Fairtrade International — a coalition of 28 organisations working to make trade fairer throughout the world — is welcoming comments from throughout the garment and textile supply chains on the new Fairtrade Textile Standard, now under development.
Mock audits with textile producers in India and South Africa held during the last year have been used to test a Fairtrade standard for the whole textile supply chain.
A draft version of this standard, which includes requirements relating to unionisation and freedom of association, workers’ health and safety, and environmental regulations, is under public consultation until May 8, 2015. Independent certification body FLOCERT will reportedly monitor the standard.
The global Fairtrade system — comprised of three producer networks, 25 Fairtrade organizations, Fairtrade International and FLOCERT works to ensure fair wages and living conditions for artisans and small producers of food and goods around the world.
The textile industry has been under fire for egregious violations of human and labor rights worldwide, brought to light by the catastrophic Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, which killed over 1,100 garment workers in 2013.
While global players including H&M, Primark and Inditex have taken steps to improve the quality of life of the workers in their factories, inhospitable conditions persist and industry-wide change has yet to take hold.