Dutch clothing sectors move towards sustainability

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Inretail, VGT and MODINT, textile and clothing sector bodies based in the Netherlands, are working together on a plan towards sustainability of the apparel sector, according to Fibre2fashion.

Nicolás Boullosa/flickr

At the second edition of the CSR conference themed ‘Green,’ the action plan was introduced to Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Lilianne Ploumen. Ploumen believes it is a good start for the improvement in the working conditions of clothing workers in other nations such as Bangladesh.

“Now we have to set the wheels in motion and make sure things really change for the workers on the shop floor,” Ploumen said. She said she will be active in carrying out the plan. In a statement on the Dutch government’s website, she encourages all textile companies to support the plan.

Ploumen said the next step is to set up clear agreements on the roles and responsibilities of everyone concerned, both locally and internationally.

“The industry is keen to discuss the matter with the government and civil society organisations and embrace a voluntary corporate social responsibility agreement,” the statement said.

Included in the action plan are concerns needed to be addressed like child labour, workplace health and safety, wage, autonomy to start and join trade union, and ecological use of water, chemicals, and raw resources. The textile industry trade associations will be able to help companies to recognize and reduce risks in the supply chain. It will also look into the damaging effects of some procurement practices, like moving production quickly and distributing production over wide-ranged suppliers.

The Dutch textile sector will tell the European and global trade associations of its plan and will ask them to collaborate in accomplishing its goals.