Joint Post by ITMF & SLCP

The annual ITMF conference took place in Nairobi on the 7-9 of September with over 300 participants from across the globe representing key actors in global textile production present at this high-level event . The Social&Labor Convergence Project (SLCP) was presented during the session on ‘audit fatique’. The session’s moderator, ITMF board member Peter Gnägi, set the scene and explained the relevance of the SLCP for ITMF and its members. This was followed by a presentation from Karim Shafei (ITMF) and Matthijs Crietee (IAF) on the rationale for ITMF/IAF’s strategy to reduce audit duplications and SLCP’s key role in its execution.

Janet Mensink, the SLCP Director, then provided an overview of the project and an update on recent progress. This included the increased the number of signatories (now at 181), recent sign-off on the Converged Assessment Framework and the preparations for the go-live in Sri Lanka and China in the final quarter of this year.

Mr. Caner Soytas from Nike talked the audience through Nike’s support for SLCP’s mission and vision, it’s involvement in the development of the Converged Assessment Framework and Nike’s future adoption plans while Helen Chen (pictured below) from Esquel Group highlighted the manufacturer’s benefits of being part of the SLCP. The presentations were followed by a lively discussion with the audience confirming the relevance and importance of SLCP for ITMF and its members.

Peter Gnägi, ITMF board member: “ITMF stands behind the target of audits to ensure good labor conditions in our industry. We really want to work on this and not just talk. But many of the audits are duplicates and generate unnecessary cost und waste of time without contributing to a better result. ITMF wants to assist our members and the industry to reduce the number of unnecessary audits. The success of the SLCP is one of the crucial steps in this.”

About ITMF 

ITMF is the international Textile Manufacturing Federation. ITMF has members covering all segments of the long textile value chain – from spinning to garmenting – representing hundreds of thousands of companies around the world. Find more information on: www.itmf.org.

Three years ago, the ITMF has launched an initiative with the objective to reduce the number of unnecessary audits on social compliance. ITMF members complained about too many, unproductive and costly audits that did not improve the working conditions (audit fatigue). The ITMF has developed a Code of Conduct that comprised the most stringent audit requirements in social compliance. As there were already so many different Code of Conducts (Standards), a certain standard fatigue was felt. Therefore, it was decided to identify activities and/or organizations that are pursuing the same objectives. With SLCP ITMF has identified an organization that comprises all relevant partners of the textile value chain and has the objective to reduce the number of unnecessary audits. ITMF became SLCP signatory in May 2018 and its Director General, Christian Schindler has been elected in the SLCP Steering Committee in August 2018.

ITMF’s strong membership base allow to inform and disseminate information. As a member of the Steering Committee (SC), ITMF provides the SC with updates, requests, concerns and suggestions from the industry and in return can inform the members about the activities of the SLCP. Being a member of the SC helps to increase SLCP’s relevance and visibility within ITMF and its sister organization IAF (International Apparel Federation). It would also help the SLCP to get a balanced view of the situation and needs in the textile and apparel industry.