Corporate Social Responsibility in the Textile Industry

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Corporate Social Responsibility
in the Textile Industry
International overview
Michiel van Yperen
Amsterdam, 2006
research and consultancy on sustainability
Roetersstraat 33 - 1018 WB Amsterdam - Postbus 18180 - 1001 ZB Amsterdam Tel. 020-525 5080, Fax 020-525 5850, internet:, e-mail:

I N T E R N A T I O N A L O V E R V I E W C S R I N T H E T E X T I L E I N D U S T R Y 1
1.1 Introduction to CSR 2
1.2 Profits of CSR 4
2.1 Social issues in the textile chain 7
2.2 Environmental issues in the textile chain 11
2.3 International developments 15
2.3.1 Trade issues in the textile industry 15
2.3.2 Stakeholder perspectives on CSR 17
3.1 Social policies and standards in the textile chain 20
3.1.1 United Nations and ILO conventions 20
3.1.2 Social Accountability 8000 21
3.1.3 Business Social Compliance Initiative 23
3.1.4 Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production 26
3.1.5 Fair Labour Association 29
3.1.6 Ethical Trading Initiative 31
3.1.7 Clean Clothes Campaign 34
3.1.8 Fair Wear Foundation 36
3.1.9 The Worker Rights Consortium 37
3.1.10 OHSAS 18000 39
3.2 Environmental policies and standards in the textile chain 41 3.2.1 European commission and Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) 41 3.2.2 ISO 14000 42
3.2.3 United Nations Cleaner Production 43
3.2.4 The European Eco-label 46
3.2.5 Oeko-tex standard 100/1000 47
3.2.6 Organic cotton 49
3.3 CSR related policies and standards in the textile chain 51 3.3.1 United Nations Global Compact 51
3.3.2 World Business Council on Sustainable Development 52
3.3.3 OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises 53
3.3.4 Global Reporting Initiative 54
3.3.5 ISO 26000 55
4.1.1 Overview of the standards 58
4.1.2 Similarities and differences between the standards 59
I V A M R E S E A R C H A N D C O N S U L T A N C Y O N S U S T A I N A B I L I T Y 2
1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
1.1 Introduction to CSR
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a worldwide-accepted development on how companies can manage their business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society and environment. CSR represents care for social and environmental issues with a profitable business perspective: the socalled ‘People – Planet – Profit’ philosophy (see next figure). CSR sees environmental and social trends as

opportunities for growth and competitive advantage.
Employees, especially highly skilled ones, increasingly
want to work for a company that cares for their well
being and that have a good image in society. Attracting
the best people, and having them highly motivated, drives
growth. This is one reason sustainability is being
integrated into business. Textile companies that work out
how to drive the market in that direction, and how to ride
that wave, will grow faster with lower risk.
In western countries, current human rights discussions
increasingly focus on the conditions under which
consumer goods are produced in developing and newly
industrialised countries.
Improving social standards in the producing countries, which supplies retailers in industrialised nations, has therefore become a very important topic on many company’s agendas. This is also the case for environmental aspects, especially in the cotton producing and processing industry. A growing number of companies participate, make

progress, show good financial results and become
ever more convinced of the benefits of CSR for all
stakeholders, including shareholders.
These companies invest much in CSR promotion to
prevent new regulations and to keep consumers satisfied.
However, a majority of companies persist in doing little or
nothing - or even actively oppose CSR. But even these
companies are openly criticized by a growing share of its...
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