During this unprecedented time of global outbreak of the COVID-19, responsible business has become more important than ever for the whole world to survive and recover from the crisis. Especially, responsible purchasing practices of brand companies, retailers and traders of the global textile and apparel supply chains, will bring enormous impacts on the fundamental rights of millions of workers and the livelihood of their families in the supplier end. It is time for global businesses to uphold and honor their commitment to labor rights, social responsibility and sustainable supply chains.
With this in mind, we, the undersigned nine textile and garment business associations of the Sustainable Textile of Asian Region (STAR) Network from six producing and export countries, hereby call on global brand companies, retailers and traders to:
1. Carefully consider all potential impacts on workers, small businesses in the supply chain when taking significant purchasing decisions;
2. Honor the terms of purchasing contracts, fulfil obligations therein, and not re-negotiate price or payment terms;
3. Make practical plans to take responsibility of the suspended delivery or shipment, as well as the goods already produced or currently in production, proceed with payment as agreed upon, and not cancel confirmed orders which are already in production;
4. Offer fair compensation to suppliers (100% FOB) if production or delivery has to be suspended or stopped, or offer salaries directly to workers of suppliers;
5. Put no responsibility on suppliers for delay of delivery or shipment and claim no compensation for such delays;
6. Put no further improper pressure on suppliers by additional costs, rush orders or unnecessary visits and audits;
7. Make all efforts and engage with local stakeholders for a better understanding of the local situation and contexts;
8. Always resort to dialogue and collaborative settlement to ensure mutually acceptable solutions to disputes;
9. Support business partners on supply chain as much as possible, and aim at long-term strategy of business continuity, supply chain unity and social sustainability.
We appreciate the understanding, collaboration and support of our business partners and other stakeholders, and we are ready to work and walk with all responsible buyers globally to get through this crisis, towards a shared bright future.
This joint statement is made by members of the Sustainable Textile of Asian Region (STAR) Network (in alphabetical order):