Partnering with world-renowned fashion brands to mitigate environmental impacts


As part of the German government-supported Initiative for Global Solidarity (IGS), GIZ partners with 14 multinational fashion brands and 626 manufacturers in Viet Nam in a joint effort to mitigate environmental impacts.

Over the past five months, GIZ and industry partners have carried out an initiative called “To the Finish Line of Higg FEM (TFL). It provided a  series of online training on environmental management or textile, garment, and footwear manufacturers operating in Viet Nam, using Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM) - a sustainability assessment tool that standardises  how facilities can measure and evaluate their yearly environmental performance. This tool provides a clear picture of the environmental impact that a manufacturer and its facilities are having upon the environment and the world as a whole. The Higg FEM helps manufacturers, brands, and retailers identify and prioritize opportunities for performance improvements.

“Learning for Taking Action” was the guiding principle for the TFL community: Best Practices were curated from high-performing manufacturers and prepared by specialists from brands and manufacturers. Industry Insights were provided by experts from VF Corporation, Amer Sport, Maxport, Enerteam, Act Renewable, GIZ and WWF.

Below are testimonials from the training participants:

“Hopefully more factories can access TFL in the future to have a solid understanding of the (Higg FEM) framework and apply it effectively on the topics of environment, energy and chemical management.” (HSE Officer, Santa Clara Co., Ltd.)

TFL also contributed to refining trainers’ lectures. Bien Vu, Lead Trainer, shared: “Thanks to many practical questions raised by factories, Higg trainers and technical staff from brands got to learn a lot about FEM 4.0 actual application at fashion manufacturers in Vietnam. This is truly a peer learning experience for Higg practitioners from manufacturers, brands, and verifiers, trainers.”

The activity’s outreach helps to enhance the sustainability image and – along with it – competitiveness of Vietnam’s textile and garment industry, said Mr. Truong Van Cam, VITAS General Secretary. Furthermore, with its proven effective, efficient, and established content and format, GIZ is supporting brands to replicate the training in their global supply chain. The partnership with 14 brands and several high-performance manufacturers is crucial not only to the delivery of this large-scale and practical programme, but also to the further development of TFL in the years to come.

“TFL 2023 is already showing the benefits of cooperation and how we can achieve much more together than alone” (Saskia Anders, Team Lead, FABRIC/IGS Project).