Primark joins German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles
Irish value retailer Primark is a member of a long list of alliances aimed at improving the well-being of garment workers and developing sustainable practices. The latest initiative to welcome the retailer is the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles (Bündnis für nachhaltige Textilien), which works towards achieving social, environmental and economic improvements throughout the textile supply chain.
Established in 2014, the multi-stakeholder initiative has international fashion retailers such as H&M and Adidas among its members, as well as trade unions.
Paul Lister, who is responsible for Primark’s Ethical Trade Team and CSR at Associated British Foods said, “Primark has been working hard for the last decade to ensure that the rights of workers within our global supply chain are respected and the lives of people working within the garment industry in emerging markets markedly improve, as industrialisation brings new jobs and opportunities.
"As part of this work we have collaborated with many organisations, including the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), with whom we have worked for more than five years in Bangladesh. For us, it is a logical next step to join the Textilbündnis and we look forward to actively participating in the working groups.”
Like many other high street brands, Primark manufactures its clothes in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and China, where it enforces a code of conduct to ensure that the rights of the workforce are respected.
According to a statement, a senior executive based in Germany will be leading Primark’s contribution to the Textilbündnis, while the company’s ethical trading team will work across the supply chain to ensure standards are met. Additionally, the retailer will carry out more than 2,000 audits every year to check that workers are being treated properly.
In addition to the German Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, Primark has collaborated as a member with the Ethical Trading initiative since 2006. It is also part of Better Work, a partnership programme providing training, audits and remediation for suppliers in Vietnam and Cambodia and of Action Collaboration Transformation, an initiative to address the issue of living wages in the textile and garment supply chain.
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