Risk Assessment in the Apparel and Textile Chain

Risk assessment in the apparel and textile chain in the next phase: True impact by helping producers in Bangladesh and India

Together with the companies Prénatal, Micro Fashion and Just Brands, Modint and ImpactBuying have set up a project testing Due Diligence tools in practice. For nine products the supply chains have been analysed in 2022, as presented at the IAF Convention 2021 in Antwerp. After this, practical impact on sustainability will be established for three of these products in 2023. The project is now concentrating on wet processing, for which Dutch expert Jaap van der Meer will visit a production plant in Bangladesh soon, taking measurements and proposing improvements. Visits to production plants in India will follow. The project is financed by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and supervised by NGO Solidaridad. As the ultimate goal of the project is not only bundling certificates but achieving actual improvement and true impact, funds will be allocated to the producers involved.

The fashion and textile industry exists of complex supply chains. There are more and more international and national initiatives that call for (Dutch) companies to not only know the risks in their supply chain, but mitigate them and create positive impact instead. The international agreements such as United Nations’ Guiding Principles and Human Rights, the OECD’s Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the ILO’s fundamental labour standards and EU legislation on Due Diligence are good examples.

At first, the industry has focused on tier 1, the cut-make-trim of ready-to-wear garments and especially on working conditions. Now companies are assessing further in the chain and see that the challenge lies in facilities, suppliers and processes further upstream. Which suppliers, deeper in the chain, carry the risks when it comes to water use and pollution, energy use and hazardous chemicals? Are the employees in the factory well protected? There is a need for a simple and scalable way to make the supply chain more transparent and to assess risks.

ImpactBuying and Modint partnered up to capture all the combined knowledge in a special configuration of ImpactBuying’s tooling to gather, measure and report on CSR impact of textile supply chains and products.

Modint is the Dutch business network of producers, importers, agents, traders and retailers in the fashion and textile sector. They have over 400 members that together build a sustainable future and create added value for and by the sector.

ImpactBuying’s vision is to provide data you can trust, report and act on. They support their customers to create a positive change in people’s livelihoods and improve our planet’s environment with their buying power. ImpactBuying has the ambition to truly contribute to and make a positive impact, which also made them a B-Corporation. For more than 13 years they are a frontrunner in developing innovations that get the necessary data to their customers faster, cheaper and more reliably. They also assist with consultancy to define risks, assess the sustainability of supply chains and take the next step in making impact.

For more information: ImpactBuying Brechtje Helderweirdt, brechtje@impactbuying.com, www.impactbuying.com

Modint: Miriam Geelhoed, geelhoed@modint.nl, modint.nl/english/about-modint