The Civil Society Shadow European Strategy for Sustainable Textile, Garments, Leather and Footwear

On Thursday, 23 April 2020, The Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) along with a diverse coalition of civil society organisations, launched the ‘shadow strategy’ for fair and sustainable textiles. The strategy lays out a set of recommendations for the European Union to address the various challenges of textile value chains, including environmental sustainability, human rights, governance, labour rights, and gender among others

Powerful clothing brands and retailers dictate the terms of trade in textile value chains. The Fair Trade movement’s campaigning on the textile sector has focused on the impacts that this has upstream, where farmers of cotton and other fibre crops struggle to make a living income. Many other civil society organisations with different specialities- human and workers’ rights, environmental protection and transparency- also campaign for reform of the textile and garment industry.

The idea of coming together with this group of over 65 civil society organisations was born out of a desire to pool our knowledge and to present a united front to the EU on this issue. The civil society vision for a comprehensive EU Textile Strategy contains recommendations to promote a textile industry that respects human rights, creates decent jobs and adheres to high social and environmental standards throughout its value chain. Read more.