A decade of MADE-BY is celebrated with launch of MODE Tracker

This October European not-for-profit MADE-BY, together with international brands, suppliers, consultants and other (sustainable) fashion professionals, celebrated their 10th anniversary in the Tobacco Theatre, Amsterdam. The event was organised around a range of a diverse of workshops and interesting industry speakers, including several participants from Solidaridad. This anniversary milestone was also used to launch MADE-BY’s new MODE Tracker: a comprehensive, transparent and verified progress tracking tool for fashion brands & retailers.

Looking back: Putting ten years into perspective

To open the event, Nico Roozen, Solidaridad Network Executive Director and one of the original founders of MADE-BY, congratulated this community of change and reflected upon the past ten years of growth. His speech explained that after launching the first Fair Trade labelling schemes for coffee and banana in the 1980s/90s, Solidaridad learned that the fashion industry was too complex for simply copying the models of these earlier successful initiatives. The solution for fashion was something altogether different: MADE-BY.

Nico Roozen ©stillvisionphotography

He stated that Solidaridad and the fashion industry needed something different: MADE-BY.The name itself was part of the  novelty, which created a link to the people behind the products who were able to tell their story. Why? People can only feel responsible when they know the story behind a product. The guiding principles behind this approach, which came to define the MADE-BY concept were:

  1. Transparency;

  2. Continuous improvement; and

  3. Collaboration with fashion brands to achieve public recognition for best practices.

In 2014, these guiding principles are still represent the way MADE-BY operates and has been developing tools to make sustainability engagement simple. The benchmarking tools, like the Fibre and the Social Standards Benchmark for manufacturing, provide a pragmatic approach for brands to make the more sustainable choices throughout their supply chain.

Solidaridad’s Janet Mensink also played a key role in the day’s events by presenting an overview of and insight into the Bangladesh Water PaCT (Partnership for Cleaner Textiles) programme during the session on Manufacturing and reducing environmental impact.

Moving forward: The launch of MODE Tracker

The new MODE Tracker, a first for the industry is fully aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) principles on reporting and through its convening role in events like today’s, MADE-BY promotes exchange and collaboration between leading brands.

Janet Mensink, Solidaridad's International Programme Coordinator for Textiles & Cotton, on the role & importance of MODE Tracker

“We strongly believe that cultivating transparency is the way to move towards a more sustainable fashion industry. Using insights from the performance of brands on key social and environmental aspects of the supply chain can drive this needed change. The MODE tracker, by providing detailed information on all relevant topics, is easy to understand and credible. We consider this MADE-BY tool a best practice for brands to engage in sustainability issues and to discuss improvement options, which helps ensure sustainable supply chains and improved livelihoods for the people and the environment that produce our clothes.”

Janet Mensink ©stillvisionphotography

With the launch of the MODE Tracker, MADE-BY has shown their capability to continuously innovate and improve, helping fashion brands and retailers on their way to a more sustainable way of working.

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