The Fair Wear Foundation
The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is an independent non-profit organisation that is jointly governed by representatives of business, labour and non-profit sectors like non-governmental organisations, trade unions and business associations. FWF’s mission is to improve labour conditions and wages for workers in the garment industry. The focus is on the confection, i.e. where fabrics are processed into textile products. Sewing is one of the most labour-intensive steps in the production process, and working conditions often suffer as a result.
The organization has two main areas of activity:
On the one hand, its tasks include regular review, evaluation and public reporting on the progress made by member companies in implementing the FWF's requirements. This involves on-site inspections of production facilities and interviews with workers as well.
On the other hand, FWF and its members are developing and testing new approaches to better enforce human rights in their supply chains.
As the FWF is a multi-stakeholder initiative with partners such as trade unions, business associations and NGOs, a balanced approach is guaranteed at all levels of the production process. The involvement of local partners in the production countries is also one of the strengths of the FWF.
Member companies must sign the 8-point FWF Code of Labour Practice, which is based on UN- and ILO- principles and enforce them in their supply chains.
FWF working guidelines (Code of Labour)
1.Employment is freely chosen
2.There is no discrimination in employment
3.No exploitation of child labour
4.Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
5.Payment of a living wage
6.Reasonable hours of work
7.Safe and healthy working conditions
8.Legally binding employment relations
FWF publicly reports on the progress of member companies towards implementation of the Code and and all other improvements. Once a year, each member company is required to submit a so-called social report, and the FWF also publishes a brand performance check. Based on these two reports, the company then receives its status. The verification process of the independent organisation works on three levels and only awards the brands the trustworthy FWF seal after intensive examination.
FWF also works closely with a network of stakeholder organisations in production countries. FWF’s 80 member companies are based in nine European countries, and represent around 120 brands. FWF member products are sold in 20,000 retail outlets in more than 80 countries around the world. FWF is active in nine production countries in Asia, Europe and Africa.
100% fair clothing still remains a goal! We are aware that there is no such thing as the perfect model to fight injustice in the workplace, forced labour and discrimination, but we are happy to work with the FWF and all its members to gradually improve working conditions in the garment industry. Together we can develop innovative solutions and standards to improve the lives of millions of workers!
More info on the Fair Wear Foundation can be found on www.fairwear.org or you can watch the following video.