Garment and Footwear sector

The Garment and Footwear Sector is one of the world's largest sectors of consumer goods.

The international community has paid much attention to it especially since 2013, when a fire in the Rhana Plaza plant (Bangladesh) caused the death of 1,138 workers, imposing the issue to the attention of civil society, institutions and operators.

Much emphasis is given in the sector to the business mechanisms of management and monitoring of these risks, the transparency of companies, the traceability of products, the health and safety of workers and consumers and to the initiatives of multinational companies, NGOs and civil society, trade unions, governments and international organizations aimed at preventing, mitigating and repairing negative impacts.

The concerns expressed by the OECD for the serious risks of negative impact of textiles and clothing have induced the Italian NCP to contribute to this sector at national level, also considering the weight of this industry in the national economy. In 2014, after a thorough work of consultation of operators and stakeholders in the sector at a national level, the NCP published the Report on responsible business conduct in the textile and garment supply chain. Recommendations of the Italian NCP on implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, containing 24 operational recommendations, addressed to the Italian companies operating in Bangladesh, and / or, more generally, in the garment and footwear supply chain, to help them improve the management paths responsible for the supply chain, in application of the Guidelines.

 In 2017, thanks to the work of a multistakeholder group, the OECD published the Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector, with the aim of specifically helping all-sized enterprises in this sector to implement the Guidelines’ recommendations on due diligence.

The final Declaration of the Schloss Elmau G7 Summit, in 2015, encouraged countries to continue the work undertaken to ensure the responsible management of global supply chains, especially the textile and garment sector, also by leveraging the OECD NCP network.

For the European Union we can mention the Council Conclusions on responsible global value chains of 12 May 2016, in support of the many initiatives undertaken in the Union, by the Commission but not only, to promote responsible supply chains in the textile sector .

Finally, the International Labor Organization (ILO) is committed to supporting decent work in the sector, through: the promotion of social dialogue of partnerships and policy coherence; the dissemination of information; the implementation of international labour standards.

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