Promoting labour, social and environmental standards in textile supply chains

Project description

Title: Sector Project Promotion of Multi-Stakeholder Projects for Sustainable Textile Supply Chains
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Supraregional
Overall term: 2020 to 2023

Seamstresses produce handbags in a factory: GIZ/Yonas Tadesse


The textile industry has become a key sector of the economy worldwide, offering employment and income to over 75 million people. However, in many places the textile industry fails to uphold labour, social and environmental standards. Examples of this include insufficient wages, the lack of social security systems, and dismissals due to trade-union membership. Moreover, the textile sector is one of the world’s most resource-intensive industries – it is a major burden on the environment. The people most severely affected are employees and those who live close to production facilities.

It is not possible for individual actors to introduce, implement and monitor corresponding standards alone due to the high number of stakeholders involved and the lack of transparency along the supply chain. For this reason, the project is focusing on multi-stakeholder projects for the development of concrete, lasting solutions.



Businesses, civil society and politics work together to strengthen labour, social and environmental standards along the textile supply chain.


The project cooperates with the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles and its members in Partnership Initiatives and joint projects. Furthermore, it develops innovative pilot projects with various stakeholders. In the Tunisian textile industry, for example, this involves measures promoting more effective chemical, environmental and energy management. Another example is the development of hygiene strategies for textile production facilities in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Following a successful pilot phase, the projects are adapted and rolled out in additional industries and countries.

The project also contributes to improvements through strategic cooperation arrangements. This is possible both through institutional support, for example from foundations or non-governmental organisations, and in cooperation with local partners.

Last update: September 2021

A seamstress manufactures t-shirts: GIZ/Sabrina Asche

Additional information