Improving production conditions in the textile and garment industry in Asia

Project description

Title: Promoting sustainability in the textile and garment industry in Asia (FABRIC)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)​​​​​​​
Country: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Viet Nam and China
Partner: Non-governmental organisations, governmental organisations, private sector organisations and civil society organisations in Asia 
Overall term: 2019 to 2023

Two young women in Myanmar looking at the ‘Shwe Job App’ on a mobile phone. Copyright: Sabrina Asche

Context

The textile industry is a key sector of the economy in many Asian countries and, depending on the country, accounts for up to 80 per cent of export revenue. Although the underlying conditions in these countries vary considerably, the major challenges in this industry are the same: ensuring decent conditions for workers and reducing environmental impacts. As the industry is continuing to grow, local production companies, business associations, the relevant ministries, trade unions, civil society and international fashion brands need to intensify their cooperation.

Objective

The production conditions in the Asian textile and garment industry are more socially responsible and environmentally friendly.

Two posters on COVID-19 prevention hanging on a truck in Myanmar Copyright: FABRIC Project

Approach

The project networks actors in the Asian textile industry based on common interests. It aims to develop a common understanding of the prerequisites for sustainability and share knowledge. This is achieved, for example, through STAR (Sustainable Textile of the Asian Region), the first inter-Asian network of producer associations. Physical conferences, two series of digital seminars and the digital knowledge platform Asia Garment Hub provide further opportunities for exchange.

The project works on possible solutions in energy, chemicals and (waste) water management in order to promote environmentally friendly and resource-efficient production. Digital climate protection training seminars teach producers more about methods for calculating and measuring their greenhouse gas emissions.

The project is also aimed at employees. It particularly strengthens female textile workers through the services offered by women’s centres and apps on labour rights and safety at the workplace in Myanmar and Cambodia. The app in Myanmar has already been downloaded more than 16,000 times. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project has developed immediate programmes on resilience and campaigns on prevention. In this way, it has improved the working conditions for a total of around 190,000 employees and provided them with access to legal advice and information.

Last update: December 2021

A participant standing in front of a whiteboard and holding a presentation on the ‘Transport Safety Report Launch’ in Viet Nam  Copyright: FABRIC Project