The OECD hosted its annual Forum on Due Diligence in the Garment and Footwear Sector between 1-5 February 2021. This year’s virtual edition focused on building a more resilient and sustainable garment and footwear sector during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The forum overall highlighted three key areas in which the industry must focus and build progress:
- The need for establishing a new level playing field for due diligence in the sector
- The instrumentality of social dialogue between employers and employees in tackling workers’ issues
- The desire for collaboration in establishing common reporting standards.
Key priorities for the OECD moving forward were also outlined, such as responsible purchasing practices, mandatory due diligence, social dialogue and the alignment of industry and multi-stakeholder initiatives against the OECD due diligence guidelines.
amfori was represented at this year’s forum with panel speakers and organisers in a range of sessions.
amfori organised the session “Is the shift to plant-based materials in textile a sustainable solution for forests?”. Here, we explored how due diligence processes can make sure that plant-based materials are sustainably sourced. In the long-term, this will avoid excessive deforestation caused by the increasing switch from plastics and animal-based products to plant-based products.
Furthermore, amfori co-organised the session “Scaling responsible purchasing practices through effective supply chain partnerships”. Stéphanie Luong, Vice President of Public Affairs opened this session with introductory remarks. The session provided insights into the importance of the broader regulatory environment. Overall, brands and suppliers can do a great deal but smart regulation will allow a level playing field and consistent benchmarking.
amfori also delivered a keynote address in the session “Weathering uncertainty in global supply chains through responsible business conduct – perspectives from Asia” with Joyce Chau, director of the APAC region. Speakers at this session also included scholars, representatives of the OECD and ILO. The session explored how implementing RBC and decent work practices can help businesses in the region to manage supply chain risks, build resilience and competitiveness.
For more information, please contact Franzis Wimmer, Senior Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator.