CNV signs Sustainable Clothing and Textile Agreement
On 4 July, CNV vice- chairman Arend van Wijngaarden signed the Sustainable Clothing and Textile Agreement. The Agreement was also signed by 75 clothing and textile companies, their trade associations VGT, Modint and INretail, civil society organisations Solidaridad, UNICEF Netherlands, National India Working Group, Stop Child Labour Coalition, Viervoeters Foundation, FNV trade union and Minister Ploumen on behalf of the Dutch Government.
This is the first in a series of agreements which will encourage international chains to focus on sustainability. The Netherlands are the first country to promote sustainability in the clothing and textile sector in this way.
Photo: Minister Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) expresses her thanks to the parties involved in the Agreement, including CNV vice president
“We will have to wait and see whether this agreement leads to actual compliance with all labour laws,” says Arend van Wijngaarden. “The agreement is only a first step in the right direction. Our trade union colleagues in Asia will ensure that the clothing factories will strictly comply with the labour laws. CNV will keep the parties in the Netherlands alert as to what is happening there. As a trade union, we are the watch dog of society.”
From now on, the manufacturing of clothing and textile in countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Turkey will be committed to: protection against discrimination, child labour and forced labour, the right to free negotiations by independent trade unions, realizing higher wages, safe and healthy working conditions for employees, reduction of negative environmental impact of materials, prevention of suffering of animals, less use of water, energy and chemicals and less chemical waste and waste water.
Dutch consumers, also those with less environmental awareness, will gradually be given more choice when it comes to fairer and more sustainable clothing and textile. An increasing number of fashion companies will be able to provide the consumer with proper answers to questions about fair and sustainable clothing and textile.