The GOTS pre-conference to the 19th Organic World Congress of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, is the first of its kind to focus on social compliance issues in organic textile supply chain. The conference discussed social impacts of organic textile processing globally and in India, shaping a future landscape for textile supply chains.
The pre-conference agreed on three outcomes, which were presented at the Track 7.A of the 19th Organic World Congress by GOTS representatives Christopher Stopes and Satoko Miyoshi. First, social criteria in sustainability standards help improving working conditions and improve standards with measurable criteria and keep inspection/certification as a diagnostic tool. Second, in addition or when possible in combination find and apply suitable aspirational approaches and tools. And lastly, find and apply efficient means to draw the big brands and retailers into utilizing their responsibility for sustainability of the textile industry.
The pre-conference was a platform to create and develop successful partnerships for further actions on critical areas in field of social compliances needing urgent action, said a GOTS press release. The conference discussed various issues like income equality within countries and globally, land grabbing, dealing with non-compliances or how certification as a diagnostic tool could be supplemented by instruments or measures which provide a measurable continuous improvement process.
The GOTS pre-conference offered an important opportunity for supply chain actors, scholars, and sustainability advocates to discuss the most challenging problems and important opportunities in sustainability certifications for textile manufacturers. Perhaps most importantly, there was a robust discussion about the value of offering living wages to factory worker.
The inclusion of social compliance rules into voluntary sustainability standards with their system of inspection and certification is still and will remain a valuable contribution to safeguarding the rights of working people. More than 80 attendees and speakers from twelve countries, including scholars, CSR managers and HR representatives of companies, certification bodies, standard setters, government and NGOs participated in the event.