Vortrag vor Mitarbeiterinnen in Indien

India / China Fashion company Blutsgeschwister takes on a pioneering role in the textile industry


Production conditions in the textile industry in Asia are often problematic. The aim of the development partnership between the fashion company Blutsgeschwister, founded in 2001 and now based in Berlin, and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, BMZ) was to improve production conditions in India and China and to encourage imitators in the industry. The develoPPP project was carried out by DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH.

German textile companies that have production in India or China cannot rely on labour laws that apply there. Although there are regulations in both countries that are supposed to guarantee work safety, insurance protection and minimum wages, these are ignored in many places. Workers are rarely informed about their rights, which often has serious consequences: they must work overtime to meet their quotas, are often overtired and thus exposed to a high risk of accidents. The quality of the textiles and the image of German companies, whose customers increasingly value fairly produced goods, also suffer as a result.


The aim of the project was to build a sustainable supply chain together with the experts of the non-governmental organisation Fair Wear Foundation, which campaigns for social standards in the textile industry worldwide.

The following measures were implemented in selected sewing plants in India and China between 2013 and 2017 with a total project volume of around EUR 420,000:

  • Analysis of the entire supplier structure and training of the management and about one fifth of the staff in each case.
  • Appointment of two persons responsible for the implementation of the measures (occupational safety, working hours, staff representation).
  • Documentation of the implementation of social standards in the pilot companies, whereby Blutsgeschwister closely accompanies the manufacturing processes on site.
  • Deepening of supplier relationships through close exchange and thus more planning security for the model companies.
The development partnership gives us the chance to develop further together with our partners in India and China. It has also improved our own structures and processes. We are now in an even better position to accompany and support our partners on the ground.
Stephan Künz, CEO, Blutsgeschwister
blutsgeschwister meeting
Together with the experts from the Fair Wear Foundation, specialists from Blutsgeschwister GmbH analyzed the supplier structure of the sewing companies. Photo: Blutsgeschwister GmbH
ladies sewing with masks
In the long term, the company Blutsgeschwister GmbH contributes to improving the living and working conditions of numerous employees. Photo: DEG/Shubhangi Singh

Overall, the establishment of sustainable supply chain management has created transparency, which has led to an improvement in working conditions at suppliers. With long-term contracts, the fashion company also ensures greater planning security for the Indian and Chinese model companies, which makes it easier for them to make the necessary investments in improved production conditions and social standards.

It is now also possible for Blutsgeschwister to make socially and ecologically responsible decisions with regard to production. In addition, the deepened supplier relationships have led to more reliability in production. The best practice approach was presented to other companies in the textile industry to find imitators and to promote sustainable supply chain management.


10 local factories verified according to the Fair Wear Standard

Training of managers and workers in the model factories

Sustainable supply chain established


More reliability in production

Establishment of a management system that makes compliance with social standards transparent

develoPPP Classic

develoPPP Classic is aimed at medium-sized and large companies that want to invest sustainably in a developing or emerging country and expand their operational activities locally. Suitable projects receive technical and financial support of up to two million euros in public funding.

Blutsgeschwister GmbH

The creative fashion company Blutsgeschwister was founded in Stuttgart in 2001 and is now based in Berlin. Blutsgeschwister stands up for sustainability in a fast-moving industry. Besides being responsible for the product, its primary concern is fulfilling social and ecological responsibility, whether in Germany or at the production sites in Asia.

DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH

The KFW subsidiary specializes in the complex financing arrangements in developing and emerging markets and has extensive expertise in long-term investment financing. DEG finances and supports manufacturing companies, agribusinesses and companies in the infrastructure and financial sectors.

Katharina Fest CSR Manager Blutsgeschwister GmbH
Yvonne Kaupen Investment Manager Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH