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.
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.
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.