of child labour in cotton cultivation in Burkina Faso related to the Victoria’s Secret collection is just one example. Other recent cases are deathly fire accidents in Bangladeshi sewing units, toxic chemicals in Chinese dyeing house effluents and bonded labour of young women in South Indian spinning units.
The Solidaridad fashion program includes capacity building projects with cotton farmers and processing factories in developing countries. These programs are undertaken in partnership with frontrunner brands and retailers. Solidaridad is also active partner, in system design as well as project implementation, in innovative initiatives as MADE-BY and BCI.
Janet Mensink, coordinator of the Solidaridad fashion team.