The Fair Wear Foundation is committed to the ethical manufacture of clothing. They believe that fair and safe circumstances in fashion production are achievable and help companies achieve this goal.
«Transparency is necessary at every step”
The Foundation isn't a certification, it's more of a membership. Only recognized companies are admitted and checked again and again according to strict criteria. In addition, the credo applies that errors are communicated openly and published on the Fair Wear Foundation's website. Because mistakes can happen anywhere, but what you learn from them is crucial.
Since the production of clothing involves many steps, a distinction must be made here. The FWF focuses on the sewing, cutting and trimming of clothing. Further steps that precede this and environmental aspects are not represented.
In the beginning there was the Clean Clothes Campaign and a Dutch trade association working together for a fair fashion industry. Today there is a Labor Standard or Code of Labor, which they use to control and evaluate the various brands and certify them if they pass.
- Employment is freely chosen
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
- No discrimination in employment
- No exploitation of child labor
- Payment of living wage
- Reasonable working hours
- Safe and healthy working conditions
- Legally binding employment relationship
What concrete steps is the FWF taking to secure this? This ensures that the core working standards can be adhered to: Brand performance checks and factory audits are carried out, public guidelines for complaints are provided, and on-site training in the factories.
Brand Performance Checks
The Brand Performance Checks are carried out in order to change the fashion industry and the way clothing is produced in the long term. Year after year, the member companies are examined for their purchasing and business practices. For example, the way the purchases are planned and whether enough time was allowed for production is evaluated. Equally important is how problems were approached and solved together with the producers.
In summary, it highlights what is going well and where there is potential for improvement. The results are always published, which leads to transparency.
With the help of interviews with workers, which take place inside and outside the factory, the current situation can be surveyed. This is essential so that working conditions can be improved. Documents are also checked and safety and health checks are carried out. After the audit, the factory managers receive feedback with proposed solutions. This will be checked again at a later date.
On-site training courses are held so that workers and managers can be trained in labor standards. The aim is to create open communication that leaves room for complaints and concerns on both sides.
If someone feels that their rights are being threatened or if working standards have been violated, they can contact the complaints hotline. This is also published each time on the FWF website. This way you can follow direct developments and see what companies are doing to solve problems.