Global Textile and Apparel Manufacturers Initiative Releases White Paper on Trade Compliance


The white paper contains basic principles that manufacturers under the Sustainable Terms of Trade Initiative (STTI) do not want to see violated by companies that buy from them. And it suggests how manufacturers will work together to enforce trade compliance in the apparel sourcing industry.

The initiative, led by the STAR Network, the International Apparel Federation (IAF) and the Better Buying Institute and supported by GIZ FABRIC, consists of 13 industry associations from nine countries facing similar challenges regarding purchasing practices in the textile and clothing industry. Through a consultation process, these associations have now agreed on the text of the white paper which is published today. This is the first common position of industrialists on improving purchasing practices.

The white paper establishes trade compliance as a guiding principle from a manufacturer’s perspective on improving purchasing practices. STTI defines it as “purchasing practices that do not cause obvious and avoidable harm to manufacturers”. The white paper lists “key recommendations,” defining the purchasing practices that manufacturers see as violations of their definition of trade compliance. Associations participating in the initiative recognize that failure to adhere to these key recommendations severely compromises their ability to run a commercially viable business, let alone contribute to stronger and more sustainable supply chains.

Beyond the key recommendations, the work of the associations has also resulted in a set of additional recommended improvements to current common purchasing practices. Importantly, the white paper also contains a comprehensive research agenda aimed at discovering how purchasing practices can adhere to trade compliance and be further improved while maintaining the flexibility and business independence that both benefit buyers and suppliers, and their customers. and workers.

A phase 2 of the initiative should start in a few weeks. In phase 2, two major and interconnected approaches will emerge. The initiative will seek a structural dialogue with purchasing brands and retailers and some of the MSIs in which they participate on including the concept of trade compliance in purchasing codes of practice. Second, the initiative will contribute to the creation of an improved transparency system regarding trade compliance.

The white paper and its summary can be viewed on the IAF website.

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