Cooperation is essential for attracting worldwide attention to human rights, working conditions, animal welfare, and the environment.

From the start, the Agreement has focused on joint initiatives, collective projects, and sharing knowledge and experience. Cooperation is essential for attracting worldwide attention to human rights, working conditions, animal welfare, and the environment. Supporters also make a contribution here.

Support from the financial sector

In July 2018, a large group of investment companies signed a statement expressing support for the Agreement, the German Partnership, and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. In the statement, they underline the importance of complying with the OECD guidelines and harmonising national initiatives, with the aim of creating a level playing field for companies that are working to achieve sustainability.

Reporting based on list of production sites

An important joint instrument for dealing with risks is the list of production sites, which now includes 4268 locations. If trade unions, civil-society organisations (NGOs) or other parties become aware of problems at a particular production site, they can alert the companies concerned to the problems through the Secretariat. This happened a few times in 2018. See here an overview of these cases in 2018. In addition, companies sometimes call on stakeholders for help if they notice problems. The Secretariat also regularly contacts signatories in response to media reports.

Living wage and social dialogue

Cooperation requires collective projects in which participants share knowledge and experience, for example regarding the central issues of a living wage and social dialogue. Progress on these issues has a positive effect on all the other issues that play a role in the chain. In 2018, a collective project was started on the subject of the living wage, social dialogue and sustainable purchasing practices. Read more about that project here. Where possible, international cooperation is sought. Training courses have been prepared, which companies are obliged to attend in 2019. The government, NGOs, trade unions, supporters, and international organisations have been involved in the preparations.

Child labour

The collective project ‘Combating child labour in garment supply chains’, supported by the Fund against Child Labour, has as its aim the prevention of child labour. Read more about the project here. In this context, a number of companies and civil-society organisations had an orientation week in South India and Central Bangladesh in September 2018, to consider together how we can improve the situation in the workplace at factories and spinning mills. The project works together with local NGOs. Among other things, they organise training programmes in spinning mills and factories.

Other activities

Freedom of association and collective bargaining are fundamental human rights. However, in many countries, these rights cannot be taken for granted. For this reason, the trade unions have drawn up a questionnaire that companies can use to discuss these subjects with the management of a factory. A report has been published on the subject of animal welfare. Training sessions and meetings on various topics within the Agreement have also been organised.

Vier Voeters, Lonneke Bakker:

‘Attention to animal welfare is growing’


Trade unions compile questionnaire for buyers:

‘Probing questions give a clearer picture’


Interview, Nienke Steen:

'An afternoon of speed dating with Agreement participants'


Frans Bruin, director Yongo Europe: 

‘Choosing to leave or stay’


Interview, Diewertje Heijl:

'Companies broaden their view during working visit to South India and Bangladesh'